MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, October 31, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Depression Twenty-nine (formerly Invest 96L) over the central Caribbean.
Tropical Depression Twenty-nine is located about 315 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and is moving to the west at 15 mph (24 km/h).
NHC forecasters say that this westward motion is expected to continue through Sunday night.
A slower motion toward the west-southwest and then southwest is forecast on Monday and Tuesday.
On the official NHC forecast track, the center of the cyclone is expected to be near the northeastern coast of Nicaragua by Monday night.
Spaghetti models are in general agreement that Tropical Depression 29 will move generally in a westerly direction towards Nicaragua.
Computer models are in fairly good agreement on the depression’s future track for the first 48 hours or so.
The cyclone is expected to continue westward for the first 36 hours and then slow down and turn west-southwestward by 48 hours as it approaches the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras, in response to a building ridge over the Gulf of Mexico.
After that time, however, there is a significant divergence in the models.
For example, the ECWMF European model (orange triangle) and its ensemble members continue on a faster westward motion across Central America, while the GFS American model (purple square) and its ensemble members stall the system over the western Caribbean Sea through day 5.
Given this discrepancy, the official NHC official track forecast (red circle) shows a slow motion on days 3 through 5, and brings the cyclone’s center slowly across northern Nicaragua, more or less in line with the multi-model consensus aids.
Tropical Depression Twenty-nine has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 km/h), with higher gusts.
Strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm tonight.
The system is then expected to become a hurricane by Monday.
If Tropical Depression 29 becomes a tropical storm or hurricane, the next name on the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Greek Alphabet Names List is Eta.
September 10 was the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season where tropical cyclone activity significantly increases. But hurricane season still remains at an increased level of activity through October, according to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s historical data.
NOAA and Colorado State University forecast an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.