Tropical Depression 16 expected to strengthen

Tropical Depression 16 formed earlier today down in the Central American region of the Caribbean.   Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for portions of Nicaragua and Honduras at this time with the expectation that 16 will strengthen into the next named storm, which would be Nate.

Current environmental conditions are good for development.  16 is sitting in an area of low shear and the sea surface temperatures in the region are very warm.

With the lone exception of colder waters along the coastlines, water temperatures are a warm 29 degrees Celsius over much of the Gulf of Mexico.  The one inhibiting factor in all of this, will be the land interactions that 16 will make.   Landfall is expected along Nicaragua and Honduras, and even if 16 does not make another landfall, he will still pass close to the Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba before entering the gulf.  These interactions could prevent major intensification before the gulf.

Hurricane Hunter aircraft did perform a recon mission earlier today, showing a closed and well defined center of circulation.  While there isn’t much deep convection near the center, tropical banding is strong with this system.

Once in the gulf, 16 is forecast to become a hurricane.  The current forecast brings what would be Hurricane Nate towards the Florida Panhandle, as shown below, but anywhere from Louisiana to Northern Florida should be watching this system.  Current model tracks have a wide area due to the impact of a tropical low that moves past Florida.  This low is given a small chance to develop into a tropical system itself, but the strength of this feature will play a role in the future track of 16.


Early preparations should  begin soon for those along the gulf coast.  Having a few extra batteries or a bottle of water around is never a bad thing and it’s much better for everyone if they are purchased in advance.  Stores will place larger orders for products if people are buying them.


Robert Millette

Major Hurricane Matthew Update

Major Hurricane Matthew has maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph with higher gusts approaching 170 mph, making Matthew is a category 4 hurricane. Many will have to seriously consider support from people similar to Murfreesboro TN Roofing Pros to repair their homes after such a powerful hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 934 mb (27.58 inches).


Major Hurricane Matthew Forecast


The satellite presentation of Matthew remains very impressive this morning. The eye was obscured during part of the night, but has become more distinct and slightly larger during the past couple of


The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft measured a peak 700-millibar flight level wind of 163 mph, and surface winds of 145 mph in the northeast quadrant. During the final passage through the eye a little before 1 AM, the aircraft reported a minimum pressure of 934 millibar. The next reconnaissance aircraft mission is scheduled to be in Matthew before 8 AM this morning.


Hurricane conditions are beginning to reach the southwestern portion of Haiti and will spread northward today as the center of Matthew will passes near and over southwestern Haiti. Hurricane conditions are expected to reach eastern Cuba later today. After moving north of Cuba, Matthew is expected to turn north-northwestward. Matthew will then bring hurricane conditions to the southeastern Bahamas Tuesday evening, the central Bahamas on Wednesday, and the northwestern Bahamas Wednesday night. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of Jamaica and along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area today, and will spread northward into the Turks and Caicos Islands tonight.


Watches and Warnings

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Haiti, the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas, The Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island, The Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island and the Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti, Jamaica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti

Model analysis

Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola and in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of Matthew. Tropical storm and/or hurricane watches are likely for portions of the
Florida peninsula and Florida Keys later this morning.


Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could also affect portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore.

img_1217 img_1218

It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend. A State of Emergency has already been declared in Florida and North Carolina.



RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall amounts in the following areas:

Southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic: 15 to 25 inches, isolated 40 inches
Eastern Cuba and northwestern Haiti: 8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches
Eastern Jamaica: 4 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches
The Bahamas: 8 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches
Turks and Caicos Islands: 2 to 5 inches, isolated 8 inches
Northeastern Haiti and the Northern Dominican Republic: 1 to 3 inches, isolated 5 inches
Western Jamaica: 1 to 2 inches, isolated 3 inches

Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely from this rainfall in Haiti, the southwestern Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as the following amounts above normal tide levels.

