Colleagues, FORECAST: A tropical depression is located midway between Jamaica and the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. It isn't moving much but will pick up speed later today and move NW and intensify becoming Tropical Storm RICHARD and then by the weekend, a Hurricane. It is likely to be the first hurricane to hit the USA this season, somewhere on the Gulf Coast, probably the near the end of the month. The path will be clearer this weekend after RICHARD (to be) starts to move. Winds are currently only 35 mph, but conditions for intensification are good.
DISCUSSION: NOAA's projected path takes the storm over the Yucatan, and essentially dying. I suspect a more northerly course and some weakening but closer to the Yucatan Channel, less weakening and a path more nearly in the central to eastern Gulf. I believe in the next few days, with some critical additional information, we can be more precise.
NEXT FORECAST: Friday Morning
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