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Invest 99 is now Tropical Depression 9 and is headed into the Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Hunters have found that Invest 99 now has a well-defined center in the Florida Straits, and there has been a significant increase in showers and thunderstorms today.  Therefore, it has been upgraded to Tropical Depression 9.  

Over the next 24-48 hours, TD 9 will be moving through only a somewhat favorable area for additional development over the Eastern and Central Gulf of Mexico.  It will still encounter wind shear around 15 knots, and that is enough to prevent it from getting any stronger. Then in about 2 days, the wind shear will be less, and this will allow for TD 9 to get a little stronger. This is where it could become a tropical storm (likely Ian, Hermine will likely form with TD 8 before TD 9).

However, the forecast models are not in agreement at this time. The Euro just dissipates it, but the GFS and other models have it developing into a likely tropical storm in 4 days. The NHC is basing its forecast track off mainly the Euro as of now.  Since there are not agreement with the models yet, please know that this forecast track could change over the next few days.  At this time, TD 9 is forecast to make a landfall Thursday Evening in the Big Bend of Florida. 

12Z GFS model shows a developed system making landfall
around 1 AM Friday.

12Z Euro (ECMWF) shows TD 9 not developing into much
and some heavy rain moving into Central FL Thursday Morning
Forecast Spaghetti Plots show a general trend of TD 9 moving WNW then turning N
then NE before a landfall in the Big Bend of FL.
TD 9 is going to be steered by a mid-level ridge of high pressure that is located over the SE U.S. This will keep TD 9 on the WNW track.  Then the ridge is forecast to weaken in the next 2-3 days, and that will turn TD 9 north and slow down.  At the same time, a trough of low pressure and cold front will be moving across the U.S. This will pull TD 9 to the NE and into Florida. Whew...thank goodness for a cold front!!  If the timing holds, then Louisiana COULD be missed.  Lets hope this forecast stays true!

Louisiana is not in the cone right now, but don't put your guard down and think we are in the clear! We will still need to watch TD 9 closely.

Stay tuned to my updates here, on Facebook, Twitter and WWL-TV. Stay weather aware! -Dave


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