A hurricane watch was issued Tuesday evening for Florida’s Gulf Coast as a tropical depression continues to swirl across the Gulf of Mexico.
Two computer models are expecting the storm to become a hurricane — forecasters issued a watch between the Anclote River, near Tarpon Springs, and Indian Pass.
A tropical storm watch was issued for the coast from Indian Pass to the Walton and Bay county line.
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TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINE DISCUSSION NUMBER 9 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
AL092016 400 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2016 The system has still not become better organized on satellite imagery, with limited evidence of banding features.
There is an apparent mid-level center of circulation located south of the low-level center. The highest flight-level wind reported by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft was 34 kt and the highest SFMR-observed surface winds were 30 kt, which continues to be used for the advisory intensity.
There is some evidence of increasing upper-level outflow to the north.
The latest intensity guidance is a little more aggressive than before, with a little less shear forecast over the northern Gulf coast region. The official intensity forecast has been increased slightly in comparison to the previous one, and is a little below the latest model consensus. Given that a couple of the models show the system becoming a hurricane, and the 48-hour forecast point implies tropical-storm-force winds near the coast, it is prudent to issue a hurricane watch for a portion of the northeast Gulf of Mexico coast at this time. Fixes from the NOAA aircraft show that the initial motion is northwestward, or 320/4 kt.
The global models continue to show a mid-tropospheric trough developing over the southeastern United States during the next couple of days. This should cause the tropical cyclone to turn toward the north and north-northeast in 24-48 hours. The dynamical track guidance models have shifted a bit to the west compared to their earlier runs, as has the multi-model consensus. Therefore the official track forecast is also west of the previous one. It is important not to focus on the forecast landfall point of this system. Among other reasons, dangerous storm surge flooding is likely along the coast well to the east and south of the path of the center.
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