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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.

Tropical Disturbance Brings Rain to Southeastern Bahamas

A tropical disturbance brought rain to the Southeastern Bahamas on Wednesday.  The disturbance was also designated at Invest 95L.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of the tropical disturbance was located at latitude 21.8°N and longitude 74.0°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Acklins Island, Bahamas.  The disturbance was moving toward the west-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.

The circulation around the tropical disturbance was not well organized on Wednesday.  There were indications of cyclonic turning in the wind flow, but there were no reports of westerly winds at the surface.  The lack of westerly winds indicated that there probably was not a defined center of circulation at the surface.  There were some thunderstorms near the apparent middle of the tropical disturbance.  There was a larger cluster of thunderstorms east of the middle of the disturbance and a second cluster of thunderstorms northeast of the middle of the disturbance.

The tropical disturbance will be in an environment marginally favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone.  The disturbance will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  A large upper level low over the eastern Gulf of Mexico is producing southerly winds which are blowing over the western half of the disturbance.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear.  There is another, smaller upper level low near Bermuda.  An small upper level ridge is developing between the two upper lows.  The winds are weaker in the ridge which is over the eastern half of the tropical disturbance.  It is possible that a center of circulation could develop in one of the clusters of thunderstorms east and northeast of the middle of the disturbance.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 50% probability of development of a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours and a 70% during the next five days.

The upper low over the Gulf of Mexico and the developing upper ridge are likely to combine to steer the disturbance toward the northwest during the next few days.  It is difficult to anticipate the  track until a distinct center of rotation forms.  If the center reforms east or northeast of the current middle of the disturbance, then that would affect the future track.  On the most probable track the disturbance would move across the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next several days.  It could approach southeast Florida or the Florida Keys on Friday night.  The disturbance could move into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the weekend.  If the disturbance brings any significant rain to the northern Bahamas, that would hamper efforts to recover from the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms, Causes Warnings for South Florida

Former Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven developed a distinct center of circulation on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Gordon.  At 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located at latitude 25.1°N and longitude 80.6°W which put it about 10 miles (15 km) west of Key Largo, Florida.  Gordon was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef including Florida bay.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama-Florida border to Morgan City, Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon became much better organized during the past 12 hours.  A distinct low level center of circulation formed and many more thunderstorms developed.  A C-MAN station on Fowey Rock, Florida reported sustained winds of 49 m.p.h. (80 km/h) supporting the designation as a tropical storm.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Gordon was still organizing.  More thunderstorms were developing in bands northeast of the center of circulation than in other parts of the tropical storm.  Those storms were beginning to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the core of Gordon.

Tropical Storm Gordon will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Gordon will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will be moving through a region where the upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Gordon will continue to intensify and it could intensify more rapidly once the inner core becomes better organized.  There is a chance that Gordon could strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Gordon will move around the west end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The ridge will steer Gordon in  a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Gordon will move away from South Florida later today.  Gordon could approach the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico late on Tuesday.  Locally heavy rain could cause floods in South Florida.  Tropical Storm Gordon could produce a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) along parts of the northern Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Philippe Brings Wind, Rain to Cuba and South Florida

Tropical Storm Philippe brought wind and rain to parts of Cuba and south Florida on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Philippe was located at latitude 24.8°N and longitude 82.1°W which put it about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Key West, Florida.  Philippe was moving toward the north-northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 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 1003 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos and Villa Clara.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portion of the coast from Craig Key to Golden Beach, Florida.  Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

The circulation is of Tropical Storm Philippe is not well organized.  The appear to be multiple smaller centers of counterclockwise rotation moving around inside the broader circulation.  One center of circulation is in northwest of Key West.  Showers and thunderstorms were primarily northeast of that center of rotation.  There were low clouds west of that center.  Another center of rotation was just north of the coast of Cuba.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern side of this second center.  The middle and upper level circulation of Tropical Storm Philippe appeared to be associated with the center near Cuba.

Tropical Storm Philippe will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification.  Philippe will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level trough approaching Tropical Storm Philippe from the west is producing strong southwesterly winds which are causing significant vertical wind shear.  The shear is inhibiting the organization of the circulation.  Tropical Storm Philippe could intensify on Sunday if the center of circulation near Cuba becomes the dominant center, since it has a more complete vertical structure.

The upper level trough will continue to steer Tropical Storm Philippe quickly toward the northeast on Sunday.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Philippe will move through the Upper Florida Keys and over the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday.   It will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rains to those areas.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen Prompts Warnings for Cuba and Bahamas

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen prompted the governments of Cuba and the Bahamas to issue Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches for portions of those countries on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 84.5°W which put it about 415 miles (670 km) south-southwest of Havana, Cuba.  It was moving toward the north-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 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 1006 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also issued for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane investigated the system formerly known as Invest 93L on Friday afternoon.  The plane found sustained winds to tropical storm force.  The plane also found a broad circulation center with several smaller centers of circulation revolving around inside the broader center.  Based on the observations from the plane, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) chose not to upgrade the system to Tropical Storm Philippe in its 5:00 p.m. EDT advisory.  However, NHC did change the designation of the system from Invest 93L to Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen.  If a more well defined center of circulation develops, then NHC could still change designation of the system to Tropical Storm Philippe.

The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is still organizing.  As mentioned above, there is a broad center of counterclockwise rotation.  There are also several smaller counterclockwise swirls within the broader center.  More showers and thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Friday afternoon.  The storms closer to the center of circulation were generating some upper level divergence which was pumping away mass to the northeast of the system.  Some bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the outer portions of the circulation.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The system is embedded in a flow over warm moist air.  However there is a stationary front northwest of the system and there is cooler, drier air north of the stationary front.  The system is currently under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen could slowly intensify during the next 24 hours as the circulation becomes more well organized.

The ridge east of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is steering the system toward the north-northwest.  That general motion should continue for another six to twelve hours.  An upper level trough will approach the system from the west on Saturday and the trough will start to steer it more toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will approach Cuba on Saturday afternoon.  The center of the system will move south of the Florida Keys on Saturday night and it could move across the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday.

The system will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to those locations.  The locally heavy rain could cause flooding.  There could be a storm surge of several feet (one to two meters) on parts of the south coast of Cuba, where the wind blows the water toward the coast.  There could also be some storm surge along the coasts of the Florida Keys.