At that time, the storm system, which had previously been designated Invest 92L, had maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour and was tracking westward at 20 mph. It was located about 1,155 miles east of the Windward Islands.
In its initial advisory discussion about the storm, the National Hurricane Center stated that TD 7 was expected to move through an environment that is marginally favourable for development. However, the Hurricane Center also noted that some of forecast models show the storm dissipating into an open wave in a few days.
Despite the disagreement between forecast models, the Hurricane Center’s official forecast calls for slow strengthening of the storm. Should the cyclone reach tropical storm strength with sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour, as the Hurricane Center forecasts it to do on Friday, it will be called Tropical Storm Gordon.
The Hurricane Center also forecast the storm to continue moving rapidly westward below a strong mid-level ridge. It noted that some models suggest a more northwestward track.
“That scenario seems less likely given the strength of the ridge forecast…,” it stated.
The official track shows the cyclone, at tropical storm strength, heading into the Caribbean Sea with a west-northwesterly curve beginning once it passes the Windward Islands on Sunday. On that track and at its forecast speed, the storm would be located just south of Jamaica next Tuesday afternoon on a path that would take it close to Grand Cayman.
All three of the Cayman Islands are just outside the National Hurricane Center’s five-day forecast cone as of the initial advisory.