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Monday Morning Tropical Depression 9 Update

Tropical Depression 9 is looking very ragged this morning with 35 mph winds and it is moving to the W at 9 mph.  Looking at the latest satellite and radar data, the bulk of the clouds and rain are SE of the center of circulation. This is due to wind shear blowing the storms in that direction.  The depression is still ingesting some dry air too.  The wind shear is coming from an upper-level low that is sitting over the NW Gulf just off the Texas Coast. This is the same upper-level low that brought us some rain over the weekend. These factors are preventing TD 9 from getting stronger - for now.  

The forecast models are showing TD 9 moving to the WNW slowly today without getting any stronger.  Then on Tuesday, it will move over more warm water in the upper 80s, and the wind shear is expected to relax a little as the upper-level low moves into Texas.  At this time, TD 9 is expected to get a tad stronger and become a tropical storm (either Hermine or Ian depending if TD 8 becomes a storm quicker). 

While it becomes a tropical storm, a trough of low pressure will be coming down/across the Eastern U.S. and it will send a backdoor cold front toward the Deep South.  This will cause the system to be pulled to the north in the Central Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, the cold front will be closer to the coast and that will help to deflect the system to the NE away from Louisiana.  It is likely it will make a landfall sometime Thursday Evening or Night anywhere between the FL Panhandle to Tampa as a weak tropical storm.  It will cross over Florida and exit near Jacksonville, and head into the Atlantic. 

Now...a few things to consider.  TD 9 will be moving over very warm waters, and if the wind shear would relax a little sooner, it could become a little stronger.  However, it is still forecast to be pulled to the north and then northeast with the trough and cold front. 

There are still some uncertainties, so expect some changes with the forecast and intensity this week.  I would not say Louisiana is out of the woods yet, but it is looking more like a Florida storm vs. Louisiana at this point.  Don't let your guard down yet, but don't be worried about this either.  You should already be prepared for a storm by now, so make sure your plan is in place just in case.  

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


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