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Remnants Of Rene

500 AM AST Thu Sep 23 2021
35 MPH
1008 MB

Tropical depression expected to strengthen as it moves across the tropical central Atlantic.


There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.


At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Eighteen was located near latitude 10.5 North, longitude 36.4 West. The depression is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. A slower motion toward the west northwest is expected Friday night and continuing into the weekend. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and the depression could become a tropical storm later today. It is then forecast to become a hurricane over the weekend. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

Satellite images indicate that the tropical depression has been more or less steady in strength overnight. Curved bands remain most organized to the north and west of the center with some dry air wrapping into the eastern half of the circulation. The initial intensity is held at 30 kt as a compromise between the earlier ASCAT data that showed peak winds around 25 kt and 2.5/35 kt Dvorak classifications from TAFB and SAB.

The initial motion is estimated to be 280/13 kt. The cyclone is located on the south side of a mid-level ridge, and that should continue to steer the system westward but at a slightly slower pace during the next couple of days. After that time, the ridge is expected to weaken and shift eastward. In response, the depression is forecast to turn west-northwestward to northwestward and slow down some more. The new NHC track forecast is largely an update of the previous one and lies near the middle of the guidance envelope, near the consensus aids. This forecast is also between the GFS model on the north side of the guidance and the ECMWF on the south side.

Environmental conditions all seem to be favorable for the storm to gain strength during the next several days. The cyclone is expected to traverse warm 28 deg C waters and move in an environment of low wind shear (less than 10 kt) and fairly high moisture. Nearly all of the models respond by showing steady strengthening during the next several days, and so does the official forecast. This prediction lies near the IVCN and HCCA aids, which are usually the most skillful. The official forecast shows the system becoming a tropical storm later today, a hurricane in a couple of days, and a major hurricane by the end of the forecast period. In fact, some of the models suggest that the storm could get even stronger than currently forecast.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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