Gulf Glob Could Become Nestor; Likely a Raimaker with Some Severe Storms. Don’t Panic.

Nestor, if it forms, likely won’t be a major hurricane. Probably not even a minor one. But the system in the Gulf of Mexico is getting a bit better organized and could bring northern Florida and the Central Florida Attractions area some increased rain chances by the weekend. More importantly, there’s at least a marginal chance of severe weather as a result of the system.

The Storm Prediction Center currently shows a 5%-14% chance of severe weather in the area on Saturday and will be refining its forecast as the National Hurricane Center continues to watch the would-be tropical storm.

As for the system that would be named Nestor, it now has about an 80% chance of developing into a full-fledged tropical system and is likely to bring rough surf to the beaches along Florida’s west and gulf coasts. Thursday’s runs of the forecast models are starting to align with one another much better than they had been on Wednesday. They all now generally agree on bringing the whatever-it-is onshore somewhere between the Florida/Alabama border and America’s Armpit the Big Bend of Florida; but they still can’t quite agree on just how strong this thing will be. To be clear, all of them keep it relatively weak; some of them keep it barely even noticeable. As a reminder, model outputs change like most people (hopefully) change their underoos, so impacts and thinking can change too. If the NHC gets really confident that Nestor is going to be a thing, they’ll issue the familiar forecast cone for the storm. But we’re not there yet. In the meantime, here’s the 8AM outlook from the NHC. Keep calm and carry on!

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 AM EDT Thu Oct 17 2019

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

1. Showers and thunderstorms associated with a broad area of low
pressure located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico continue to
show signs of organization.  Environmental conditions are expected
to be conducive for additional development, and a tropical or
subtropical storm is likely to form later today or tonight while the
system moves generally northeastward over the western Gulf of
Mexico.  The low is forecast to approach the northern or
northeastern Gulf Coast on Friday or Saturday and regardless of
development, the system is likely to produce gusty winds and rough
surf over those areas.  Locally heavy rainfall is also possible
across portions of the southeast U.S. late this week and this
weekend. Interests along the northern and northeastern Gulf coast
should monitor the progress of this system.  For more information
about marine hazards while the low moves across the Gulf of Mexico,
see products issued by the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch of
the National Hurricane Center. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance
aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon, if
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.

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