Tropical Depression Nineteen Forms, Watch Issued for South Florida

Tropical Depression Nineteen formed between the Bahamas and Florida on Friday afternoon and a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for a portion of South Florida.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Nineteen was located at latitude 25.4°N and longitude 79.0°W which put it about 80 miles (130 km) east-southeast of Miami, Florida.  The depression was moving toward the west-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Jupiter Inlet to Ocean Reef, Florida.

The circulation around an area of low pressure over the Bahamas organized quickly on Friday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Nineteen.  Thunderstorms developed near the center of the depression.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms formed and started to revolve around the center of circulation.  Storms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the depression.  The removal of mass caused the surface pressure to decrease.  A ship northwest of Andros Island reported winds to 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h).

Tropical Depression Nineteen will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  For most of the time the depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move underneath the middle of an upper level ridge where the winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  The center of the depression could spend about 12 hours over South Florida on Saturday which would inhibit intensification.  The depression will intensify over the Gulf of Mexico and it could strengthen into a hurricane.

Tropical Depression Nineteen will move south of a high pressure system over the southeastern U.S.  The high will steer the depression toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression Nineteen will reach southeastern Florida during Friday night.  It could approach the northern Gulf Coast on Monday.  Tropical Depression Nineteen will bring locally heavy rain and gusty winds to South Florida during the next 24 hours.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Paulette turned toward Bermuda and Tropical Storm Rene weakened west of the Cabo Verde Islands.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Paulette was located at latitude 24.6°N and longitude 53.7°W which put it about 855 miles (1745 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Paulette was moving toward the northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.  Tropical Storm Paulette is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and it could be a major hurricane when it passes near Bermuda on Monday.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Rene was located at latitude 20.7°N and longitude 41.1°W which put it about 1165 miles (1875 km) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Rene was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

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