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Sarasota-Manatee still in path of storm expected to become Hurricane Hermine

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Invest 98L has formed in the Caribbean into Tropical Depression 9 and is expected to become Hurricane Hermine by early next week. The track of the National Hurricane Center Friday morning showed the center of the storm heading into Sarasota and Manatee counties, but forecasters warned there was a lot of uncertainty in forecasting the storm’s path away from the possibility of landfall in Florida.

“In fact, these forecasts call for the system to approach the Florida peninsula as a major hurricane by day five,” said Brad Reinhart, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, the Tropical Depression Nine had a top speed of 35 mph. It was heading from west to northwest at mph. The storm was 1,211 miles southeast of Sarasota.

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The current path of Tropical Depression 9, which is expected to become Hurricane Hermine, ends with a touchdown near Sarasota-Manatee on Wednesday.

The current path of Tropical Depression 9, which is expected to become Hurricane Hermine, ends with a touchdown near Sarasota-Manatee on Wednesday.

Tropical Depression IX is expected to gradually strengthen into a tropical storm tonight, with greater intensification on Sunday and Monday. The National Hurricane Center’s initial forecast had turned into a Category 2 hurricane by the time it approaches the coast of Cuba early next week. But if you cross over Cuba, it is uncertain how much this will weaken from the storm or when it will begin to gain strength when it hits the warm bathing waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the path outlook in the 4-5 day time frame. After the system forms in a tropical storm, a more accurate forecast will be possible.

If Tropical Depression Nine became a named storm, it would be called Hermine. But it may have to speed up, as Tropical Depression X has just formed over the easternmost Atlantic Ocean. It is expected to be short-lived, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Will Hurricane Hermine hit Sarasota, Manatee?

Although Tropical Depression 9 is not expected to turn into Hurricane Hermine until late Sunday or early Monday, most predictive models show it to affect Florida near Sarasota and Manatee counties. However, forecasters warn that there is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast for the storm’s path.

“The path is still a bit uncertain,” said Christian Pierce, a meteorologist at NWS Tampa. “The (storm) center is wobbly in the early stages. We’re also not sure it’s going to definitely make that turn toward Florida.”

When will Hurricane Hermine hit Sarasota Manatee?

If the National Hurricane Center and other forecasts are correct, Tropical Depression 9 will steadily increase in intensity, becoming Hurricane Hermine by Monday morning, and affect Florida in the Sarasota-Manatee area sometime on Wednesday.

Stay tuned for the storm: Download the updated Herald-Tribune app

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Sarasota-Manatee government response

Manatee County is partially reactivating the Emergency Operations Center this afternoon, but without permanent staff for now, said Bill Logan, the county’s director of media outreach, noting this as a move of unusual caution.

Sarasota County officials released a statement on their social media Friday morning, saying they are monitoring the progress of the storm.

“We haven’t been activated (in the event of an emergency) yet,” said Brian Grant, the county’s media relations officer. “We monitor all activities and recommend residents to review their plans, prepare relocation groups and visit our website for checklists and storm advice.”

Tropical Depression 9 (to be Hurricane Hermine) National Hurricane Center Update

As of 11 a.m. September 23:

  • Location: 515 miles east – southeast of Kingston, Jamaica

  • Max wind speed: 35 mph

  • Direction: West-Northwest at 14 mph

  • Next consultation: 5 p.m. Eastern time

At 11 a.m. EDT, the center of Tropical Depression 9 was located near 14.2N latitude and 70.1W longitude. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph. The movement is expected to start towards the west later today and continue until Saturday, followed by a turn towards the west, northwest and northwest on Sunday and Monday.

On the forecast path, the center of the hurricane is expected to move through the central Caribbean through Saturday, pass south of Jamaica on Saturday night and Sunday, and approach the Cayman Islands Sunday night and Monday morning.

Maximum wind speed is approaching 35 mph with higher gusts. Some slow reinforcement is expected over the next day or so, and depression is expected to turn into a tropical storm tonight. More significant intensification is expected on Sunday and Monday.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 MB (29.71 in).

This article originally appeared on the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Is Hurricane Coming to Florida? Sarasota is currently in the storm’s path

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