Invest 98 continues to pose a threat to the United States
Forecast model data continues to suggest a hurricane may threaten the Gulf coast
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - While Hurricane Fiona barrels toward Bermuda and the Canadian Maritimes, residents along the Gulf Coast should watch Invest 98 carefully. Invest 98 is a disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms in the Caribbean Sea that is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm or hurricane within the next 5 days. Although we’re still unsure about where Invest 98 will go, confidence is growing that the system should enter the Gulf of Mexico next week and likely make a landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast.
As of 10 AM on Thursday September 22nd, Invest 98 remains a disorganized cluster of showers and thunderstorms. While pressure around Invest 98 is lower than normal, there’s no closed low level circulation. By definition, it cannot be classified as a tropical depression or tropical storm until that happens. The National Hurricane Center’s forecasts Invest 98 to gradually move across the extremely warm Caribbean Sea through the weekend and turn toward the Gulf of Mexico early next week. The forecast calls for the system to strengthen into a hurricane by the end of the weekend.
Future-Hermine’s potential U.S. threat
Invest 98 is currently fighting off wind shear from the outflow of Hurricane Fiona and that’s keeping it disorganized for the time being. When Invest 98 escapes the shear tomorrow or Saturday, it’ll likely consolidate and strengthen into a tropical storm.
The forward speed of Invest 98 and the strength of the system will play a major role in determining where the system goes. Forecast model data is showing Invest 98 will pick up forward speed which increases the likelihood that it will enter the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico next week.
If Invest 98 strengthens quickly, the chances are higher for it to pull northward toward Cuba, potentially impacting the eastern Gulf Coast, Florida, or the Bahamas.
Typically speaking, a stronger tropical storm or hurricane tends to pull toward the poles more than a weaker system will. In this case, a slower developing system could track across the Caribbean Sea and sneak beneath a ridge of high pressure to enter the central or potentially western Gulf of Mexico.
Despite the lack of confidence about where this storm will go, it looks unlikely that Invest 98 will impact Texas thanks to a cold front moving through the area Monday. Should this system threaten Texas, you’ll be among the first to know! Be sure to download our FREE KWTX Weather App to your Apple or Android device.
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