As of 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) determined the area of disturbed weather in the Bay of Campeche had organized well enough to attain Tropical Depression status, making this system the fifth tropical disturbance to reach depression status in the Atlantic Basin so far in 2014.
At the time of official formation, Tropical Depression Five was located at 20.1 degrees north and 93.6 degrees west, or about 255 miles east-southeast of Tuxpan, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds were 30 miles per hour (mph), and the minimal central pressure is 1009 millibars (MB) or 29.80 inches.
Tropical Depression Five was moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours, which will likely bring the system ashore along the northeastern coast of Mexico late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. By that time, the system is expected to have strengthened into Tropical Storm Dolly.
Regardless of the system's intensification, Tropical Depression Five/Tropical Storm Dolly will make landfall along the far western, or the opposite side of the Gulf of Mexico from Tampa Bay, sparing residents and vacationers in west-central Florida from any of Dolly's impacts.
There are still three months left to go in the 2014 Hurricane Season, but at this time the NHC sees no other areas worthy of monitoring for development in the Atlantic Basin for the next five days. For more information from the NHC, please visit the organization's website.
Forecast for Tampa Bay and west-central Florida
For most of the last week, afternoon temperatures across west-central Florida have averaged a few degrees above normal. With partly cloudy skies and somewhat suppressed thunderstorm development, high temperatures close to the coast climbed into the lower 90s, while inland locations ranged from 95 to near 100 degrees in isolated areas.
With seasonably high dew point temperatures around 75 degrees, heat index values reached between 100 and 105 degrees in most locations, with the typical hot spots like MacDill Air Force Base recording heat index readings between 105 and 112 degrees.
With thunderstorm chances back near normal for Tuesday through next Monday temperatures are expected to cool down slightly, or closer to normal readings for early September. Precipitation coverage over most of the area will range from 40 to 50 percent each afternoon under partly cloudy to partly sunny skies.
Lows each morning through the period will range from 72 degrees over inland areas to 80 degrees along the coast. Highs will range from 88 to 95 degrees every day around Tampa Bay.
Links to more weather information for Tampa Bay and west-central Florida
For further forecast details covering Tampa Bay and the rest of west-central Florida, please be sure to visit the local National Weather Service website, the Storm Team 8 Facebook page, and Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page.