Southern Coast of Cuba east of Cabo Cruz: 7 to 11 feet
South Coast of Haiti: 7 to 10 feet
Northern Coast of Cuba east of Camaguey: 4 to 6 feet
Jamaica: 2 to 4 feet
Gulf of Gonave in Haiti: 3 to 5 feet
Southern coast of the Dominican Republic: 1 to 3 feet
The Bahamas: 10 to 15 feet

Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur
well in advance of and well away from the track of the center.

SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the coasts of Hispaniola, Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and the Caribbean coastline of Central America during the next few
days. Swells from Matthew will begin affecting portions of the Bahamas on Tuesday. These swells are likely to cause life- threatening surf and rip current conditions.


Robert Millette



Major Hurricane Matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 storm.  Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 5 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the
north tonight.  On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts.  Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 947 millibars or 27.96 inches.

major hurricane matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew

The overall organization of the hurricane has changed little overnight, with the small eye remaining distinct in infrared satellite pictures, though a dry slot has been noted between the eye wall and the outer bands in the South portion of the storm.

Hurricane Matthew

Model Analysis

Matthew has been moving slowly west-northwestward during the past few hours.  Matthew should move slowly northwestward today, and then turn northward tonight as a mid- to upper-level trough develops over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This motion will take Matthew towards Jamaica, western Haiti, and eastern Cuba over the next couple of days.  After that time, the global models bend Matthew back toward the north-northwest between the aforementioned trough and a developing ridge off the northeast United States coast.

The dynamical models are in good agreement on this scenario through 72 hours, with increasing spread thereafter.  The GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET are along the western side of the guidance at days 4 and 5, while the HWRF is along the eastern side.  The latest NHC track is close to the model consensus through day 3, but is west of the consensus at 96 and 120 h, to be closer to the typically better performing global models.

Matthew is likely to interact with the land masses of Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola, leading to some weakening and disruption of the storm structure.  After this time, The upper-level wind environment is expected to remain favorable over the Bahamas, and warm waters in that area should allow Matthew to maintain much of its intensity and strengthen while it moves over that area later in the forecast period.

Watches and Warnings

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica,  Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey, the Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay, and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti

Hurricane Hunters

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Major Hurricane Matthew this morning, with the data found below.   Although some weakening is predicted during the next couple of days, Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane when it approaches the islands of the Greater Antilles in a couple of days.


Robert Millette

Hurricane Hermine to hit Florida, East Coast

Hurricane Hermine

Hurricane Hermine has continued to strengthen this afternoon and evening with winds increasing to 80 MPH.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.  NOAA buoy 42036 recently reported sustained winds of 58 mph and a wind gust of 78 mph, well away from the center of circulation.  Flooding rains and severe coastal flooding should be expected with Hermine.
Hurricane Hermine

Hurricane Warning/Watch, Tropical Storm Warning/Watch

A Hurricane Warning remains in effect from the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach in Florida.  Due to the increasing strength of Hermine, Hurricane Watches remain in effect from the Suwannee River South to the Anclote River and from Mexico Beach west to the Walton/Bay County line.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from the Suwannee River south to Englewood, and for the aforementioned area from Mexico Beach to the Walton/Bay County line.

On the Atlantic coast, A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Flagler/Volusia County line in Florida, to Duck in North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds.

Tropical Storm Watches extend from North of Duck to Sandy Hook New Jersey, including Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point South, and Delaware Bay.

Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the warning area beginning tonight.  Winds are already near tropical storm strength in portions of the warning area, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.  Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area along the Atlantic coast on Friday, and spread northward through the weekend.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  There is a danger of life-threatening inundation within the next 12 to 24 hours along the Gulf coast of Florida from  Indian Pass to Longboat Key.    Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water.  Promptly follow any instructions, including evacuation orders, from local officials.

