TD9 IN THE CARIBBEAN FORECAST TO MOVE INTO EASTERN GULF… Tropical Depression Nine formed this morning in the central Caribbean Sea. TD9 is forecast to become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours as the system moves westward. The system is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to become a hurricane by Monday morning. We note the official forecast from NHC now calls for TD9 to become a major hurricane by Wednesday morning. While forecast confidence in the 4-5 day range is still not as high as usual, confidence has increased somewhat today that this system will be an issue for Florida. The “cone of uncertainty” from NHC extends from Indian Pass and Apalachicola all the way over to Jacksonville, meaning nearly all of the Florida Peninsula (not the Panhandle where we are, but rather the Peninsula) is included in the cone. Landfall will probably happen along the western coast of Florida somewhere between the Big Bend region southward to the Keys. This means that folks in the Tampa Bay area, Ft. Myers, and the Keys should be implementing the first steps of their hurricane action plan.
LOCAL IMPACTS IN SOUTH ALABAMA & N.W. FLORIDA SEEM LESS LIKELY… While the forecast is not a “lock” at this point, forecast confidence has increased to the point that I am comfortable stating that direct local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida seem less likely to happen. While coastal impacts (specifically rip currents and high waves) will be a concern, the potential for major impacts seems to be much lower. While this is no “all clear” just yet, we will monitor trends over the weekend and hopefully be able to say those two magic words for our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida early next week. Long time viewers and readers know I do not say “all clear” until there is basically a 100% chance of no major impacts.
HURRICANE WATCH FOR CAYMAN ISLANDS… A Hurricane Watch has been issued this evening that includes the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The entirety of Jamaica is involved in a Tropical Storm Watch. I expect a Hurricane Watch will be posted for parts of western Cuba at some point tomorrow.
THIS SYSTEM WILL LIKELY BECOME TROPICAL STORM IAN… Quick, important note about the naming situation as this has changed from what has been widely publicized: Tropical Depression 10, located in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean near the African coast became a tropical storm earlier this afternoon and took the name, “Hermine.” That means that if or when Tropical Depression 9 in the Caribbean Sea becomes a tropical storm, it will likely take the name “Ian” (pronounced Ee-an, or E-un if you’re southern).
FLORIDA PENINSULA FOLKS SHOULD BE PREPARING FOR A POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT… While folks in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida watch this system over the next few days, I strongly suggest folks who live in the Big Bend region of Florida and the Florida Peninsula (Miami, the Keys, Ft. Myers, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, and all surrounding areas in the PENINSULA) keep a close, intent watch on this developing tropical system. Major hurricane impacts will be possible in the eastern Gulf region in the days ahead, and model data today has concentrated on the west coast of Florida. Again, that doesn’t mean the landfall point will certainly happen there, but the trends are pointing in that direction for now. Know where you would go and what you will do if your specific location goes under an evacuation order. Heed those orders if you get one. NOW is the time to prepare and make a PLAN. Research shows time and time again that those folks who make a plan and implement it ahead of these dangerous storms have better outcomes, in general, than folks who don’t.
APP… If you haven’t already downloaded the RedZone Weather app, now is a great time to do that. redzoneweather.com/app is the link to the free download. Once you have the RZW app installed on your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to turn on the specific notifications you’d like to receive. All notifications are handcrafted by me. No automation and we promise not to bug you!
I will have more updates posted throughout the weekend in the RedZone Weather app. Have a great Friday evening!
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