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Tuesday Morning Tropical Depression 9 update

Tropical Depression 9 remains disorganized this morning with 35 mph winds, but convection (thunderstorms) are increasing on the eastern and southern side of the low when you look at the latest satellite images.  It is still battling wind shear and dry air to the west of the low, but that will be changing during the next 24 hours.  TD 9 will be moving over very warm Gulf Waters in the upper 80s. This will help to make it a little stronger today, and the forecast is calling for it to become a tropical storm with 40 mph winds. It will likely get the name Hermine (assuming TD 8 doesn't' strengthen first off the North Carolina Coast).

On Wednesday, the wind shear will be more relaxed, but the system will still be battling the dry air west and NW of the low. However, since the wind shear will not be as strong, it is forecast to strengthen during the day with winds getting up to 45-50 mph.  It will turn to the north as the trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. pulls it north.  Forecast models still show a cold front moving into the SE U.S., and this will turn the storm to the NE away from Louisiana. The front will also cause an increase in wind shear, and that will prevent the storm from getting very strong.

Landfall is expected to be on Thursday between Panama City, FL to Tampa as a strong tropical storm. Very heavy rain and gusty winds will spread over much of Florida.  Winds are expected to be sustained around 65 mph, making it the strong tropical storm.

Louisiana looks to be in the clear of TD 9, but we will still have to watch it until it turns to the NE on Wednesday/Wednesday Night.  We will have one impact from the storm as tides will be running 1-2 feet above normal thanks to the onshore easterly winds. A Coastal Flood Watch goes into effect at 7 PM tonight and continues until 7 AM Thursday.

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

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