Tropical Storm Michael expected later today

145554_5day_cone_no_line_and_wind

This area is now in the three-day predicability cone. (National Hurricane Center)

HOLT, Fla., Oct. 7, 2018—Tropical Depression 14 continues to become better organized according to the 10 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The depression is forecast to become Tropical Storm Michael later today and a hurricane by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Forecast wind speed has been raised to 80 mph by the 72-hour point making this a category 1 hurricane prior to landfall.

145554_earliest_reasonable_toa_34This area could begin to feel tropical-storm-force winds as early as Tuesday morning.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system early this afternoon and should provide a better assessment of the intensity of the system, according to the NHC.

The moderate westerly wind shear affecting the depression is forecast to gradually decrease during the next day or two. This, in combination with warm waters, should allow for gradual strengthening as the system moves northward over the Gulf of Mexico.

Nearly all of the intensity models bring the cyclone to hurricane strength over the Gulf of Mexico in two-to-three days.

The system has picked up a little speed and is now moving at 6 mph and is forecast to move generally northward during the next two-to-three days with some increase in forward speed.

The next NHC update is at 4 p.m. unless the system builds to a tropical storm, in which case the center will issue an interim advisory.

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