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Here you go! They are projecting it to approach Cat 3!

The depression will be moving over the high ocean heat content waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea during the next 24-36 hours. This, in combination with low vertical wind shear and a moist environment, should allow for steady strengthening. The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today or tonight, and could approach hurricane strength as it passes near or over western Cuba. Once the system moves into the Gulf of Mexico, conditions are expected to be conducive for additional strengthening, and rapid intensification is explicitly shown in the NHC forecast between 48 and 72 hours. The NHC intensity forecast brings the system near major hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf coast on Sunday. This forecast is supported by the HWRF and CTCI models, and the GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET global model guidance, which all significantly deepen the cyclone over the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, there is higher-than-normal confidence that a strengthening tropical cyclone will be moving over the Gulf this weekend.


This system is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast at or near major hurricane intensity on Sunday, although the forecast uncertainty is larger than usual since the system is just forming. There is a risk of life-threatening storm surge, damaging hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday along the northern Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to the upper Texas coast, with the greatest risk along the coast of Louisiana. Interests in these areas should closely monitor the progress of this system and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 26/1500Z 16.9N 79.2W 30 KT 35 MPH 12H 27/0000Z 18.2N 80.4W 35 KT 40 MPH 24H 27/1200Z 20.3N 82.0W 45 KT 50 MPH 36H 28/0000Z 22.5N 83.9W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND 48H 28/1200Z 24.4N 86.0W 65 KT 75 MPH...OVER WATER 60H 29/0000Z 26.1N 88.1W 80 KT 90 MPH 72H 29/1200Z 27.7N 90.0W 95 KT 110 MPH 96H 30/1200Z 30.5N 92.0W 70 KT 80 MPH...INLAND 120H 31/1200Z 33.7N 91.2W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND



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