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TD # 13 Forms, South Florida Is Watching

Tropical Depression # 13 formed in the central Atlantic on Thursday night, and South Florida needs to watch it closely for possible impacts on Sunday night and into Monday.  In the meantime, we’ll see some typical August weather through Saturday.

Thursday features partly sunny skies in the morning and developing showers and storms in the afternoon.  Highs on Thursday will be in the low 90s — but it will feel about 10 degrees hotter, so stay hydrated.

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Friday will start with a mix of sun and clouds, followed by increasingly widespread showers and storms from the late morning through the afternoon.  Friday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

Saturday will be another summer day of sun and clouds in the morning and periods of showers and storms in the afternoon.  Look for breezy conditions near the Atlantic coast.  Saturday’s highs will be in the low 90s in the east coast metro area and the mid 90s along the Gulf coast and in the interior.

Sunday’s forecast will depend on the track and strength of Tropical Depression # 13.  For now, we’ll say that sun and clouds will rule in the morning, and clouds, showers, and gusty winds will increase during the afternoon.  Look for tropical storm force gusts by the evening hours.  Sunday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

We can expect TD # 13’s closest approach on Monday.  At least tropical storm force winds and periods of flooding rain are possible throughout South Florida on Monday.  Highs on Monday will be near 90 degrees.

Here’s the latest on TD # 13.  At 5 am Thursday, it was located near 15.2 North, 49.8 West, about 900 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands.  TD # 13 was moving west-northwest at a rapid 21 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds were 35 miles per hour.  TD # 13 is expected to reach tropical storm strength, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Saba and St. Eustatius, with additional watches and warnings likely for other islands in the northern Leewards, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  We’ll watch very closely for this system’s potential interactions with the mountains of Puerto Rico on Saturday and later with those of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba — all of which would limit any strengthening.  For now, we in South Florida will have to plan for at least possible tropical storm conditions by late Sunday into Monday.  Now is the time to check your supplies and keep updated on the progress of this system.

Also in the very busy tropics, the wave in the eastern Caribbean has a high chance of developing in the next couple of days after it enters the western Caribbean.  Computer models indicate that this system will end up in the Gulf of Mexico next week, so this one bears watching as well,  And there’s yet another wave ready to emerge into the eastern Atlantic from the African coast.

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.