Wind shear is still shredding Tropical Depression 9, therefore keeping the center of circulation exposed.
That’s good news for us because the longer it goes without getting organized the weaker it will be when it finally comes ashore in Florida. The depression will likely become a weak tropical storm on Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved up a preseason game against the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium by a day. The game was originally supposed to happen Thursday, but it's been moved to 8 p.m. Wednesday to avoid the storm.
It might intensify briefly Wednesday night into early Thursday, but it will only have a small window to grow because it will get pushed northeastward as a cold front approaches from the north.
Again, this looks like a good scenario for Florida because it looks unlikely to have time to grow into a strong hurricane. But rather, what is more likely, is that it will be a tropical storm wherever it comes ashore.
Don’t concentrate on the center line of the track. Tropical storms are different from hurricanes in that they have weaker winds, but they spread those winds out over a farther distance.
So there could be gusty winds hundreds of miles away from the center of circulation. Also, in weak tropical storms, the heaviest rain doesn’t actually fall near the center, but rather to the east/southeast of the center.
How close is the storm?
Key West: 238 miles WSW
Tampa: 337 miles SSW
Orlando: 406 miles SW
Tallahassee: 459 miles S
With all that in mind, we can expect winds to increase Wednesday, with tropical storm force winds likely on Thursday. The strongest winds will likely be from Tampa Bay northward.