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Tropical Storm Elsa Drops Heavy Rain on Cuba and Jamaica

Tropical Storm Elsa dropped heavy rain over Cuba and Jamaica on Sunday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located at latitude 19.8°N and longitude 77.9°W which put it about 15 miles (25 km) west of Cabo Cruz, Cuba. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to the Dry Tortugas. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef including Florida Bay, and for the portion of the coast from from Flamingo to Anclote River, Florida including Tampa Bay. Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba. Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for Jamaica and for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Matanzas, Maybeque, and Havana. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and the Cuban province of Artemisa.

Tropical Storm Elsa exhibited organization on visible satellite images and images from weather radars in southeastern Cuba. However, reconnaissance planes flying through Elsa on Sunday morning reported that the tropical storm was not as organized as it appeared to be on satellite and radar images. The planes found that the maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and that the minimum surface pressure had increased to 1009 mb, which was an usually high pressure for a tropical storm.

The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands south and east of the center of Tropical Storm Elsa. Bands in the northwestern part of Elsa consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Air sinking down sides of mountains in southeastern Cuba may have been inhibiting the development of thunderstorms in the northwestern quadrant of the circulation. Storms near the center of Elsa generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (145 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Air on the northern side of Tropical Storm Elsa will pass over Cuba where friction will slow it. However, once Elsa moves west of Jamaica, air converging from the southwest will be able to blow directly toward the center of the tropical storm. A stronger flow of warm humid air from the southwest could provide more energy to the tropical storm. Tropical Storm Elsa could intensify on Monday and there is a chance it could strengthen back to a hurricane before the center moves over Cuba. Elsa will weaken when the center crosses Cuba.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move around the western end of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next several days. The high will continue to steer Tropical Storm Elsa toward the northwest on Sunday night. Elsa will move more toward the north-northwest on Monday. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Elsa could make landfall on the south coast of Cuba near Cienfuegos on Monday afternoon. Elsa could reach the Florida Keys on Monday night. Elsa will continue to cause gusty winds and locally heavy rain over parts of Jamaica and Cuba. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Storm Elsa Prompts Watch for Florida Keys

The forecast of the future track prompted the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to the Dry Tortugas on Saturday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located at latitude 17.9°N and longitude 75.3°W which put it about 175 miles (280 km) east-northeast of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 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. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Jamaica and for the portion of the coast from Port Au Prince, Haiti to the southern border with the Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to the Dry Tortugas. Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque and Havana.

Tropical Storm Elsa looked impressive on infrared satellite images on Saturday night, but data from reconnaissance planes indicated that its circulation was not as well organized as it appeared to be. Very strong thunderstorms developed in bands east of the center of Elsa. Thunderstorms also increased in a band on the western periphery of the tropical storm. However the lower level center of circulation was still to the west of the center in the middle levels of the Tropical Storm Elsa. The lack of vertical alignment of the two centers was preventing Elsa from intensifying on Saturday evening. The strong thunderstorms east of the center were generating strong upper level divergence that was pumping mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of Tropical Storm Elsa.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. Tropical Storm Elsa will move more slowly during the next 24 hours. If Elsa moves more slowly, there is a chance that the lower level and middle level centers could become vertically aligned. It will move into a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be less vertical wind shear. Tropical Storm Elsa could intensify back to a hurricane before it reaches Cuba on Sunday.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next 12 hours. The high will continue to steer Tropical Storm Elsa toward the west-northwest, but Elsa is likely to move more slowly. An upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is forecast to weaken the western end of the high pressure system on Sunday. When the high weakens, then Tropical Storm Elsa will move more toward the northwest. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Elsa will pass just to the north of Jamaica. Elsa could be near eastern Cuba by Sunday morning. Tropical Storm Elsa could approach the Florida Keys on Monday. Elsa will cause gusty winds and locally heavy rain over parts of Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

Elsa Weakens South of Hispaniola

Former Hurricane Elsa weakened back to tropical storm intensity while it passed south of Hispaniola on Saturday. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located at latitude 17.3°N and longitude 73.0°W which put it about 255 miles (410 km) east of Kingston, Jamaica. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest at 29 m.p.h. (46 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Au Prince, Haiti to the southern border with the Dominican Republic. Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Au Prince to the northern border with the Dominican Republic and from Punta Palenque, Dominican Republic to the southern border with Haiti. Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for Jamaica and the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santiago de Cuba. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara and Matanzas.

