Home Weather Watching The Tropics & TD 9; Get Ready Florida

Watching The Tropics & TD 9; Get Ready Florida

All of Florida needs to pay very close attention to what’s going on in the eastern Caribbean.  As of 5 am, the wave we’ve been tracking is Tropical Depression # 9.  This depression is likely to strengthen quickly, and it poses a threat to South Florida early next week.  We’re in the 4-to-5 day “cone,” so devote time today and during the weekend on preparing for possible hurricane conditions.

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Friday features sunny skies along the Gulf coast, while the east coast metro area will see lots of sun in the morning and some passing afternoon storms.  A high risk of dangerous rip currents is in place along the Palm Beach County coast.  Highs on Friday will be in the low 90s.

Saturday will bring good sun and a few clouds in the morning, but showers and storms will develop in the afternoon and linger into the evening.  The rip current risk will increase this weekend along the Atlantic coast.  Saturday’s highs will be in the upper 80s close to the Atlantic coast and near 90 degrees elsewhere.

Sunday will feature a mix of sun, clouds, and periods of showers and storms, with much of the activity in the east coast metro area.  Sunday’s highs will be in the upper 80s.

Monday will depend on the track and strength of what is now Tropical Depression # 9.  For now, we’ll say the day will be breezy with showers and storms.  Tropical storm conditions are possible Monday evening.  Monday’s highs will be near 90 degrees in the east coast metro area and in the upper 80s along the Gulf coast.

Tuesday’s forecast depends on what is now TD # 9.  At best, it will be windy and stormy — but hurricane conditions are a distinct possibility.  Highs on Tuesday will be in the mid 80s.

Our look at the tropics is dominated by Tropical Depression # 9.  At 5 am, it was located near 13.9 North, 68.6 West, about 615 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.  Maximum sustained winds were 35 miles per hour, and TD # 9 was moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.  Waters of the Caribbean are very warm for late September, and this system will strengthen quickly into a tropical storm and then a hurricane.  The next name on the Atlantic list is Hermine.  Computer models are coming into agreement that this system will affect Florida early next week, but the exact track and intensity are not certain.  Everyone from north of Tampa southward through the Florida Keys needs to check their hurricane supplies, top off the gas in their cars, and make plans to secure their homes.  If you don’t know if you live in an evacuation zone, find out now — and heed any evacuation orders issued by your local officials.  Any preparations you make now won’t be wasted, even if the threat to your immediate area lessens.  With tropical weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

The other big story in the tropics is Hurricane Fiona, which is battering Bermuda.  At 5 am, Fiona was located near 33.8 North, 66.8 West, about 155 miles northwest of Bermuda.  Maximum sustained winds were 125 miles per hour, and Fiona was zipping north-northeast at 25 miles per hour.  There’s a hurricane warning in effect for Bermuda and for much of the Canadian Maritime Provinces.  Fiona will bring hurricane conditions to Nova Scotia early on Saturday.

Gaston is bringing tropical storm conditions to the western Azores.  At 5 am, Tropical Storm Gaston was located about 140 miles from the central Azores, and it was moving east-southeast at 9 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds were 60 miles per hour.  Very heavy rain, along with tropical storm force winds, are expected today and Saturday in the Azores.

Elsewhere, the wave in the central Atlantic has a low chance of developing.  The wave in the far eastern Atlantic has a high chance of becoming a depression in the next couple of days as it moves parallel to the African coast.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.


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