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Stormy Florida; Watching The Tropics

Thursday features showers, storms, and clouds as our weather continues to be affected by what is now Tropical Depression # 8 in the central Gulf of Mexico.   A moderate risk of dangerous rip currents remains at the Atlantic beaches.  Highs on Thursday will be in the muggy upper 80s.

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Friday will bring some sun and periods of showers and storms in the east coast metro area, while clouds, showers, and storms linger along the Gulf coast.  Friday’s highs will be in the low 90s along the Gulf coast and the upper 80s in the east coast metro area.

Look for clouds, showers, and storms at times on Saturday.  Saturday’s highs will be mostly in the upper 80s.

Sunday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with periods of showers and storms.  Sunday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

Monday’s forecast calls for showers and storms with sun and clouds at times.  Highs on Monday will be in the low 90s.

In the tropical Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gonzalo is likely to become a hurricane on Thursday.  At 5 am, Gonzalo was located near 10.0 North, 47.0 West, about 970 miles east of the southern Windward Islands.  Gonzalo was moving west at 12 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.  A hurricane watch is in effect for Barbados, and additional watches are expected later on Thursday.  After moving through the Windward Islands this weekend, Gonzalo is forecast to weaken to tropical storm strength in the eastern Caribbean.  Computer models are not in agreement beyond that point, and we’ll watch this one closely.

In the Gulf of Mexico, the wave that has brought us stormy weather is now Tropical Depression # 8.  At 5 am Thursday, TD # 8 was located near 26.0 North, 90.0 West, about 425 miles east-southeast of Port O’Connor, Texas.  Maximum sustained winds were 30 miles per hour, and TD # 8 moving west-northwest at 9 miles per hour.  A tropical storm watch is in effect for much of the Texas coast.  The depression is forecast to reach tropical storm status before reaching the coast on Saturday, but the main threat will be very heavy rainfall over southern Texas and portions of northern Mexico.

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.