Tropical Storm Noel Heads Towards Cuba

Let's face it: when you're a conservative, and they name a tropical storm after you that's heading towards Cuba, it's almost a moral imperative you share the news with your friends.

With that in mind, as reported by AccuWeather (video available here):

At 11 p.m. EDT Tropical Storm Noel was located near 17.1 north and 72.1 west or about 105 miles south of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Sustained winds are 60 mph with higher gusts and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles. Tropical Storm Noel is moving to the north-northwest at 5 mph. The minimum central pressure is estimated at 996 millibars, or 29.41 inches of mercury.

A tropical storm warning is recommended for the southern coast of Dominican Republic from Barahona westward. Tropical storm warning is in effect for the entire coast of Haiti. Tropical storm warning and hurricane watch is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Granma, Santiago De Cuba, Guantanamo, and Holguin. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Jamaica.

Tropical Storm Noel is expected to slowly strengthen over the next 12-24 hours as wind shear continues to weaken across the region, but interaction with Haiti could counteract the development into early Monday. Latest satellite images show that most of the thunderstorm activity is firing near and to the east of the center of circulation. This storm is expected to continue on a northwest track across western Haiti later Sunday night or Monday morning and perhaps across eastern Cuba Monday night or early Tuesday. It may affect the central and northern Bahamas Wednesday and Thursday then get picked up by an upper-level trough moving across the eastern United States later in the week, steering it away from Florida, but it could get within 100 miles of southeast Florida. In the meantime, a strong pressure gradient between high pressure over the mid-Atlantic states and Noel is causing a strong onshore flow into eastern Florida and this will persist over the next several days leading to rough surf and coastal flooding. Further strengthening of Noel is anticipated Monday and this system may become a hurricane by the time it reaches the coast of Cuba. Regardless of the strength, this system will produce very heavy rain over Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and eastern Cuba the next couple of days which will lead to deadly mudslides in the mountains and flooding. In fact, flooding across Hispaniola could be catastrophic over the next 24 hours. Interests in the Bahamas and South Florida, including the Florida Keys, as well as the southeast U.S. coast should monitor the progress of this system.

All kidding aside, I hope Noel never makes landfall, and only causes political damage to those metaphorically in its path.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.