(Last updated at 2:15 a.m.)

Tropical Depression Nine is slowly getting better organized and is on track to finally be classified as a tropical storm Wednesday.

  • Hurricane watch: Coastal Citrus, coastal Hernando, coastal Pasco
  • Tropical storm watch: Inland Citrus, inland Hernando, inland Pasco, Marion
  • TD 9 expected to become tropical storm sometime Wednesday

However, a hurricane watch has been issued for the coastal counties of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus. Even though a hurricane watch is issued, this system is not forecast to reach hurricane strength in the Gulf.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for inland Citrus, inland Hernando, inland Pasco and Marion counties. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Heavy rains over the next few days will overspread the Florida peninsula as deep tropical moisture moves northward.

Disorganized tropical storms tend to have their heaviest rains and worst weather on the eastern side. So even though the center of circulation will go north of Tampa Bay, we will get the heaviest rains and gusty winds between Tampa Bay and Citrus County on Thursday.

    • Orlando: 508 miles SW
    • Daytona Beach: 551 miles SW
    • Cape Canaveral: 543 miles WSW
    • Melbourne: 532 miles WSW
    • Tampa: 431 miles SW
    • Tallahassee: 486 miles SSW
    • Jacksonville: 573 miles SW

Flood warnings have been issued for all local rivers in anticipation of water levels rising as heavy rains fall the next couple days.

The main concerns will be freshwater flooding in low-lying areas and coastal flooding in spots near the Gulf because of tides that will run 2 to 3 feet above normal the next couple days.  The peak of the storm surge/tide heights will be on Thursday to Thursday night along the Gulf.

On Wednesday, expect breezy winds from the south at about 12 to 25 mph with higher gusts occasionally in rain squalls (strongest winds will be near the coast). Expect intervals of heavy rain squalls.

On Thursday, expect gusty winds of 25 to 40 mph (especially near the coast) with higher gusts of 40 to 60 mph possible during the heaviest rain squalls. Rain will be heavy, with totals possibly exceeding 7 inches by Thursday night.

Expect storm surge of 2 to 3 feet, especially from Pinellas County northward into the Pasco, Hernando and Citrus coastlines. A few small, fast moving tornadoes will be possible.

This will all be gone for the upcoming holiday weekend.


Remember that the spaghetti model plot does not indicate the strength of a system or even development at all. It only predicts where this broad area of low pressure is expected to go.

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