Crown Weather Services
Crown Weather Plus Tropical Weather Discussion
Issued: Thursday Morning, October 17, 2019
Potential Tropical Storm Nestor Has Formed Over The Southwestern Gulf Of Mexico
Potential Tropical Storm Nestor:
11 am EDT/10 am CDT Statistics:
Location: 22.4 North Latitude, 95.7 West Longitude or about 620 miles to the southwest of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.
Maximum Winds: 35 mph.
Minimum Central Pressure: 1007 Millibars or 29.74 Inches.
Forward Movement: North at a forward speed of 8 mph.
The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Invest 96-L to a Potential Tropical Storm given the likelihood that it will develop into a tropical storm very soon.
A lot of what I wrote in my morning discussion has not changed. The shower and thunderstorm activity associated with Nestor continues to become better organized and it is likely that this storm will strengthen over the next 36 to 48 hours.
This is what my current analysis of Potential Tropical Storm Nestor shows:
Nestor seems to have absorbed all of the energy from the tropical disturbance that was located over the eastern Pacific. Previously, it was thought that these two entities would stay separate, which would have limited the amount of organization and strengthening it could do. Now, with Nestor being the only tropical system in the area, I think that it is very likely that we will see it strengthen all the way to landfall, which looks to occur on Saturday between the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend area of northwest Florida.
There is also a possibility that Nestor could find itself in a pocket of relatively low wind shear as it heads northeastward over the next couple of days. The reason for this is because the deep thunderstorm activity that is occurring may be able to push the stronger wind shear values out of its way. It’s something that definitely needs to be watched for.
Now, if the stronger wind shear is pushed out of the way, the net result could end up being a more east-northeast track than what the model guidance currently shows. Should this occur, it would mean a track towards the area between Tampa and Cedar Key.
The model guidance, as a whole, continues to trend stronger with the forecast intensity of Nestor.
The GFS model forecast a mid-range tropical storm to come ashore somewhere between Apalachicola and Cedar Key on Saturday morning.
The European model forecasts an upper end tropical storm to come ashore between Pensacola and Panama City on Saturday morning.
The UKMET model continues to be the strongest in terms of intensity and forecasts an almost hurricane when it reaches the coast around Apalachee Bay on Saturday morning.
A majority of the track model guidance shows a path that takes Nestor to the Florida Panhandle between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City on Saturday morning. Most of the track guidance forecasts that Invest 96-L will be about a 50-60 mph tropical storm when it comes onshore on Saturday morning.
Both the HWRF model and the HMON model forecasts that Invest 96-L could be near hurricane strength when it makes landfall on the Florida Panhandle late Friday night or Saturday morning.
Here Are My Thoughts: First things first, I think that we will see Nestor steadily strengthen right up to landfall on Saturday morning. Even though there is strong wind shear across the Gulf of Mexico, it is expected that this storm will move in the same direction that the shear is blowing from. This, in turn, will create a net low wind shear environment and thus a favorable environment for intensification. This all means that we could very well see this system peak at between 55 and 70 mph on Saturday morning as it’s making landfall.
I also do think that the track model guidance may be a bit too far west with its track and I think that given the upper level wind flow over the Gulf of Mexico that we will see Nestor come ashore between Apalachicola and Cedar Key thanks to a nearly east-northeast track across the Gulf of Mexico.
So, To Sum Things Up – Steady strengthening is expected over the next 36 to 48 hours with this system making landfall between Apalachicola and Cedar Key, Florida as between a 55 and 70 mph tropical storm on Saturday morning.
Storm Surge: A storm surge of up to 3 to 6 feet above ground level with locally higher surge levels are expected on Friday night and Saturday from near Port St. Joe through Cross City, Crystal River to just north of Clearwater, Florida. Over 6 feet of storm surge is a possibility in Apalachee Bay.
A storm surge of up to 3 to 4 feet is possible as far south as Tampa on Friday night and Saturday.
Wind: Tropical storm force winds with wind gusts of up to 50 to 70 mph are expected on Friday and Friday night across extreme southeastern Louisiana. Tropical storm force winds with wind gusts of up to 50 to 70 mph are then expected on Friday night and Saturday across southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and across the Big Bend area of northwest Florida. In addition, tropical storm force winds are also expected on Friday night and Saturday across parts of the west coast of Florida, especially from Tampa and points north.
Rainfall: Total rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected from Friday through this weekend across extreme southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and across the northern Florida Peninsula.
2 to 4 inches of total rainfall is also expected this weekend across southern and southeastern Georgia, eastern South Carolina and across the eastern half of North Carolina.