The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Destin to Indian Pass…1 to 3 feet
Indian Pass to Ochlockonee River…4 to 7 feet
Ochlockonee River to Yankeetown…6 to 9 feet
Yankeetown to Aripeka…4 to 7 feet
Aripeka to Longboat Key…including Tampa Bay…2 to 4 feet
Longboat Key to Bonita Beach…1 to 3 feet
Florida-Georgia line to Tidewater of Virginia…1 to 3 feet
storm surge
Storm Surge projections

Hermine is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over portions of northwest Florida and southern Georgia through Friday, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches.  On Friday and Saturday, Hermine is expected to produce totals of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches possible across portions of eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and eastern North Carolina through Saturday.  These rains may cause life-threatening floods and flash floods.

Tornado Watches have been posted across the region as severe weather is expected to be a threat.

Hermine Tornado



Robert Millette

Tropical Storm Watches Issued


Tropical Storm Watch Issued for North Carolina

The Tropical Atlantic has become very active with 2 Tropical Depressions developing in the last day close to the Southeast Coastline, one near Florida and the other threatening North Carolina.  Hurricane Gaston also quickly intensified into a category 3 Hurricane but remains no threat to land.  NOAA aircraft are scheduled to investigate both Tropical Depressions today.

Major Hurricane Gaston


Gaston remains a well organized hurricane and current satellite images indicate that the eye remains quite distinct with deep convection around it.  The upper-level outflow is well  established both to the west and the east of the system providing good outflow at the top of the system.  Maximum sustained winds are 120 MPH and the minimum central pressure has dropped to 957 millibars as Gaston continues to strengthen slightly.

Gaston has not moved very little during the last several hours and should remain generally stationary overnight and Monday. Gaston remains in weak steering currents caused by a blocking mid-level ridge to its northwest.  A trough that is currently over eastern Canada is expected to dampen by the time it nears Gaston, but it should be strong enough to erode the ridge and allow the hurricane to become embedded in the mid-latitude westerlies. This pattern change should result in Gaston’s turning east-northeastward continuing in that direction through the remainder of the forecast period.

The atmospheric conditions suggest that Gaston could maintain its strength for the next day or so, however, given the expected slow motion of the cyclone there is some chance that cold water upwelling would counteract that.  Beyond that time, the hurricane is likely to encounter an environment of increasing shear, drier air, and cooler water. Given these expected conditions, Gaston should begin to weaken on Monday.

Tropical Depression 8, Tropical Storm risk for North Carolina

Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet.


Satellite imagery shows that Tropical Depression Eight is currently comprised of a swirl of low-level clouds accompanied by minimal shower activity.  This structure is due to the impacts of 20-25 kt
of southeasterly vertical wind shear and abundant mid- to upper-level dry air seen in water vapor imagery. Maximum sustained winds are currently 35 MPH and the minimum central pressure is 1010 millibars.
The initial motion is West to Northwest at 10 MPH.  For the next 48 hours, the depression is expected to move west-northwestward to northwestward toward a weakness in the subtropical ridge near the North Carolina coast.  After that time, a mid-latitude shortwave trough moving through the northeastern United States is forecast to erode the ridge and cause the cyclone to recurve Northeastward into the westerlies.  The track guidance is in good agreement with this scenario, and the new track forecast lies near the consensus models through 48 hours which would bring the storm within 35 nautical miles of Cape Hatteras.

Wind shear is expected to decrease during the next 48 hours and  depression 8 is expected to move into a more moist environment.  Based on this, the intensity guidance is showing
strengthening as the system approaches the coast of North Carolina. The intensity forecast also shows some strengthening, but it is on the low side of the guidance envelope due to uncertainty about
whether the environment will become as favorable as the models are suggesting.   Depression 8 is expected to recurve but with such a small distance between its expected location and the coast landfall as a tropical system is certainly not out of the question.

Tropical Depression 9

Depression 9

Flight-level wind data from an earlier NOAA reconnaissance mission along with WSR-88D Doppler radar data from Key West indicate that the depression had been moving southwestward.  However, the most recent radar data and nearby surface observations suggest that the cyclone has now turned toward the west. The last reliable wind data from the NOAA WP-3 recon aircraft supported an intensity of 35 MPH, and that intensity is being maintained for this advisory given that the radar and satellite signatures haven’t improved. The central pressure of 1007 mb is based on a reliable observation from ship WMKN, located just north of the center.

