Summary:
  • As of 8am EDT Thursday, a low pressure system designated as 90L was located about 103 miles southwest of Pensacola, Florida.
  • Showers and thunderstorms have not become any better organized since yesterday and are still displaced to the southwest of the center of the low pressure system. However, environmental conditions are still marginally conductive for gradual development through the next few days. Wind shear will likely begin to decrease throughout the day today.
  • Most computer models show 90L remaining below tropical storm strength, but models can be very unreliable until a more defined system develops. If this system does develop into a named storm, it will be named Nadine.
  • The National Hurricane Center is currently indicating a medium (40%) chance that this system could develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm within the next two days as it drifts southward.
  • Computer models suggest that 90L could continue to drift southward or southwestward through the next couple of days before a trough of low pressure and associated cold front pick it up and shift it toward the northeast or east this weekend. The most recent run of computer models suggest that 90L will move onshore somewhere between Apalachicola and Tampa in the next to 3 to 4 days.
  • If the showers and thunderstorms surrounding 90L do not show any signs of organization this morning the Air Force Hurricane Hunter Reconnaissance mission this afternoon will be cancelled.

  • As of 5am EDT, Hurricane Leslie was located about 440 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, which is also approximately 1,108 miles east of Miami, Florida.
  • Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph and gradual strengthening is forecast. Leslie has a 23% chance of becoming a Category 2 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale within the next five days.
  • Leslie is moving toward the north at 1 mph and the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows a very slow northward movement for the next few days. On this track, Hurricane Leslie may approach Bermuda this weekend.

  • Further east, Michael rapidly strengthened overnight and became the first major hurricane of the 2012 season. At 5am EDT Thursday, Major Hurricane Michael was located 1,020 miles west-southwest of the Azores Islands.
  • Maximum sustained winds have increased to 115 mph making Michael a Category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Little change in strength is expected today with gradual weakening on Friday.
  • Michael is moving toward the northeast at 7 mph and a turn toward the north with a decrease in forward speed is expected to occur through the next couple of days. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center keeps Major Hurricane Michael in the open Atlantic Ocean and far away from all land areas.

Florida outlook:
  • No part of Florida is within the 5 day error cone of Hurricane Leslie or Major Hurricane Michael and neither storm is expected to have direct impacts on the Sunshine State.
  • Although no direct tropical impacts from Leslie or Michael are expected in Florida, large waves and ocean swells from Hurricane Leslie are impacting the Florida East Coast. A high rip current risk is in place from Nassau County through Martin County today and a moderate to high risk will likely persist through the weekend.
  • 90L has the potential to bring more direct impacts to Florida through the weekend and regardless of development, heavy rainfall will be likely over much of the state this weekend. An additional 1-3 inches of rain may fall over the entire state with locally higher amounts possible near the area of low pressure.
  • Additionally, 90L has generated a moderate rip current risk from Escambia County through Gulf County and these conditions will likely persist through the next couple of days. An increase in wave heights and rip currents will likely occur along all Gulf Coast beaches through the weekend.
More information on Hurricane Leslie, Major Hurricane Michael, and 90L can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Briefing slides are attached. Another update will be issued Thursday evening.

Michelle Palmer
Deputy State Meteorologist
Florida Division of Emergency Management
www.FloridaDisaster.org