Just as most of us had surmised, the well-defined disturbance we've all been watching over the past day or so has organized sufficiently overnight and cyclogenesis has indeed occurred.
The bursting convection I was anticipating during last nights' convective max cycle did occur, but was of a more cycling nature, with strong cells coming and going after a few hours. But enough of them continuously, apparently, near the pronounced LLC center to form the CDO feature I had speculated about and warmed the mid-levels sufficiently to drop the central pressure a few millibars, to 1006 (estimated), and the windfield apparently responded by increasing to 30 kts.
Of course the recon mission, just now entering the area, will provide us a much better understanding of Elevens' synoptic structure and will be sampling all the requisite parameters, thus allowing the guidance models to more accurately forecast track and intensity. Based on the steadily improving satellite presentation, much speculation exists that the cyclone may already have acquired tropical storm intensity.
The convection was much better organized last night, compared to the previous night, with pronounced banding features developing at some distance north of the nascent system and, most importantly, consistantly deep enough near the LLC to spin up the CDO, and allowing the still-not-fully-understood process of cyclogenesis to transpire.
Thus, Tropical Depression 'Eleven' has made it into the record books as that semi-rare late-season Southwestern-Caribbean storm with an uncertain future that remains to be seen.
The depression has plenty of fuel to draw upon in the near term, as the waters here are very warm and possess a great deal of 'oceanic heat content', and the upper level winds remain surprisingly conducive for the time being.
And, should the fledgling cyclone manage to negotiate it's several days over land without loosing too much organization and is able to maintain at least a well-developed mid-level circulation, then it's quite possible it could emerge from off the Northern Coast of Honduras and re-develop tropical storm intensity.
But that's a tall order, and not all models (so far) are that bullish with their outlook. Any prolonged terrestrial encounter under weak steering currents could turn TD-11 into a torrential rainmaker for parts of Central America, while decreasing the likelihood that it will emerge intact enough to regenerate itself and pose a potential threat to the Gulf.
So many questions ... so many possibilities ... it certainly will be interesting to see how this all plays out!