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Invest 96L becomes the seventh tropical depression of the season

The National Hurricane Center (NHC, in English) this morning classified the wave 805 miles east of the Lesser Antilles as a tropical depression.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported in its first 11.00 am bulletin The system increased its maximum sustained winds to 35 miles per hour and recorded a wind pressure of 1009 millibars (MP), indicating that it has reached a slight intensity compared to yesterday. Its center of rotation is at latitude 16.6 degrees north and longitude 49.6 degrees west, moving west at 14 miles per hour (mph).

A tropical depression is a system with a small circulation center defined by its maximum sustained wind intensity of 38 mph or less.

“On the forecast track, the center of the system is forecast to move across the Lesser Antilles Friday and Friday night, then near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the weekend.”NHC noted.

He also expected Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to be placed under a tropical storm watch as soon as this afternoon.

This morning the model program was expecting a strong tropical wave or tropical depression to cross Puerto Rico. however, The National Hurricane Center projects a weak tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 46 mph to pass near the island..

However, uncertainty is high and there is a margin of error in the track and intensity as the system faces an area of ​​shear and dry air that can limit the gradual development of its circulation core.

If it becomes a tropical storm, the storm will be named Fiona and become the sixth named storm this season.

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Regardless of its cyclonic development, intensity or track, both National Hurricane Center (NHC, in English) as National Weather Service (SNM) Showers and thunderstorms are expected in the San Juan area starting this Friday and extending into the weekend, subject to the moisture the system leaves behind after moving through the area.

For his part, Meteorologist and Interim Director of SNM Ernest Moralesexplained New day The good news about this tropical wave’s analysis is that the system will encounter shear and dry air during its journey toward the region, so it will prevent rapid or significant strengthening before it reaches Puerto Rico.

“There has been some progress in the organization of the organization in question. Even so, there are strong winds near our region, so we see that the models, even if they intensify a bit, will lose structure as they approach our region already tomorrow.”, the expert pointed out.

Major global models Global Forecasting System (GFS), also known as the “American Model”, and the European (ECMWF). Both resources, in their latest forecast runs, agree that the depression will pass Puerto Rico with heavy rain and strong winds.

“What worries us now is the rain associated with it, because the structure is very extensive and the movement of the translation needs to be observed, because at first the models showed it to be slow, it is important to see if it continues. If it does (it slows down its movement), yes, it is a significant rain. event,” warned Morales.

The National Hurricane Center already has one of its hurricane-hunting aircraft scheduled for a reconnaissance mission tomorrow. Reservation US Air Force (AF, in English). In addition, there are already three flights scheduled for next Friday: two AF flights and one belonging to the aircraft National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in English).

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Morales urged people not to focus on questioning whether the system will become a tropical storm or a hurricane, as that is not a likely scenario considering that it is less than five days away from the island.

Instead, the expert suggested that the SNM forecast takes into account heavy rains this weekend, which could lead to floods, landslides and overflowing of rivers and streams.

“It cannot be ruled out that strong thunderstorms will be accompanied by winds, but the strongest impact of this event will be rain as the last few weeks have seen heavy rainfall and reduced soil fertility.He pointed out.

“The advice to the public is that if you live in an area prone to flooding or landslides, be prepared. They should be prepared to know what to do if we provide special supplies based on a flash flood watch or warning. There is no time to be on the rivers at the weekend“, he added.

The SNM has forecast four to six inches of rain in general over the island. Levels such as those estimated could cause widespread flooding and landslides and flooding of rivers, streams and creeks.

“We’re talking about a typical rain event for the whole island. But it all depends on how fast you’re moving and how wide your moisture is.”Morales pointed out.

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The system’s passage through the region may cause waves in local waters, but it won’t be with the same intensity as the storm surge that came through earlier this week.