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Tropical Storm Warning For Florida

Image: Courtesy FloridaStorms.org

A tropical storm warning is now in effect for all of South Florida and the Keys.  The warning also extends north on the east coast to the Brevard/Volusia county line and on the Gulf coast to Longboat Key.  The disturbance we’ve been watching is Potential Tropical Cyclone # 1 and is likely to become Tropical Depression # 1 later today and become Tropical Storm Alex before reaching the Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula on Saturday.

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Friday features periods of storms with very heavy rain, along with strong and gusty winds as we feel the effects of what’s now Potential Tropical Cyclone # 1.  Expect flooding, including significant street flooding, and a flood watch is in effect through Sunday morning.  Some storms from this system could be severe, with dangerous lightning, damaging wind gusts, small hail, and even an isolated tornado.  A high risk of dangerous rip currents is in place at all South Florida beaches through Sunday morning.  Highs on Friday will be in the humid low 80s.

Saturday will bring waves of showers and storms and windy conditions into the evening hours.  Saturday’s highs will be in the mid-80s.

Sunday will feature a morning mix of sun and clouds with a few afternoon storms.  Sunday’s highs will be in the upper 80s.

Monday will see mostly sunny skies around South Florida.  Look for passing showers and storms in the east coast metro area and some mid to late afternoon storms along the Gulf coast.  Monday’s highs will be in the upper 80s.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for lots of sun, a few clouds, and periods of showers and storms.  Highs on Tuesday will be in the upper 80s.

In the tropics, Potential Tropical Cyclone # 1 has formed.  At 5 am Friday, it was located near 22.3 North, 86.6 West, about 420 miles southwest of Fort Myers.  Maximum sustained winds were 40 miles per hour, but a closed circulation had not formed as of early Friday.  Potential TC # 1 was moving northeast at 6 miles per hour.  Tropical storm warnings are in effect for much of the Florida peninsula (including all of South Florida and the Keys), the northwestern Bahamas, and western Cuba.

Most of the convection in Potential Tropical Cyclone # 1 is on the eastern (right) side, so heavy rain will move through our area long before the center reaches the coast.  Expect heavy rain throughout Friday and into early Saturday, and a total of 4 to 8 inches of rainfall is expected, with some isolated locations possibly receiving up to a foot of rain.  Sustained tropical storm force winds are likely in the Naples area, and Miami-Dade and Broward can expect at least tropical storm gusts.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.


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