Official Forecast Track
TROPICAL UPDATE: Overnight, Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 started to get a little more organized but still does not have a closed center, which means it can't be called a Tropical Strom yet you need a west wind which it does not have. So it remains a Potential Tropical Cyclone, which means the system poses a threat to land but has not officially developed; this allows the Hurricane Center to put out watches and warnings even before the system is developed. There have been encouraging trends within the models for NC, I'll explain below.
The term “potential tropical cyclone” is used to describe a disturbance that hasn't formed into a tropical storm or hurricane yet but brings a threat of tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land within 48 hours
This morning the system is located 350 Miles Southeast of San Juan Puerto Rico, the area that is believed to be the developing center shifted south this has impacts on the future of the track. Maximum winds are at 45 MPH, which means as soon as it has a closed center, it will become a Tropical Storm because it has the winds. Tropical Storm conditions are starting to move over the Leeward Islands and will move over the US/ British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later this afternoon. Heavy rainfall, Flash Flooding, and gusty winds to 50-60 MPH possible on these islands.
The system will move toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday, bringing impacts there; once it goes from the DR and Haiti, that's where the forecast gets confusing.
TRACK: This is the number one question everyone wants to know, the good news is due to the system staying weak and going further south it appears a direct landfall on NC later down the road is decreasing. The system will travel over Haiti and the Dominican Republic Thursday into Friday, the land interactions should weaken the storm and the high mountains on these islands likely will destroy the center. We still don't have a center of circulation, so the models are really having a hard time forecasting beyond 3 days. There's an increasing threat to Florida with landfall possible this weekend into early next week.
MODELS: What are the models showing? What will likely be a Tropical Storm will be traveling over Haiti and the Dominican Republic early Friday it will likely emerge back over the waters off of the Bahamas toward the Florida keys. Exactly what happens from there is still a question does the system remain organized and is able to strengthen some, or does it take a direct hit on the mountains, and it destroys it. We don't have a center yet, so these answers are still unknown.
NC IMPACTS: The Bottom Line is the system is likely a Florida concern or Gulf Coast threat based on the latest data, but we don't have a closed center, so we can't confirm that yet. At this point, with the information we have, NC might just see increased moisture from the system later next week, but the confidence is low. However, it is looking more encouraging that we might miss out on the whole system other than some increased moisture. One thing you can do is make sure you have a Hurricane Plan built and supplies in your Hurricane kits. The only other thing you can do is stay tuned for updates from trusted sources like here; you will only get the real truth, not a dramatic panic hype. Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted as new information comes.
Official Forecast Track