While Tropical Depression #15 continues to spin about off the U.S. East Coast, a new system has formed near Jamaica. An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance Aircraft investigating an area of disturbed weather in the Caribbean found that storm structure and winds consistent with a tropical storm has formed there. As such, the National Hurricane classified the system as Tropical Storm Nana. Located about 120 miles south-southeast of Negril, Jamaica, the National Hurricane Center expects that Nana will intensify, becoming a hurricane in the coming days.
With the threat of landfall, the government of Belize has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the entire coast of Belize from north of Punta Barrios, Guatemala, and northward to south of Chetumal, Mexico. A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect for northern Honduras and Roatan Island and the Bay of Islands of Honduras. A Tropical Storm Watch may be required for portions of Guatemala and the southern Yucatan Peninsula later today. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. Hurricane watches or warnings may also need to be issued depending on the strength and future track of Nana.
As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Tropical Storm Nana was located near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 77.9 West. With maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and an estimated minimum central pressure of 1004 mb or 29.65 inches, Nana is moving to the west near 16 mph.
Nana is forecast to continue to head west for the next few days. On the forecast track, Nana will be moving near but north of the coast of Honduras on Wednesday and likely be approaching the coast of Belize on Thursday. According to the National Hurricane Center, additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Nana could become a hurricane just prior to landfall on Thursday.
Nana is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 2-4″ across northern Honduras, Belize, and the southeast portion of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Swells generated by this system are affecting portions of the southern coast of Jamaica, and will continue into Wednesday morning. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
While it was expected the tropical depression off the U.S. East Coast would earn the name Nana, this new system developed so quickly it warranted the next name on the storm list first. The National Hurricane System expects the east coast system to become a tropical storm later today or tonight; when/if that happens, it would be named Omar.
Nana broke the record for earliest “N” storm in the Atlantic hurricane basin. The previous record earliest “N” storm was Nate, which formed on September 6, 2005.