The forecast, while still uncertain, is beginning to firm up a bit from where it *was*. Instead of being from Mexico to SW FL, it’s looking like a NW FL to SW FL event, and probably impacting the Big Bend or perhaps panhandle of FL. New Orleans can nearly certainly breathe a sigh of relief — even though a couple of models still send it that way (so keep an ear open just in case).
NHC is going with the GFS model as the centre of the cone, and they are the experts. Meanwhile, however, a second cluster of models in the spag is showing Panama City and the rest of the panhandle as possibilities; this is probably not being covered in the media as much, so I’m pointing it out here:
If the GFS is right, here’s the prediction for Thursday around noon:
Remember: This is one model, one run. If the system develops more strength or goes east or west, it could be drastically different. For Panama City, this looks like a no-rain scenario (or brief showers). But if TD9 strengthens to a Cat1 and moves slightly west, we could get the full force of it.
So, finally, here’s the NHC Discussion product, which I always recommend everyone reads. Especially the last paragraph this time:
TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINE DISCUSSION NUMBER 4 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092016 1100 AM EDT MON AUG 29 2016 Deep convection associated with the tropical cyclone increased this morning, especially around western Cuba where rainfall totals of up to 12 inches may have occurred. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the system earlier this morning and did not find winds of tropical storm force. Based on those observations, and Dvorak satellite estimates, the current intensity is held at 30 kt. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the depression this afternoon, which should give a better estimate of the strength of the system. Vertical shear should remain modest for the next couple of days, but begin to increase around 72 hours as the environment becomes more baroclinic with strong upper-level westerlies prevailing over northern Florida. This is likely to discourage significant strengthening as the cyclone nears landfall. The official intensity forecast is close to the latest statistical/dynamical LGEM guidance. The center is not easy to locate but is believed to be situated near the northwestern edge of the cloud mass, and the motion is estimated to be 280/6 kt. A mid-tropospheric shortwave trough developing over the southeastern United States is expected to induce a turn toward the north and northeast in 2 to 3 days, followed by acceleration toward the east-northeast late in the forecast period. The official forecast is similar to that from the previous advisory, and is mainly a blend of the latest GFS and ECMWF solutions but leans toward the latter model. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 29/1500Z 23.6N 84.3W 30 KT 35 MPH 12H 30/0000Z 23.9N 85.3W 35 KT 40 MPH 24H 30/1200Z 24.4N 86.4W 40 KT 45 MPH 36H 31/0000Z 25.0N 87.0W 45 KT 50 MPH 48H 31/1200Z 26.1N 86.7W 50 KT 60 MPH 72H 01/1200Z 28.6N 83.8W 55 KT 65 MPH 96H 02/1200Z 31.5N 79.0W 50 KT 60 MPH 120H 03/1200Z 34.0N 71.5W 50 KT 60 MPH