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Invest 95L Likely to Develop Into a Tropical Storm; Could Bring Heavy Rain, Wind to Dorian-Affected Northwest Bahamas
Published: September 12, 2019
A tropical disturbance is likely to become a tropical depression or storm by Friday and could pose a threat to the Bahamas, Florida and other parts of the Southeast Coast or Gulf Coast, including areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
The tropical disturbance is currently located over the southeast Bahamas, with clusters of showers and thunderstorms extending from eastern Cuba northward for a few hundred miles. These convective clusters have become more persistent over the past 24-36 hours.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has tagged this system Invest 95L, a naming convention used by meteorologists to identify areas that are being monitored for possible tropical development.
The NHC has scheduled an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter mission into Invest 95L for late this afternoon.
If this system continues to show signs of organization, the NHC may designate it as a "Potential Tropical Cyclone". This special type of advisory allows the NHC to issue watches and/or warnings before a tropical depression or storm actually forms, providing more lead time.
In this case, we may see tropical storm watches or warnings issued for parts of the Bahamas, including the Dorian-devastated northwest Bahamas.
Potential Development Area
Where this system tracks has become yet another challenging forecast, in large part because we still do not have a low-pressure center for the computer forecast models to latch on to.
There are two basic scenarios:
1. If the system forms sooner and stronger, it would favor tracks farther east, over parts of the Bahamas and near Florida's East Coast, steered by upper-level south to southeast winds.
2. If the system forms later and weaker, it would track more toward the west-northwest, eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.
A number of numerical forecast model tracks have trended farther east and north - basically, the first scenario - suggesting a track near Florida, the Bahamas and the Southeast coast is possible this weekend into early next week.
However, a number of other forecast model tracks continue to take 95L into the eastern, then northern Gulf of Mexico this weekend, scenario two above.
The bottom line is the forecast is highly uncertain. Interests from the northern Gulf Coast to Florida, the Bahamas, Georgia and the Carolinas should monitor the latest forecast for this system closely.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic basin will earn the name "Humberto."
Heavy Rain Threat
Periods of gusty winds and locally heavy rain can be expected the next few days in the Bahamas and Florida. This includes areas ravaged by Hurricane Dorian in the northwestern Bahamas.
In general, the heaviest rain should fall along and to the east of the center of this system. As mentioned earlier, the track of this system is highly uncertain at this time.
Localized flash flooding is possible in areas where bands of rain stall or persist over an area.
Higher surf and rip currents may build along the northern and eastern Gulf Coast, as well as the Atlantic beaches of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, into this weekend.
An isolated waterspout or tornado is also possible in Florida or the Bahamas into this weekend.
Check back with us at weather.com for the latest on this potential weekend system.
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