RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Early this morning, Tropical Depression #9 (TD #9) formed. This was the area of weather we were watching that was north of South America, which we thought would develop. TD #9 is something that will need to be tracked very carefully through the weekend and next week.
The storm will slide over some very warm water in the Caribbean Ocean, which will help it to intensify. As we go through the next couple of days, TD #9 will move into an area where there are fewer winds that could rip the system apart, therefore the storm will become better organized and take on that classical tropical cyclone shape.
We do anticipate that TD #9 will become Tropical Storm Hermine within the next 12 to 24 hours, and by the end of the weekend, will strengthen to become Hurricane Hermine.
The initial track of TD #9 does strengthen to a category 2 hurricane moving over the western side of Cuba by Tuesday morning and then approaching the western part of Florida on Wednesday.
It is very important to note that this initial track by the National Hurricane Center is just the beginning of the picture of what TD #9 might do. As the system develops, we will see fluctuations in the intensity of the system, which could slow down the timing of the storm and we will also see many variations of the track from east to west. But don’t lock in on this one path being the final path, remember, the track is a guide to allow those who are possibly in its path to begin to think about preparing for the storm.
For us in Central Virginia, it is prudent to keep an eye on this storm, especially the forecast tracks that we will see early next week. There is a possibility that later next week, Friday or Saturday, we could see tropical moisture come our way and maybe bring us the rain we so desperately need. However, nothing is set in stone. Much of our forecast will depend on the speed and development of TD #9 as it becomes Hermine and how strong the area of high pressure is, that will build from the Great Lakes down to the Mid Atlantic, which could possibly block or deflect Hermine out to sea south of us.