Developing System Soon To Become Tropical Storm Nestor In The Gulf

SUMMARY OF 1000 AM CDT INFORMATION
LOCATION…22.4N 95.7W
ABOUT 140 MI…225 KM E OF TAMPICO MEXICO
ABOUT 620 MI…995 KM SW OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 355 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1007 MB…29.74 INCHES

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Ochlockonee River, Florida along with Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect east of the Ochlockonee River to Yankeetown, Florida.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Indian Pass, Florida, to Clearwater, Florida.

A complicated weather situation is evolving in the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation associated with the tropical disturbance over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is getting better defined, and the associated convection is getting better organized. However, a strong mid- to upper-level trough is moving eastward across southern Texas and northern Mexico, and a frontal system is present over the northern and northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The ECMWF and GFS models suggest that the trough will spawn a low along the front, with the tropical disturbance merging with that low. On the other hand, the UKMET suggests the tropical disturbance will become the primary low-pressure system. Either way, it is likely that a low-pressure area with gale-force winds and at least some tropical cyclone characteristics will move northeastward and affect portions of the northern Gulf coast during the next 36-48 h. Based on this, advisories are initiated on Potential Tropical cyclone Sixteen, and coastal tropical cyclone and storm surge watches/warnings are being issued.

The system should track generally northeastward in the southern portion of the mid-latitude westerlies, and the track model guidance is in reasonably good agreement through 96 h. The forecast track lies a little to the south of the model consensus, as the UKMET has a somewhat more southerly track. The forecast track brings the system across the southeastern United States between 48-72 h and then has it moving into the Atlantic east of the mid-Atlantic States.

Gradual strengthening is expected as strong upper-level divergence caused by the trough partly prevails over strong vertical shear. Thus, the intensity forecast calls for gradual strengthening along the lines of that in the global models. It is unlikely, though, that the system will develop into a classical tropical cyclone. The system is expected to be fully extratropical by 48 h, with gradual weakening expected after that time.

Regardless of the exact evolution of this weather system, portions of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico will experience strong winds, locally heavy rains, and storm surge Friday and Saturday. Similar impacts are expected across portions of the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States on Saturday and Sunday.

KEY MESSAGES
1. Dangerous storm surge inundation of up to 5 feet above ground level is possible along the Florida Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Clearwater, where a Storm Surge Watch is in effect. Residents in these areas should follow the advice given by local officials.

2. Tropical-storm-force winds are likely along portions of the north-central and northeastern Gulf Coast where tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect. Regardless of the exact track and intensity of the system, these winds will cover a large area, especially east of the center, and begin well in advance of the arrival of the center.

3. Wind and coastal flooding hazards along the U.S. East Coast will be covered by non-tropical watches and warnings issued by local NWS offices since the system is expected to lose any tropical characteristics after it moves inland along the Gulf Coast.

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