Tropical depression forms in Caribbean, could impact Florida's panhandle

05 October, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Boats are seen at a marina in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives at south Florida

The National Hurricane Center on Wednesday again increased the chances that the next tropical depression of the season will form soon - and it is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico.

"Any feature that develops in this area is likely to drift in a general northward direction and over the Gulf of Mexico", according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. Warm ocean waters often help support the development of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Wednesday's depression becomes the 16th cyclone in a record-breaking season that hit feverish intensity over the last two months with five named storms since August 30.

Over the weekend, the system in the central Gulf is forecast to move north, then northeast, because of a considerable trough of low pressure in the Plains and the Mississippi Valley.

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The U.S. Air Force Reserve will fly a reconnaissance mission into Invest 90L Wednesday afternoon October 4 to gather more information about the disturbance's structure and intensity. Temperatures will be running about five degrees above average with highs in the mid to upper 80s forecast. But it has urged people living along the US's Gulf Coast to monitor the progress of the system in coming days. The storm would be back to tropical depression status - so much weaker - but would still likely be quite disruptive to your Sunday and Monday plans.

The good news is the chance of this developing into a tropical system is very low (odds of development at 10%).

Ensemble-based track probabilities for 90L over the next ten days from the ECMWF model (left) and GFS model (right). The dry and stable air associated with the area of high pressure will keep skies partly cloudy with only a 20% chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm through the afternoon. Just understand tropical storm conditions are possible for some spots by Saturday night and Sunday.

The Atlantic basin includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

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