Various Caribbean islands have been placed under a hurricane alert with forecasts of strong winds and “life-threatening” flash floods

The hurricane watch is in place for Barbados together with St Vincent and Grenadines due to Tropical Storm Gonzalo, which is carrying sustained winds of up to 60mph and stronger gusts.

“This means hurricane force conditions are possible within the next 36-48 hours,” the Foreign Office warned in updated travel advice on Thursday evening.

“You should follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities including any evacuation orders.”

Gonzalo is expected to start affecting parts of the southern Windward Islands on Saturday.

A tropical storm watch is also in effect for Tobago and Grenada.

The US National Hurricane Centre warned of up to seven inches of rain in Barbados and the Windward Islands from Friday night until Sunday night

“Rainfall in Barbados and the Windward Islands could lead to life-threatening flash floods,” the latest advisory said.

“Gonzalo is also expected to produce total rain accumulations  of 1 to 2 inches in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs between June and November.