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HURRICANE CENTER: Tropical Cyclone 26 To Form, Tracking To Louisiana

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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The National Hurricane Center is calling the red X you see above “Potential Tropical Cyclone 26” as of 5:30 p.m. It is expected to form into a tropical depression over the next several hours. The initial track takes the storm through the Gulf on a path to Louisiana where it could strike as a hurricane.

Here is the National Hurricane Center “discussion” from early Sunday evening:


Potential Tropical Cyclone Twenty-Six Discussion Number   1
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL262020
500 PM EDT Sun Oct 04 2020

Visible satellite imagery and earlier scatterometer data indicated 
that the circulation associated with the area of low pressure in the 
central Caribbean Sea has gradually become better defined.  The 
associated deep convection does not yet have enough organization to 
classify the system as a tropical depression, but there has been 
some increase in convection just south of the estimated center.  The 
earlier ASCAT data revealed peak winds of around 30 kt over the 
northeastern portion of the circulation, and that is the basis for 
the initial intensity.  The disturbance is located over warm waters 
and in a moist environment, but there is some modest northeasterly 
shear over the system.  The global models indicate that the shear 
will decrease overnight, and the oceanic and atmospheric environment 
is expected to quite favorable for both the development of a 
tropical cyclone and subsequent strengthening of the system over the 
northwestern Caribbean Sea during the next couple of days.  The 
intensity guidance is quite aggressive, but also assumes that the 
system already has a tropical cyclone structure.  Therefore, the NHC 
intensity forecast is a little below the intensity consensus during 
the first 24-48 hours, but does show the system at or near hurricane 
strength by the time is near western Cuba on Tuesday.  Environmental 
conditions are expected to remain favorable for strengthening over 
the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, and additional strengthening is 
predicted during that time.  Late in the period, conditions are 
forecast to become less conducive as the vertical wind shear 
increases and the system nears the cooler shelf waters of the 
northern Gulf of Mexico. 

The disturbance is moving west-northwestward or 290/9 kt.  A mid- 
to upper-level ridge over the western Atlantic is forecast to build 
westward over the next few days, which should continue to steer the 
system west-northwestward to northwestward over the northwestern 
Caribbean Sea and southeastern Gulf of Mexico.  The forward speed 
of the system is likely to increase in 48 to 72 hours while it 
moves between the ridge and Tropical Storm Gamma to its southwest.  
After 72 hours, the cyclone is forecast to slow down and turn 
northward around the western portion of the ridge and a mid- to 
upper-level trough over the south-central United States.  The track 
guidance is in relatively good agreement during the first 48 to 72 
hours, but there is increasing spread thereafter.  Users are 
reminded that the average 4- and 5-day NHC track forecast errors 
are about 160 to 200 miles at those time periods.

Key Messages:

1. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Cayman Islands 
beginning late Monday, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in 
effect. 

2. Dangerous storm surge and hurricane conditions are possible in 
portions of western Cuba and the Isle of Youth by Tuesday 
afternoon, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect. 

3. Heavy rainfall will affect portions of Hispaniola, Jamaica, the 
Cayman Islands, and western Cuba during the next few days and could 
lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

4. The system is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast late 
this week as a hurricane. While there is large uncertainty in the 
track and intensity forecasts at these time ranges, there is a risk 
of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast 
from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle. Residents in these 
areas should monitor the progress of the system and check for 
updates to the forecast during the week.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  04/2100Z 16.7N  76.6W   30 KT  35 MPH...POTENTIAL TROP CYCLONE
 12H  05/0600Z 17.1N  77.7W   30 KT  35 MPH...TROPICAL DEPRESSION
 24H  05/1800Z 18.0N  79.1W   35 KT  40 MPH
 36H  06/0600Z 19.0N  80.5W   45 KT  50 MPH
 48H  06/1800Z 21.0N  82.8W   60 KT  70 MPH
 60H  07/0600Z 23.1N  85.4W   70 KT  80 MPH
 72H  07/1800Z 24.7N  87.9W   80 KT  90 MPH
 96H  08/1800Z 26.5N  90.3W   85 KT 100 MPH
120H  09/1800Z 28.6N  90.3W   85 KT 100 MPH

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