There is no rest for the weary across the Gulf Coast as we have another tropical system that has become better organized and has formed into a tropical depression. The center of TD-9 is currently located over the west-central parts of the Caribbean Sea and is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico as early as late Friday night. This looks like it will be a major player in Central Alabama’s weather as early as Sunday and keeping tropical moisture in the area at least through Wednesday. We’ll get a better picture of what to expect as the storm gets better organized, but heavy tropical rains and the potential of a few brief spin-up tornadoes may be possible on Monday and Tuesday. Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center…
SUMMARY OF 10 AM CDT INFORMATION
ABOUT 115 MI…180 KM SSW OF NEGRIL, JAMAICA
ABOUT 210 MI…340 KM SE OF GRAND CAYMAN
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1005 MB…29.68 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Cayman Islands
* Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, Havana, Artemisa, Pinar
del Rio, and the Isle of Youth
At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Nine was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 79.2 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion should continue over the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of the depression will pass near of over the Cayman Islands tonight, the Isle of Youth and Western Cuba Friday, and move over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday. The system is forecast to approach the U.S. northern Gulf coast on Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Steady strengthening is forecast during the next few days. The depression is expected to become a tropical storm tonight, and become a hurricane when it is near western Cuba or over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Additional strengthening is likely over the Gulf of Mexico, and the system could be near major hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf coast.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
HAZARDS TO LAND
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore flow along the immediate coast of the Isle of Youth and near and to the east of where the center crosses the coast of western Cuba. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Cayman Islands tonight, and are expected to reach the Isle of Youth and portions of western Cuba in the warning area on Friday.
RAINFALL: The depression is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 10 inches, with maximum totals of 15 inches across Jamaica. Rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are expected across the Cayman Islands, western Cuba, including the Isle of Youth and the northeast portions of the Yucatán Peninsula. These rainfall amounts may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Rainfall from this system is likely to begin impacting portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast by early Sunday.
SURF: Swells generated by this system will begin affecting Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba tonight and Friday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.