Tropical Depression 9 to target US Gulf Coast late this week
By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
September 03, 2016, 4:10:38 AM EDT
You will be redirected to the latest story on the tropical system looming for Florida.
Tropical Depression Nine will continue to churn over the Gulf of Mexico before turning toward the northeastern Gulf Coast of the United States later this week.
Tropical Depression Nine was the former tropical disturbance 99L.
The center of this system was located about 425 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida, as of early Wednesday morning. The latest indications are that the storm was beginning to turn toward the north.
Tropical Depression Nine could become a tropical storm at any time prior to landfall late Thursday as it will move into a more favorable environment for strengthening, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
The next tropical storm names in the Atlantic are Hermine and Ian. A system moving away from the North Carolina coast, currently called Tropical Depression Eight, is in competition with Tropical Depression Nine to become the next tropical storm.
Latest indications point toward the system making landfall along the northeastern Gulf Coast, most likely near the Big Bend area of the Florida coast late Thursday.
A storm system near the Texas coast and another system plunging into the eastern United States are expected to grab Tropical Depression Nine and make it turn quickly to the northeast into Thursday.
In this most likely scenario, the system would then track across the northern part of the Florida Peninsula late Thursday and then near the Georgia coast Friday morning.
Only if the depression remains weak and misses the connection would the system wander farther west and perhaps make landfall west of Apalachicola. In this least likely scenario, the storm is likely to weaken significantly with less coastal impact farther north during the weekend.
“Enhanced showers and gusty thunderstorms can be expected with localized flooding possible along the system’s path,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.
There is the potential for 4-8 inches of rain near, east and northeast of where the center makes landfall.
Damaging wind gusts will be possible along the system's path, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll.
Latest statistics on Tropical Depression Nine
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Residents should gather loose lawn items which can become dangerous projectiles in the gusty winds.
There will also be the threat for a few tornadoes, mainly to the north and east of the system's center.
All residents and visitors from the central and northeastern Gulf Coast to the coastal Carolinas should continue to monitor the progress Tropical Depression Nine and review what preparations are needed if a strong tropical storm threatens.
Should the system strengthen and track in the upper part of the west coast of Florida, low-lying areas near and south of the center of the storm could face coastal flooding during the period from Wednesday night through Thursday. Stormy conditions will then spread northeastward over the coastal areas of the Carolinas on Friday.
The storm could bring dangerous seas and rip currents along much of the coastal Northeast during the weekend.
Residents of Louisiana should also keep an eye on this system in the event it moves on a farther west path than anticipated.
Content contributed by Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
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