Strong winds in the lower levels pushed the surface center of former Hurricane Elsa to the west of the center in the middle levels early on Saturday. The displacement between the two centers disrupted the vertical circulation of Elsa and it weakened back to tropical storm intensity. More thunderstorms started to develop east of the center of Tropical Storm Elsa on Saturday morning. Mountains in southwestern Haiti appeared to deflect the low level flow around the northern side of Elsa. More thunderstorms began forming to the north of the center of Tropical Storm Elsa on Saturday afternoon. A NOAA plane appeared to find that the surface pressure was decreasing again at the center of Elsa on Saturday afternoon. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. The center of Tropical Storm Elsa will pass just south of Haiti and just north of Jamaica. Elsa will move more slowly during the next 24 hours. It will move into a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be less vertical wind shear. Tropical Storm Elsa could intensify back to a hurricane on Saturday night.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next 18 hours. The high will continue to steer Tropical Storm Elsa toward the west-northwest, but Elsa is likely to more more slowly. An upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is forecast to weaken the high pressure system on Sunday. When the high weakens, then Tropical Storm Elsa will move more toward the northwest. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Elsa will pass just to the south of the southwestern coast of Haiti. The center of Tropical Storm Elsa could pass north of Jamaica and be near eastern Cuba by Sunday morning. Elsa could approach the Florida Keys on Monday. Elsa will cause gusty winds and locally heavy rain over parts of Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

Hurricane Elsa Speeds across the Caribbean Sea

Hurricane Elsa sped across the eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Elsa was located at latitude 14.8°N and longitude 66.3°W which put it about 395 miles (635 km) east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest at 29 m.p.h. (46 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for Jamaica. Hurricane Warnings were also in effect for the coast of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic and for the coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the southern border with Haiti. Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Granma, Guantanmo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the coast of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the northern border with the Dominican Republic and for the coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. A Tropical Storm Watch was also in effect for the coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Bahia de Manzanillo.

After intensifying to a hurricane on Friday morning, Hurricane Elsa exhibited a slightly weaker appearance on Friday night. Strong easterly winds in the lower levels were pushing the surface center of Elsa to the east of the center in the middle troposphere. Those winds were causing vertical wind shear and they were pushing the surface center under a layer of drier air in the middle troposphere. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the eastern side of Hurricane Elsa. Drier air was inhibiting the formation of thunderstorms northwest of the center of Elsa. Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence that was pumping mass away from the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) on the northern side of Elsa. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.

Hurricane Elsa will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move through a region where the winds in the upper and lower levels will blow from the east. The winds in the lower levels could be stronger, which would generate vertical wind shear. The shear will inhibit intensification and it could keep the surface center of circulation under a layer of drier air. If the winds in the lower levels remain strong, then Hurricane Elsa could weaken on Saturday. However, if the winds in the lower levels weaken, then Hurricane Elsa could start to intensify again.

Hurricane Elsa will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next 24 hours. The high is forecast to steer Elsa quickly toward the west-northwest. An upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is forecast to weaken the high pressure system on Sunday. When the high weakens, then Hurricane Elsa will move more toward the northwest. On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Elsa will be south of the Dominican Republic on Saturday morning. Elsa could be near the southern coast of Haiti by Saturday night. Hurricane Elsa could be near Jamaica and eastern Cuba by Sunday morning. Elsa could approach South Florida or the eastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday.

Elsa Strengthens to a Hurricane near Barbados

Former Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened to a hurricane near Barbados on Friday morning. At 8:30 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Elsa was located at latitude 13.1°N and longitude 60.1°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) west of Barbados. Elsa was moving toward the west-northwest at 28 m.p.h. (44 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A Hurricane Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Port Au Prince, Haiti to the southern border with the Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Martinique, the entire coast of Haiti, and for the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to the southern border with Haiti. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Grenada, Jamaica, Dominca, Saba and St. Eustatius.

A weather station on Barbados measured a sustained wind speed of 74 m.p.h. (119 km/h) and a wind gust to 86 m.p.h. (139 km/h) on Friday morning, and the National Hurricane Center upgraded former Tropical Storm Elsa to a hurricane. Despite moving toward the west-northwest very quickly, Elsa intensified rapidly during Thursday night. An eye appeared to be developing at the center of Hurricane Elsa on microwave satellite imagery. The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the eastern side of the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that part of the hurricane.

