Gaston becomes strongest hurricane in the Atlantic
Monday, August 29, 2016, 3:45 PM - Hurricane Gaston officially became the first major hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic season over the weekend.
The storm, which formed near Africa's west coast earlier in August, briefly attained hurricane status some days later, before returning to tropical storm strength. Over the weekend, it re-strengthened to a hurricane, and as of early Monday morning was a full-fledged Category 3 storm with winds of 185 km/h, the strongest storm of the Atlantic season so far. By 11 a.m., it had weakened somewhat down to 175 km/h, still a very strong Category 2.
However, despite its strength, the storm's track is in the process of taking a hard-right tack, sending it curving away from North America.
"A turn toward the northeast and a faster forward speed are expected later today or tonight, and an east-northeastward motion is expected on Tuesday," the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.
The storm is not expected to have an impact on Canada.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre did issue a tropical cyclone statement for parts of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula on Friday, though no tropical storm watches or warnings were ever issued and the statement had dropped by the late weekend.
Gaston may hang on to its hurricane status for much of the work week, before having some impact as a tropical storm on Portugal's Azores Islands by the weekend.
Tune in to The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage as the system progresses.