- Tropical Depression Nine has formed in the Caribbean Sea
- The depression should soon become a tropical storm.
- It could become a hurricane threat for Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
- Interests in those areas should have their hurricane safety plans ready to go.
Tropical Depression Nine has formed in the Caribbean Sea and may become a hurricane threat for the western Caribbean and Southeast U.S. next week, including Florida.
We are still in the very early stage of tracking this latest system. There are aspects of the forecast in which we have more confidence, while others remain uncertain, which is typical for tropical forecasting this far out in time.
Here’s a look at everything we know right now.
Tropical Depression Nine is located in the central Caribbean Sea and is moving west-northwest.
It’s still battling wind shear, but finally became organized enough to be deemed a tropical depression on Friday morning.
Heavy rain is the main threat from this system right now in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Flash flooding and mudslides are possible in these areas.
Forecast Track, Intensity
The tropical depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today.
It would be named either Hermine or Ian depending on if it or another system in the eastern Atlantic becomes a tropical storm first.
This future tropical storm is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to become a hurricane in the northwest Caribbean by late this weekend or early next week. It could then be located anywhere from the eastern Gulf of Mexico to near the Florida Peninsula as a hurricane by next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Lower wind shear and an ample supply of warm, deep water in the Caribbean Sea are factors expected to contribute to the system’s strengthening in the coming days.
Land interaction with Cuba could be a hindering factor to its development before any potential approach to the eastern Gulf of Mexico or Florida early next week.
As mentioned earlier, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are facing a threat of heavy rain right now.
Interests in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba should monitor the forecast for this system closely.
Flooding rain could at least be a concern in these areas starting this weekend. Tropical storm or even hurricane conditions could also occur depending on the exact track and strength of this system.
What Is The U.S. Threat?
Unlike what we’ve seen with hurricanes Earl and Fiona, this system’s forecast steering winds make it a significant threat to the mainland U.S. next week.
The majority of computer forecast models curl the system to a location somewhere from the eastern Gulf of Mexico to near Florida or even off Florida’s Atlantic coast by early to mid next week. It could be at hurricane strength as it tracks near these areas.
The bottom line is that it’s far too soon to determine exactly what impacts this system might bring to Florida or any other parts of the Southeast next week. The timing of that approach could begin as soon as Tuesday near far South Florida and the spread northward from there through midweek.
For now, all interests near and along the Gulf and Southeast U.S. coasts, including Florida, should monitor the forecast and make sure hurricane plans are in place, in case they are needed.
Check back with us at weather.com for the very latest on this developing situation.
More from weather.com:
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.