Update - Sunday 10/28, 6PM EDST Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings have been posted for Jamaica, Haiti and portions of the Dominican Republic. A Hurricane Watch has been posted for southeastern Cuba.
Tropical Storm Noel located near 16.8N 71.9W by NHC at 28/21Z with maximum sustained winds of 50 knots. Although Noel is an impressive storm, it is still in somewhat of a formative state and the exact center has been difficult to pinpoint. Note that the 21Z position was the same as the original 18Z advisory update position.
Noel currently churns in a shearless environment and steering currents in the vicinity of the storm are quite light and expected to remain that way for a couple of days. A general slow northwestward movement is suggested, however, with weak steering currents the movement could be erratic on Monday and Tuesday. As an example of this, the motion over the last few hours has been a slow drift to the southeast. The extended outlook for eventual movement to the north and northeast through the central Bahamas seems like a reasonable consensus forecast at the present time - but frankly, the eventual track is tbd for the moment. A west southwest shear is expected to increase but remain north of 20N. As long as Noel remains south of that area, some additional intensification seems likely. ED
Original Post A late season Tropical Depression has developed in the Caribbean Sea, southwest of Puerto Rico. The system is currently moving to the west northwest. The most likely scenario is for the system to move generally west northwest over the next few days.
Initial models indications, at 120 hours,range from the Caribbean Sea, a passage over Cuba, the SE GOM and of course the Atlantic Ocean off the Bahamas and Florida.
The first National Hurricane Center discussion on TD#16 goes into great detail concerning the various possibilities. Including a split of the mid level and low level centers. Which calls into doubt some of the forecast track and intensity, which may move it further west and be more intense than the official forecast implies.
This satellite image above suggests a developing system (much of the color enhancements are maxed out)
The current most likely scenario is for it to head west northwest and then start to move over Cuba and away from the US (perhaps over the Bahamas). However there remains a possibility for the system to move further west than indicated, which could give the system time to both strengthen and potentially have more affect on South Florida. After crossing Cuba. Those in the cone would be prudent to watch this system closely. This includes most of the southern part of Florida and the Bahamas. The hurricane center suggest a great deal of uncertainty with the current forecast track.
Recon is scheduled, and it is likely we will see a Tropical Storm out of this sometime on Sunday. If so, the name would be Noel.
This has the potential to be one of those "Surprise Storms/Hurricanes" for many in Florida as the tropics have been very quiet for weeks now. It is time to wake up and watch again. Thanks to MikeC for the outstanding graphics and assistance~danielw
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