The distribution of thunderstorms was still asymmetrical in Hurricane Elsa. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the eastern and southern side of Elsa. Bands in the northwestern part of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) on the northern side of Elsa. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (220 km) from the center of circulation.

Hurricane Elsa will move through an environment mostly favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move through a region where the winds in the upper and lower levels will blow from the east. The winds in the lower levels could be stronger, which would generate vertical wind shear. The shear will inhibit intensification, but Hurricane Elsa has strengthened in spite of the wind shear. Hurricane Elsa could intensify during the next 24 hours.

Hurricane Elsa will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next 24 hours. The high is forecast to steer Elsa quickly toward the west-northwest. On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Elsa will pass near St. Lucia and St. Vincent in a few hours. Elsa will produce gusty winds and locally heavy rain over the Windward Islands. Hurricane Elsa will be near Hispaniola on Saturday. Elsa could pass near Jamaica and Cuba on Sunday. Hurricane Elsa could approach South Florida or the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.

Tropical Storm Elsa Strengthens, Will Hit Windward Islands Friday

Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened on Thursday night. Elsa was on course to hit the Windward Islands on Friday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located at latitude 11.8°N and longitude 55.9°W which put it about 260 miles (420 km) east-southeast of Barbados. Elsa was moving toward the west at 26 m.p.h. (43 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Grenada and Jamaica. Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Palenque, Dominican Republic to the southern border from Haiti, and from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti.

Despite moving quickly toward the west-northwest, the circulation around Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened on Thursday night. The inner end of a rainband wrapped partly around the northeastern portion of the center of circulation. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring mainly in bands in the southern and eastern parts of Elsa. Bands in the western half of the tropical storm consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of circulation generated more upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (220 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move through an environment mostly favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Elsa will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C. It will move through a region where the winds in the upper and lower levels will blow from the east. The winds in the lower levels will be stronger, which will generate vertical wind shear. The shear will inhibit intensification, but Tropical Storm Elsa is forecast to strengthen. If the winds in the lower levels get stronger than they are forecast to be, then those winds could push the lower part of Elsa west of the upper half of the tropical storm. If the lower and upper halves of Tropical Storm Elsa’s circulation decouple, then it would weaken.

Tropical Storm Elsa will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean during the next two days. The high will steer Elsa quickly toward the west-northwest. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Elsa will move across the Windward Islands on Friday. Elsa will produce gusty winds and locally heavy rain over the Windward Islands. Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations. Tropical Storm Elsa could be near Hispaniola on Saturday and it could approach Jamaica and Cuba on Sunday. Elsa could be near South Florida or the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.

TD 31 Strengthens to Tropical Storm Iota

Former Tropical Depression Thirtyone strengthened to Tropical Storm Iota on Friday afternoon. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Iota was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 73.8°W which put it about 335 miles (540 km) south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Iota was moving toward the west-southwest at 3 m.p.h. (5 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.

The low level circulation around former Tropical Depression Thirtyone appeared to reform a little farther to the southeast near a band of showers and thunderstorms on Friday afternoon. Based on data from satellites the National Hurricane Center upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Iota. The circulation around Iota was still organizing. A band of thunderstorms wrapped about three quarters of the way around the center of circulation on the southern, eastern and northern sides of the center. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of the Tropical Storm Iota. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north and east of the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) on the eastern side of Iota. The winds on the western side of Iota were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Iota will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the weekend. Iota will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. An upper level trough over the western Caribbean Sea will produce southwesterly winds which blow toward the top of Iota during the next 12 hours. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Storm Iota from becoming more organized. The upper level trough will move westward away from the depression and the wind shear will decrease during the weekend. Tropical Storm Iota is likely to strengthen more rapidly after an inner core is formed. Iota could rapidly intensify into a hurricane on Saturday and it could strengthen to a major hurricane by Sunday.

Tropical Storm Iota will move south of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean. The high will steer Iota toward the west during the next several days. On its anticipated track Iota could approach the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday. It will likely be a hurricane at that time and it could be a major hurricane. Nicaragua and Honduras are still trying to cope with floods and other damage caused by Hurricane Eta a few days ago. Another hurricane could have catastrophic consequences for that region.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Theta Passed south of the Azores. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located at latitude 31.9°N and longitude 22.6°W which put it about 490 miles (785 km) south-southeast of the Azores. Theta was moving toward the east at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Tropical Depression 31 Forms over Caribbean Sea

Tropical Depression Thirtyone formed over the Caribbean Sea on Friday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Thirtyone was located at latitude 14.2°N and longitude 74.3°W which put it about 310 miles (500 km) south-southeast of Kingtson, Jamaica. The depression was moving toward the west-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 1007 mb.

