Tropical depression forms in the Caribbean

Kristopher Drake
October 5, 2017

The Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to take a closer look at the system this afternoon. NOAA's final in-season season forecast on August 9 called for 14-19 named storms, while the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University called for 16 named storms and eight hurricanes in their final in-season prediction on August 4.

Check The Palm Beach Post's live storm tracking map.

The NOAA's National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has warned that the storm could reach the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend.

The track forecast is more straight forward but, as usual, the devil is in the details.

Environmental conditions over the western Caribbean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico are already favorable for additional strengthening. A forecast cone from the National Hurricane Center projected the storm will make landfall as a hurricane this weekend somewhere between New Orleans and Tampa Bay, with the Florida Panhandle as the center point.

Sixteen-E will move through the Yucatan Channel as a tropical storm Thursday night, reaching 17.9N 85.0W in the South central Gulf by Friday morning.

The NOAA stressed that it is too early to accurately predict exact timings and magnitude of impact. Regardless of development, this system will likely produce heavy rains over Formation chance through 5 days...80 percent.

The Atlantic basin includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

On average, the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf, experiences two of them annually from October 4 on.

"To stay safe, we urge people to keep checking and their AccuWeather apps for the latest developments", Myers said.

"People should begin monitoring it, but the main focus is to wait for something to develop", Norman said.

The hurricane season still has miles to go - all the way to November 30, in fact, although activity tends to cool with the weather.

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