Hurricane Warnings Posted Ahead of Tropical Storm Grace
It has always been fascinating to me just how quickly a tropical system can go from a disorganized band of showers and thunderstorms to a deadly cyclone. Such seems to be the case with Tropical Storm Grace. The system started the week as a very disorganized tropical depression just south of Haiti. Over the past 24 hours, the system has gotten better organized and a lot stronger.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center believe that Grace will become a hurricane later today and certainly by tomorrow. As of the 0400 AM CDT Advisory, Grace was located about 40 miles south southeast of Grand Cayman. The storm was moving to the west at 16 mph.
On that track, at that speed, the system is expected to make landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by early tomorrow morning. The latest guidance from the Hurricane Center suggests that Grace will be a category1 storm at landfall with maximum winds of about 85 mph.
Grace should weaken just a little as it crosses the Yucatan and emerges into the Bay of Campeche late Thursday evening or early Friday morning. It should restrengthen over the warm waters of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and become a category 1 hurricane again by the time it makes the second landfall in Mexico just after midnight on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Henri is currently moving south and west of Bermuda this morning. Its general direction is toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina, however, the system is expected to curve to the north and eventually the northeast before getting too close to the coastline of the continental United States.
Neither Grace nor Henri is expected to have any direct impact on the weather in South Louisiana but because Grace is in the Gulf of Mexico we will watch it until it makes landfall or dissipates. Other than these particular storms, tropical development in the Atlantic Basin is not expected over the next five days.
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