Tropical Depression Nine to Soon Strengthen

Depression Expected to Become Tropical Storm on Wednesday

The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor developments with Tropical Depression Nine, which is poised to strengthen, but hasn’t done so yet. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida West Coast from Anclote River to Indian Pass while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Anclote River to the Walton/Bay County Line. A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to Marineland, Florida as of 10:00 AM CDT.

As of the latest advisory from the NHC, Tropical Depression Nine was located approximately 395 miles to the South-Southwest of Apalachichola, Florida, or about 415 miles to the West-Southwest of Tampa, Florida. The depression is just about stationary at the moment, but is expected to begin moving again. Maximum sustained winds remain at 35 miles per hour, but further strengthening is expected, and TD #9 could become a tropical storm later on Wednesday.

Wind gusts are still at 45 miles per hour, but the pressure has dropped to 1001 millibars, or 29.56 inches of Hg. A couple days ago, it was still fairly high at 1009 millibars. So, the system seems to be getting its act together again. There are indications that the depression could eventually strengthen into a hurricane prior to landfall somewhere along the Florida Gulf Coast.

The latest forecast discussion from the NHC indicates that the depression is beginning to look more organized, and firing up very deep convection. The system is also moving into an environment that has moderate shear, and of course very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, which should help it strengthen over the next day and a half. The intensity forecast indicates that the depression should be a very strong tropical storm with wind close to 65 miles per hour before making landfall.

As far as the forecast track goes, the storm is on a forecast trajectory that should take it over land somewhere in the Big Bend area of Florida by Thursday evening. Then, the track continues across the northern portion of Florida, and into Southern Georgia before it re-emerges into the water off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina by late Friday morning.