Tropical Depression 16 has formed in the SW Caribbean on Wednesday morning. This depression will slowly organize over the next few days as it drifts northward toward Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula before emerging in the Gulf by this weekend.
Conditions are favorable for slow organization over the next few days. The latest NHC forecast track brings the storm toward the FL Panhandle coast as a Cat 1 hurricane by Sunday afternoon. The latest computer model forecasts bring the storm northward into the Gulf this weekend with potential landfall points from Louisiana to the Florida Big Bend. At this time, the GFS model is farther west and weaker with the system with the Euro model tracks farther east and a bit stronger, bringing it toward the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area as a tropical storm or low-end hurricane by Sunday. There are still uncertainties into exactly where the storm will eventually track and how strong it may be. A track farther east obviously would have higher impacts here in SWFL in the form of more rain, high surf and the potential for some coastal flooding. We'll keep monitoring the storm and give you the latest as it develops.
CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY