Wednesday, October 04, 2017

NHC: 90% Chance of Tropical Development In Western Caribbean


NHC issues first advisory on Tropical Depression 16.
The initial forecast is calls for a CAT 1 hurricane possibly threatening the panhandle on Sunday morning, but the forecast discussion warns this `. .  must be considered a low-confidence prediction at this time'.
Given its expected speed, and short run across the Gulf, residents all along the Gulf coast need to pay close attention to the track of this storm.


For hurricane weary residents ofTexas and Florida, the latest 5-day Tropical Weather Outlook - while not unexpected - is far from welcome. After the big Atlantic-spawned storms of September, this is the time of year when we begin to look towards the still warm Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico for cyclone genesis.

While October storms are less frequent, and on average have less room to ramp up before encountering land, they can still produce serious storms.  Hurricane Wilma was a CAT 3 storm when it Miami in October of 2005, as was Opal when it near Pensacola in 1995 and Isbell when it hit Marco Island in 1964.

This morning's 8am update from the NHC reads:
Showers and thunderstorms associated with an area of low pressure located over the southwestern Caribbean Sea have become better organized since yesterday.  This system is expected to become a tropical depression later today while it moves northwestward toward the coast of Nicaragua. 

The low should move slowly northwestward across or near the eastern portions of Nicaragua and Honduras on Thursday, move into the northwestern Caribbean Sea by Friday, and emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.  Interests in Nicaragua, Honduras, the Yucatan peninsula and western Cuba should monitor the progress of this system as watches or warnings could be issued later today. 

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon.  Regardless of development, this system will produce heavy rains over portions of Central America during the next few days, likely causing flash floods and mudslides.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent

Models are notoriously unreliable beyond a few days out at this stage of a storm's development, but a generally northward path is projected, putting this proto-storm entering the Gulf of Mexico in about 72 hours.
Where it goes from there and how strong it becomes are uncertain, but interests from Texas to Florida should be monitoring its progress, with an eye towards seeing it possibly threatening somewhere along the Gulf Coast late this weekend or early next week.
So, if you haven’t already downloaded the updated Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide, and visited NOAA's Weather-Ready Nation Hurricane Preparedness Week 2017 web page, now would be an excellent time to do so.

When it comes to getting the latest information on hurricanes, your first stop should always be the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. These are the real experts, and the only ones you should rely on to track and forecast the storm.
If you are on Twitter, you should also follow @FEMA, @NHC_Atlantic, @NHC_Pacific and @ReadyGov.

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