The initial motion estimate is to the West at 9 MPH. Now that deep convection has waned, the system has turned westward and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours or so. This short term motion is supported by NOAA recon dropsonde data, which indicated that 500 mb heights were 10-20 meters higher over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico than what the global models have been forecasting. After that time, the global and regional models are in surprisingly good agreement on the cyclone slowing down and turning toward the west-northwest and then northward in the 36- to 48-hour periods as the depression moves around the western periphery of a narrow subtropical ridge that is expected to be located over South Florida. By 72 hours and beyond, the tropical cyclone is forecast to lift out and accelerate to the northeast towards Western Florida coast.  The current forecast Track brings the system on shore North of Tampa.

Strong vertical shear that has been inhibiting this system for the past week is expected to gradually subside to less than 15 MPH in 18-24 hours, which should allow for more organized convection
to develop. However, the southerly low-level inflow will still be disrupted by the terrain of western Cuba.  By 36 hours and beyond, the depression will moving over SSTs greater than 30C and the light vertical wind shear is expected to back around from a northerly to a southwesterly direction, which usually favors more significant intensification. However, there is  lot of dry air in the region north of Key West and this will play a factor in preventing rapid intesnfication of this system.

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Tropical Storm Warnings into North Carolina

Tropical Storm Colin


Tropical Storm Warnings have indeed been extended into North Carolina as forecast here at Firsthand earlier today.

Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm Warnings are not in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to Oregon Inlet North Carolina.

Colin is now moving north northeast at 23 miles per hour and is 70 miles south southwest of Appalachicola Florida.  Colin should move on shore during the next few hours.  Several locations in Florida have already felt the effect of Colin’s outer bands as strong gusty tropical downpours moved on shore.   3-5 inches of rain is expected with some higher amounts where training occurs.  Coastal Flooding should be held to a minimum as Colin approaches during low Tide.  Locations on thee Atlantic Coast may not get so lucky however and will have an onshore flow during high tide on Tuesday.   We will keep track of Colin’s forward movement to help pinpoint the locations that could see the strongest winds during high tide.

Colin’s maximum sustained winds remains at 50 mph, but his minimum central pressure has begun to drop again and is now down to 1002 millibars.  A slight increase in winds is not out of the question before landfall occurs.

Tropical Storm

Remember,   tornadoes are a risk in this region


Colin’s strongest winds and heaviest rains are displaced to the centers Southeast.  This is why the warnings expand so far in that direction.  Tropical Storm conditions will extend well to the south and west of the location of landfall.  Forecast models continue to show that Colin will continue to deepen and that wind speed will increase.  The coastal areas of the Carolinas should be especially on the watch for winds in excess of 60 miles per hour as Colin increases wind speeds off the Atlantic coast.

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Tropical Storm Warnings for South Carolina

Tropical Storm Colin

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to the South Santee River in South Carolina.  I anticipate additional Watches and warnings to be extended further north along the South and North Carolina coastline.

Tropical Storm Colin

Colin continues to move toward the north northeast, now at 16 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour with higher gusts, and a minimum central pressure of 1004 millibars.  Colin will continue to strengthen and while not expected  to be a hurricane before making landfall in Florida, some models are beginning to show Colin could approach hurricane strength while moving out to sea over the Atlantic Ocean even as he transitions to a post tropical cyclone.  The map above shows the current track forecast and areas under Tropical Storm Warnings.  The blue  circle next to Colin’s location is  the area currently seeing Tropical Storm Force winds.  As with any tropical system, Colin’s strongest winds are to the right of  the center of  circulation.

Colin 1

However, this does not preclude localized areas of strong to near Tropical Storm force winds in other parts of  the storm and heavy rain showers with strong winds are already beginning to impact Florida as seen on the radar image below.

