JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Hurricane Center is now issuing advisories on an area in the Atlantic we’ve been watching for days.
The center of Tropical Depression Eleven was located near latitude 12.5 north, longitude 47.1 west -- about 1135 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands. At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the depression is moving toward the west near 15 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue through Thursday. A turn toward the west-northwest at a similar forward speed is expected Thursday night, with this motion continuing through the rest of the week.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is still forecast during the next 24 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Thursday night. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.
Visible satellite imagery on Wednesday evening shows that the area of low pressure has moved a little more west than expected and dry, strong southeasterly upper-level winds continue to impact the system. The dry air is causing deep convection to “pulse” with the system since about this time yesterday. This is a classic indication of dry air surrounding the system.
It’s too soon to tell if we have to worry about this one, forecast models agree that over the next few days the system will become more organized and stronger as it moves to the west.
Long term forecast models hint that shear may eventually weaken, or even tear this system apart in the long term. We will keep an eye on it and keep you updated.