Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tropical Depression #15

Tropical depression #15 has developed this afternoon in the south-central Caribbean as shown on the visible satellite image on the left. The depression has become more organized as thunderstorm activity continues to increase near the center of circulation. The future of the depression in the long-term is quite unknown at this time. The system is forecast by most of the computer models to continue westward, possibly clipping the coast of Nicaragua or Honduras before heading toward the Yucatan peninsula. At this time is when the forecast gets muddy. Most of the models indicate that the cyclone may reach a region of weak steering near the Yucatan. Quite a bit hinges on if the system makes landfall on the peninsula or remains offshore. IF the system remains offshore it has a greater potential to be a significant storm later down the road. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center does call for the depression to become a hurricane prior to reaching the Yucatan peninsula. Right now most of the computer representations of the atmosphere are struggling to figure out where this storm may go after reaching the Yucatan, due in part to an upper-level low which may get stuck over the southeastern United States. There is some that suggest that the low may be able to turn the cyclone northward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is too early to tell right now but we will monitor this storm closely as it may represent the highest threat to the US since Hurricane Earl several weeks ago.

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