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Tropical Depression 20
Tropical Depression 20 is intensifying as it moves slowly towards the Yucatan Peninsula. More spiral banding is evident on satellite imagery this afternoon, and the storm now has two good outflow channels, to the north and the south. The wind shear has fallen significantly, and is now just 5 knots out of the east. The center of the depression is about 70 miles south of buoy 42056, which itself is about 100 miles southeast of Cancun, Mexico. The buoy recently measured sustained winds of 34 mph gusting to 40 mph. A hurricane hunter aircraft measured peak winds of 30 mph in the southeast quadrant of the storm at 3 pm EDT today.
The system is expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula Sunday, and will have to re-organize once it pops out into the Gulf of Mexico Monday. It will then have at least 36 hours or so to intensify over the warm 29 - 30C waters of the Gulf. Wind shear is expected to remain very low, under 5 knots, and TD 20 may be a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane as it approaches the Mexican coast south of Brownsville on Tuesday. The forecast track is problematic, as none of the forecast models did a good job initializing this small and weak system this morning. Several models get confused about the identity of this system, and try to develop another tropical storm near the Florida Keys on Tuesday, and still keep this storm in the southwest Gulf of Mexico. The Canadian model suggests that TD 20 will threaten the northeast Mexican coast, but move northward and threaten Texas as well. The coast of northeast Mexico well south of Texas is the most likely target suggested by the rest of the models, but we won't have a good idea of where TD 20 will go until Sunday morning, after the 00Z (8pm EDT) model runs are available.
Originally posted by Regenmacher
TD#20 banding increasing, it just might earn a name before landfall in the Yucatan.