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A New Tropical Depression has Formed over the Northwest Caribbean

The historic 2020 hurricane season continues, as yet another tropical cyclone formed in the northwest Caribbean Saturday. Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight (TD28) is forecast to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico, possibly briefly becoming a hurricane before making yet another landfall across the north-central Gulf Coast next week.

Hurricane hunters found TD28 to be located about 255 miles south-southeast of the western tip of Cuba late Saturday afternoon, where they found a well-defined center of circulation and maximum winds up to 35 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the western province of Cuba Pinar del Rio.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center expect TD28 to gradually strengthen into a tropical storm on Sunday as it moves through the Yucatan Channel and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. Thereafter, a faster rate of strengthening is expected Monday or Tuesday and TD28 could briefly become a hurricane before it moves into an environment less favorable for intensification. The interactions of TD28 with an approaching trough of low pressure are likely to result in some weakening prior to landfall Wednesday or Thursday, which is currently forecast to be anywhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

TD28 is likely to become the eleventh tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States this year, adding one more to the record set earlier this year when Hurricane Delta came ashore in Louisiana on October 9. While confidence in the projected track and strength of TD28 as it approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast is low at this time, residents in hurricane prone areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle are being urged by forecasters to stay informed of future updates as the situation becomes clearer with time.

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Jeff Huffman