MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, September 12, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Depression Nineteen (formerly Invest 96L) that is moving across South Florida and forecast to become a hurricane tracking toward Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
If Tropical Depression 19 becomes a tropical storm or hurricane, the next name on the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Names List is Sally.
Tropical Depression 19 is located about 40 miles south-southeast of Naples, Florida, and is moving to the west at 9 mph (15 km/h).
NHC forecasters say that a turn toward the west-northwest is expected later today.
A west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is then expected during the next couple of days.
On the official NHC forecast track, the center is forecast to move over the southeastern and eastern Gulf of Mexico later today and Sunday, and then move over the north-central Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and Monday.
Spaghetti models are in general agreement that Invest 96L will track westward across South Florida and emerge over the Gulf of Mexico.
However, there is a significant spread between the computer models of the track once the system enters the Gulf of Mexico with a predicted landfall anywhere between Louisiana and the Florida panhandle.
The official NHC track forecast is close to the corrected consensus track prediction, HCCA, which has been a reliable performer so far.
Tropical Depression 19 has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 km/h), with higher gusts.
Strengthening is expected when the center moves over the Gulf of Mexico, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today or tonight and continue to intensify Sunday and Monday.
The system is forecast to become a hurricane by late Monday.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from the Ochlockonee River to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within the next 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere along the northern Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of this system. Tropical storm or hurricane watches could be issued for a portion of that area later today.
The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season occurred on September 10 when tropical cyclone activity significantly increases, according to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s historical hurricane activity data.
Currently, a total of 6 tropical cyclones may form within the next 5 days.
NOAA and Colorado State University forecast an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.