The fourteenth tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season formed just south of the Yucatan Peninsula early Sunday morning. It is now expected to continue to strengthen into a tropical storm over the next 48 hours; if it does, it would receive the name “Michael”.
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued along the Yucatan Peninsula and portions of Cuba. This is where heavy rains are already posing a flooding risk.
Forecast models indicate that it could organize and strengthen into a tropical storm or a weak hurricane before making landfall along the Mississippi/Alabama/Florida coast sometime Wednesday or Thursday. There is still uncertainty as to where along the Gulf Coast a landfall could occur, so check back for updates.
Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center:
...DISTURBANCE BECOMES A TROPICAL DEPRESSION... SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...18.6N 86.9W ABOUT 90 MI...150 KM E OF CHETUMAL MEXICO ABOUT 260 MI...420 KM SSW OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: The government of Mexico has upgraded the Tropical Storm Watch from Tulum to Cabo Catoche to a Tropical Storm Warning. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * The Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth * The coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within 24 hours. Interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf coast should monitor the progress of the depression. For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK ---------------------- At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Fourteen was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 86.9 West. The depression is moving toward the north-northwest near 3 mph (6 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected later today, with that motion at a faster forward speed continuing through early Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center will move through the Yucatan Channel Monday morning and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next several days, with the depression expected to become a tropical storm later today. The system could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb (29.65 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by this evening or tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. RAINFALL: Total rain accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are expected over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and northern Honduras through Tuesday. Isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible in western Cuba. A separate area of persistent very heavy rainfall is expected along the Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico, including western Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the state of Chiapas in Mexico. In many of these areas this rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods. Elsewhere, outer rain bands from the depression are expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches across the Florida Keys through Monday.