The circulation around an area of low pressure over the Caribbean Sea exhibited much better organization on visible satellite imagery on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Thirtyone. A band of thunderstorms wrapped about three quarters of the way around the center of circulation on the southern, eastern and northern sides of the center. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of the depression. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north and east of the depression.

Tropical Depression Thirtyone will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the weekend. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. An upper level trough over the western Caribbean Sea will produce southwesterly winds which blow toward the top of the depression during the next 12 hours. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, but the shear may not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Depression Thirtyone from strengthening into a tropical storm. The upper level trough will move westward away from the depression and the wind shear will decrease during the weekend. Tropical Depression Thirtyone is likely to strengthen into a tropical storm during the next 12 hours. It could rapidly intensify into a hurricane on Saturday and it could strengthen to a major hurricane by Sunday.

Tropical Depression Thirtyone will move south of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean. The high will steer the depression toward the west during the next several days. On its anticipated track it could approach the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday. It will likely be a hurricane at that time and it could be a major hurricane. Nicaragua and Honduras are still trying to cope with floods and other damage caused by Hurricane Eta a few days ago. Another hurricane could have catastrophic consequences for that region.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Theta Passed south of the Azores and Tropical Storm Eta completed a transition to an extratropical cyclone. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located at latitude 31.7°N and longitude 23.8°W which put it about 470 miles (760 km) south-southeast of the Azores. Theta was moving toward the east at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Tropical Depression 29 Forms over the Central Caribbean Sea

Tropical Depression Twentynine formed over the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression Twentynine was located at latitude 15.0°N and longitude 73.2°W which put it about 315 miles (510 km) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. The depression was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 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 1006 mb.

Visible satellite images strongly suggested that a low level center of circulation had developed in an area of thunderstorms over the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Twentynine. The circulation around the depression exhibited more organization. Thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms formed and began to revolve around the center. Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical depression.

Tropical Depression Twentynine will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will be in a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. The depression could intensify into a tropical storm during the next 12 hours. It could strengthen into a hurricane within 48 hours.

Tropical Depression Twentynine will move south of a ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic Ocean. The ridge will steer the depression toward the west during the next couple of days. On its anticipated path the depression could approach Nicaragua and Honduras in about 48 hours. It could be a hurricane when it gets there.

Tropical Storm Delta Develops South of Jamaica

Former Tropical Depression Twentysix strengthened into Tropical Storm Delta south of Jamaica on Monday morning.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Delta was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 78.4°W which put it about 65 miles east of the Mouth of the Mississippi River and about 130 miles south of Negril, Jamaica.  Delta was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h.  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the Isle of Youth, Pinar del Rio and Artemisa, Cuba.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Cayman Islands.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for La Habana, Cuba.

More thunderstorms developed near the center of former Tropical Depression Twentysix on Monday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Delta.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Delta was still organizing.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Delta.  The strongest rainbands were in the southern half of the circulation.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.  The removal of mass allowed the pressure to decrease, which caused the wind speed to increase.

Tropical Storm Delta will move through an environment which will be very favorable for intensification.  Delta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30˚C.  It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak.  There will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Delta will intensify and it could strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday night.  Once an inner core with an eye and an eyewall develops, Delta could intensify rapidly.  There is a chance Tropical Storm Delta could strengthen into a major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Delta will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Delta toward the northwest during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Delta could reach the Cayman Islands on Monday night.  Delta could be near the western end of Cuba by Tuesday night and it is likely to be a hurricane at that time.  Delta could approach the central Gulf Coast on Thursday night.  It could be a major hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Gamma weakened as it meandered north of the Yucatan Peninsula.  Strong southerly winds in the upper levels blew the top off of Tropical Storm Gamma on Sunday night.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Gamma was located at latitude 22.6°N and longitude 87.5°W which put it about 165 miles (270 km) east-northeast of Progreso, Mexico.  Gamma was moving toward the south-southwest at 2 m.p.h. (3 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 1001 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cancun to Dzilam, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coat from Dzilam to Campeche, Mexico.