Crowley’s corporate emergency management team (CEMT) is continuing to monitor Tropical Depression Nine in the Gulf of Mexico, which is likely to strengthen and take a path through central and northeast Florida later this week. The team is first and foremost focused on the safety of Crowley personnel, including our vessel crews, along with our assets and your cargo that may be in the storm’s path. Every safety precaution will be taken, and we apologize in advance if your supply chain is disrupted. We will be sure to let you know if the weather impacts our schedules, operations or facilities.
Below is the latest weather projection as provided by StormGeo today.
The latest model guidance indicates that the trough we are forecasting to drop into the Gulf and carry this potential storm off to the northeast is nearing the Gulf Coast this morning. Landfall north of Tampa is forecast to occur late Thursday morning. Latest tropical models are in excellent agreement with this forecast, giving us increasing confidence in the northeast turn and northern Florida Peninsula impact. Our confidence in the track is above-average in the Gulf but still only average once the center passes Florida.
We think that the depression could become a tropical storm at any time today. Winds are very close to 39 mph. Once the northeast turn begins, relative wind shear will diminish, allowing for steady strengthening as the center moves toward Florida tomorrow and Thursday morning. Winds at landfall in Florida are forecast to be around 65 mph, a little less than we were forecasting yesterday. Once past Florida, additional strengthening is forecast, possibly to hurricane strength.
The center will emerge off the northeast coast of Florida by Thursday evening then accelerate to the northeast. Currently, our forecast has tropical storm-force winds staying just offshore of the Carolinas on Friday and Saturday. However, any deviation to the left of the forecast track could result in tropical storm conditions brushing the coast.