Tropical Depression 16 is expected to be near hurricane strength when it nears the Yucatan Peninsula Friday or Saturday. (National Hurricane Center)
HOLT, Fla., Oct. 4, 2017, 5 p.m.–Tropical Depression 16 is forecast to continue strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico and could affect the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft found well-defined circulation and 35 mph winds during today’s mission.
According to the NHC, environmental conditions are quite favorable for strengthening during the next few days with low wind shear and very warm and deep water to feed the storm.
The system is expected to be near hurricane intensity when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday or Saturday.
Atmospheric conditions are expected to push the system to move faster to the north-northwest by Friday and northward into the Gulf of Mexico Saturday.
While data indicate a rapid intensification, interaction with land masses in Central America and Mexico could have an effect on the system.
Additional reconnaissance missions have been scheduled for tomorrow.
The next NHC interim advisory is at 8 p.m. EDT.