Colin 3

Heavy rainfall continues to be the biggest non wind threat associated with Colin.  While Tropical Storm force winds will effect a large area of Florida into Georgia and the Carolinas, rainfall as high as 3-5 inches is expected over a large area of  the same region.  Some areas that receiving training tropical rain bands could see as much as 8 inches of rain.  Tornadoes are also going to be a risk with this system.  The Storm Prediction Center currently has a 5% risk of Tornadoes in the area.


Storm Surge does not appear to be a risk at this time as the worst effects of Colin should take place during low tide.  Some localized coastal flooding could occur during high tide  this afternoon as gusty outer band storms move in but the effects should be marginal and of very short duration.  But the Florida coast should expect very dangerous conditions along the shore from very heavy surf.


Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Tropical Storm Colin forms

Tropical Storm Colin has been named in the Gulf of Mexico as he strengthened this afternoon.

Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida.  Colin’s winds are now 40 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 1003 millibars.  Colin is currently 460 miles Southwest of Tampa and is moving north at 9 miles per hour.  It is possible that the Warning area may be expanded along the Southeast coast towards Pensacola if Colin’s wind field continues to expand.  The west coast of Florida should experience a storm surge of 1-3 feet from Indian Pass to Tampa Bay with 1-2 feet expected south of Tampa Bay to Florida Bay.  Heavy surf and some minor coastal flooding are expected but the main storm surge should occur away from the time of high tide and that will help mitigate the damage.

Tropical Storm Watches have now been issued from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to the Flagler/Volusia County line in Florida.  These areas should expect Tropical Storm conditions late Monday into Tuesday.  Colin is not expected to weaken much as he crosses Florida as his forward speed will make the journey across the state in less than 10 hours.

colin 2

Rain will be heavy throughout the area, with 3 to 5 inches expected across the region.  Locally heavier amounts are possible where tropical downpours train over the same area.  There is a risk of tornadoes throughout the Central and Northern Florida region extending into Southern Georgia.

Areas along the coast further into the Carolinas should pay attention to this system as it moves closer as heavy rain is possible in this area.  This could exacerbate existing conditions and cause additional flooding.

Firsthand Weather will continue to keep an eye on Colin and should have another article out in the morning bringing you the latest in information as this system approaches Florida.

Robert  Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Tropical Storm Warnings issued for Florida

With Tropical Storm Warnings issued from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida, we now watch as Tropical Depression 3 has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to strengthen during the day.  This system is likely to form into Tropical Storm Colin as it moves North Northeast toward the coast.  Interests along the coast from Florida to South Carolina should monitor the progress of this storm.

Colin 1

Depression 3 is currently moving North at 8 miles per hour.  The minimum central pressure is currently 1005 millibars with maximum sustained winds around 35 miles per hour.  Three is expected to pick up forward speed and shift to the north northeast on Monday and should be near the coast by Monday evening into early Monday night.

The main hazard with this system appears to be the rain.  3-5 inches are expected with some isolated higher amounts from the Yucatan across Western Cuba into Florida.  Interests in the Carolinas should be especially on guard for high rain totals after the deluge Bonnie unleashed on the region.  Coastal flooding could be an slight issue, but it appears that the system will be moving onshore closer to low tide.  This will help mitigate coastal flooding, despite a storm surge of 1-3 feet.  There will still be some minor flooding in the typical low lying areas.  The exact timing and strength of the storm will dictate exact storm surge issues.

Tropical Storm winds will impact much of the area, and a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out for the area. The Air Force hurricane hunter craft will begin to investigate this system by Monday morning.   Additional information on this system will be posted as it becomes available.

This is the latest projected path, based on latest trends:

Colin 1

Keep in mind that the projected path is only showing where the center of circulation is expected to move. Heaviest amounts could fall on the east side of this system, which is why it will be important to nail down the exact track. Below is the latest 3-day rainfall predictions from WPC, which will be subject to change some over the next 48 hours:

3 Day Rainfall Totals