TD #9 Remains Poorly Organized

System Still Expected to Drop Significant Rainfall in Cuba and Florida

Nothing much has changed with Tropical Depression Nine since our last blog entry on it on Sunday. Pressure has fallen slightly, but the maximum sustained winds remain at 35 miles per hour, and the system overall remains poorly organized. The one thing that is going for the depression right now is that it is moving into the Gulf of Mexico.

As of the 5:00 AM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Tropical Depression Nine was situated some 155 miles to the West-Southwest of Key West in the Florida Keys, or about 95 miles to the West-Northwest of Havana, Cuba. Maximum sustained winds remain at 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is at 1007 millibars, or 29.74 inches of Hg (Mercury).

The depression is moving very slowly to the West at 9 miles per hour. There are no watches or warnings in effect since the system is no threat to land at this time. Now that TD #9 is moving into the very friendly confines of the Gulf of Mexico, where sea surface temperatures can run between 85 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit, it is possible that the depression could become better organized and strengthen. The NHC believes strengthening could occur over the next 48 hours.

Rainfall is the big concern with the depression at this time. With all the tropical moisture that TD #9 possesses, anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall in Cuba with isolated areas there seeing as much as a foot of rain. South Florida and the Keys could see anywhere between 3 to 5 inches with isolated areas seeing as much as 7 inches. The intensity forecast has changed with this system.

Last night, the NHC was a little conservative with its initial intensity forecasts for Tropical Depression Nine because there was great disparity between the Euro and the GFS solutions. In addition, neither model had performed well with the system up and to this point. This morning, however, the NHC is a little more optimistic although still cautious. Upper level winds are currently hostile towards development, but are expected to slacken making conditions more favorable.

In addition, the depression is moving away from land masses and into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the sea surface temperatures this time of year are very hospitable to tropical systems. However, the global models are beginning to indicate that there will be dry air inserting itself into the area of the storm, and that is a weather factor not favorable for development. So, for the next 48 to 72 hours, the storm may strengthen some, but not a whole lot. Nevertheless, TD #9 should still become a tropical storm sometime within the next 24 to 36 hours.

Looking at the forecast track of Tropical Depression Nine, the system will continue to move westward over the next 18 to 24 hours before curving more to the right, and heading in a more northwestward direction. By Wednesday, the depression will begin to turn more to the northeast and pick up in forward speed. The northeastward motion and increase in forward speed will continue for the next several days as the system is expected to come ashore somewhere in the Big Bend area of Florida as a tropical storm by Friday morning.

All residents along the Gulf Coast, especially from the Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida area to Tampa, Florida should pay close attention to the latest whereabouts and developments with this system since a lot can change in a very short amount of time. Be prepared to take action if necessary.