Tropical Depression Nine Forms, Florida and the eastern Gulf face serious hurricane danger next week

Tropical Depression Nine formed north of the ABC Islands in the eastern Caribbean Friday morning, and the first 5-day forecast cone covers most of the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys, where a strengthening hurricane is expected to threaten early next week.

While the potential U.S. impact zone is broad — from the northern Gulf to the Florida Keys — tropical storm winds could kick in in Florida as early as Tuesday, so South Floridanians should wrap up hurricane preparations on Friday and this weekend.

Thunderstorm activity, which increased and persisted overnight, remains shifted well to the west of the Tropical Nine Depression due to strong upper-level winds from the northern outflow of Hurricane Fiona and an upper depression in the northeast Caribbean Sea.

The shear boundary is expected to relax over the weekend as the dip moves west which will allow for strengthening.

All indications are by Sunday or Monday we will have a strengthening hurricane in the western Caribbean.

Steering forecast beyond this weekend is difficult.

We know the storm will turn north in response to the pull of a strong jet stream downturn that will bring a cold front through the US southeast

But since we’re still in the early stages of development, we don’t yet know exactly where the storm’s convection will concentrate. Like football, Hurricanes are a game of centimeters, especially when spinning, so center placement will have a big impact on how fast and sharp it spins through Sunday.

Convection consolidation further south and west favors a more gradual turn into the eastern Gulf, where convection converging further north and east would favor a sharper turn into south Florida.

Global forecast models and their ensemble traces through next Wednesday morning, September 28th. Computer models still show a wide range of possibilities, as indicated by the blue ellipse, from the southern Gulf to east of Florida. (Tomer Burg/University of Oklahoma.)

The growing storm is forecast to sweep across western Cuba Monday through Tuesday, which could act as a temporary speed limit. However, this will not be enough to avert a significant hurricane threat for the US for next week.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, make sure to complete your family saving plans. Gather important documents, be prepared to install shutters if needed, check with your doctor’s office on Friday for critical prescription drug refills, and find out if you live in a storm surge evacuation zone.

For Miami-Dade residents, you can check your zone herefor Monroe County, see your evacuation zone map hereand Broward County evacuation zones can be found here.

Generally, evacuations in South Florida, if necessary, take place within a day or two of the expected onset of tropical storm winds (winds exceeding 40 mph).

Because tropical storm conditions could set in as early as Tuesday if As the storm turns our way, evacuations may be required as early as this weekend if there is a significant storm threat.

Always listen to your local emergency management officers when making evacuation decisions and remember: if you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately. In most cases, you just need to go far enough inland to a safe location outside of the storm surge evacuation zone.

A South Florida strike is not a given, but with the threat of a significant hurricane mounting and a compressed schedule, get ready to act sooner rather than later.

Download our 2022 Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to your mobile device for step-by-step guides and storm checklists, as well as the latest hurricane evacuation zones and emergency shelter information.

Most importantly, keep checking WPLG Local 10 for the latest updates. I will be on the air and online throughout the weekend and busy week ahead along with South Florida’s largest team of weather forecasters.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. Tropical Depression Nine Forms, Florida and the eastern Gulf face serious hurricane danger next week

Sarah Y. Kim

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