Tropical Depression 9 is in the Gulf of Mexico about 305 miles west of Key West.

Tropical Depression 9 is in the Gulf of Mexico about 305 miles west of Key West.

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(Last updated at 7:15 a.m.)

Tropical Depression 9 is in the Gulf of Mexico about 305 miles west of Key West.

Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate the maximum winds are still 35 mph. It is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm today but there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect at this time.

Mid-level moisture north and northeast of it has increased since yesterday and the water temperatures are warm.

However, the system is still being affected by westerly shear and very dry air lies just to the west. Some of that drier air will be influencing the circulation. So, slow strengthening is expected in the Gulf.

While the exact track and intensity could change during the next couple of days, we expect winds to increase Wednesday, with tropical storm force winds likely on Thursday across the central and northern Florida peninsula.  

The strongest winds will likely be from Tampa Bay northward.

There will be periods of heavy rain and localized flooding is expected in the typical low spots.

Tides will likely run a couple feet above normal from late Wednesday through Friday morning, so expect some coastal tidal flooding. There will be higher seas and a high risk of rip currents. This all means hazardous beach and boating conditions during the next few days.

The system will also bring an increased risk of tornadoes, mainly late Wednesday and Thursday.

It will be accelerating northeast as it is captured by a mid level trough moving off the Southeast U.S. coast and a cold front approaching from the north.

By Friday, it is forecast to be northeast of Florida and in the Atlantic Ocean.

HOW CLOSE IS THE STORM?

  • Key West: 297 miles WSW
  • Tampa: 383 miles SW
  • Orlando: 457 miles SW
  • Tallahassee: 485 miles SSW

Remember that the spaghetti model plot does not indicate the strength of a system or even development at all. It only predicts where this broad area of low pressure is expected to go.

 

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RELATIVISTIC THINKING: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE WORLD

 

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