Wind shear and dry air (kryptonite to a tropical system) continue to hamper the strengthening of Tropical Depression 9 into Tropical Storm Hermine but the official forecast is for that to happen possibly as early as tonight. Satellite imagery continues to show a poorly defined circulation, but that should improve over the next 12 hours.
Water temperatures remain very favorable for development, so once TD 9 wins the dry air/wind shear battle, strengthening should commence in earnest.
The official track from the National Hurricane Center has not wavered, and still places a tropical storm near the Big Bend region of Northwest Florida sometime during the day on Thursday.
Even though the storm remains below hurricane strength, wind damage and storm surge could cause damage especially just south of the center of landfall. Rainfall totals of more than a foot could lead to flooding, especially just north of Tampa.
Flooding inland in Florida as well as into extreme South & Southeast Georgia will occur as well, mainly Thursday into early Friday.
While all this activity is going on here in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico a rare event is occurring near Hawaii. A pair of Hurricanes is poised for a narrow miss of the Big Island of Hawaii. Never before has the Big Island taken a direct hit from a hurricane. The good news is that Madeline should slip just south and Lester just north of the Big Island as they continue moving westward across the Pacific. For now at least it looks like the Islands of Hawaii will dodge two bullets in a row.