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Tropical Depression NINE

Tropical Depression Nine Discussion Number   3
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL092022
500 PM EDT Fri Sep 23 2022

The organization of the depression has slightly improved since this 
morning. The low-level center has been decoupled from the deep 
convection for much of the day, but in recent satellite imagery 
it appears the center may be drawing closer to a more recent burst 
of convective activity. Unfortunately, earlier scatterometer data 
missed the center of the cyclone, and the satellite intensity 
estimates still range from 25-35 kt. The initial intensity is held 
at 30 kt for this advisory, and an Air Force Hurricane Hunter 
aircraft is on its way to investigate the system this evening.

The system is still moving west-northwestward at 290/13 kt, but it 
is expected to turn westward tonight and continue on that heading 
through Saturday as a ridge develops to its north. Then, a deep- 
layer trough over the eastern U.S. is forecast to erode the ridge 
into early next week. This should result in a turn toward the 
northwest and north-northwest while the cyclone passes near the 
Cayman Islands early Monday and approaches western Cuba Monday 
night. Once again, the global models have shifted westward this 
cycle during this period, and there remains increased track 
uncertainty late in the forecast period once the cyclone emerges 
into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The latest NHC track forecast 
has been adjusted westward from 48-120 h, and it lies near or 
slightly east of the latest track consensus aids.

Recent satellite trends suggest the cyclone may already be nearing 
a lower shear environment, and once that occurs, the atmospheric 
and oceanic conditions appear very conducive for strengthening 
through early next week. As the cyclone moves within a moist and 
unstable environment over sea-surface temperatures greater than 30 
deg C, it is forecast to rapidly intensify over the northwestern 
Caribbean Sea and continue strengthening while it approaches 
western Cuba on Monday night. The very warm waters of the 
southeastern Gulf of Mexico should allow for more strengthening 
once it crosses Cuba, and the NHC forecast once again shows the 
system approaching the Florida peninsula as a major hurricane by 
the middle of next week.

Based on the latest forecast, a Hurricane Watch has been issued 
for the Cayman Islands, and a Tropical Storm Watch has been 
issued for Jamaica.

Key Messages:
1. The depression is expected to produce heavy rainfall, flash 
flooding and possible mudslides in areas of higher terrain in 
Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Heavy rains are also likely to spread 
into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cuba in the coming days.
2. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Jamaica, with 
tropical storm conditions possible on the island by Sunday. A 
Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Cayman Islands, with 
hurricane conditions possible by early Monday and tropical storm 
conditions possible by late Sunday.
3. Early next week the system is forecast to move near or over
western Cuba as a strengthening hurricane and then approach the
Florida peninsula at or near major hurricane strength, with the
potential for significant impacts from storm surge, hurricane-force
winds, and heavy rainfall. While it is too soon to determine the
exact magnitude and location of these impacts, residents in Cuba,
the Florida Keys, and the Florida peninsula should ensure they have
their hurricane plan in place and closely monitor forecast updates
through the weekend.
INIT  23/2100Z 14.7N  71.3W   30 KT  35 MPH
 12H  24/0600Z 14.8N  73.1W   35 KT  40 MPH
 24H  24/1800Z 15.0N  75.4W   35 KT  40 MPH
 36H  25/0600Z 15.6N  77.6W   40 KT  45 MPH
 48H  25/1800Z 16.8N  79.7W   50 KT  60 MPH
 60H  26/0600Z 18.8N  81.2W   65 KT  75 MPH
 72H  26/1800Z 20.7N  82.3W   80 KT  90 MPH
 96H  27/1800Z 24.4N  83.2W   95 KT 110 MPH
120H  28/1800Z 27.0N  82.7W  100 KT 115 MPH
Forecaster Reinhart