Tropical depression forms in southern Gulf

An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft investigating a low-pressure area over the southwest Gulf of Mexico found a well-defined center of circulation Monday.

The system has a curved band of deep convection that wraps around the southern and eastern portions of the circulation, and is being designated as a tropical depression.

The maximum winds reported by the aircraft support an intensity of 25 knots. Although the cyclone is situated over very warm waters, the

atmospheric environment is not ideal for strengthening.

Models indicate that significant northerly to northwesterly vertical shear should affect the tropical cyclone for the next 36 hours and this is likely to limit intensification up to landfall.

After landfall, dissipation should be quick due to the mountainous terrain of Mexico.

The initial motion is west-northwestward. The steering scenario appears to be fairly straightforward. The flow to the south of a mid-level ridge along the northern Gulf of Mexico will keep the depression on a west-northwestward track for the next 36 hours through the expected time of landfall.

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