Potential tropical storm has Bahamas and Florida in its path
A weather system that is expected to form near Florida’s east coast this weekend as Tropical Storm Humberto has stopped near the northwestern Bahamas and could become a hurricane early next week.
The disturbance — which forecasters say is expected to become a tropical depression or tropical storm later Friday or early Saturday —is stationary, as of the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. advisory Friday, with maximum sustained winds at about 30 mph. The storm was traveling only slightly faster — 1 mph — early Friday.
“The system has been meandering during the past few hours, but is expected to resume a slow motion toward the northwest and north-northwest later today,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters say the system may bring tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall to portions of the northwestern Bahamas as it develops into a tropical storm later Friday and Saturday. The track shows it moving across the central and northwestern Bahamas Friday and along or over the east coast of Florida Saturday and Saturday night.
Coastal sections of eastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina may see heavy rainfall and scattered flash flooding this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center, and heavy rainfall could reach eastern North Carolina next week.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Jupiter Inlet to the Flagler-Volusia county line. Tropical storm conditions could be possible in the watch area by Saturday or Saturday night, according to the hurricane center’s early morning advisory. But, the National Weather Service says tropical storm conditions could last into early next week in some areas.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have a stormy weekend if you live along Florida’s Gulf coast like in Naples, Bradenton, Sarasota and Tampa. The forecast is calling for a 40 to 60 percent chance of showers with the potential for thunderstorms and slight flooding in low-lying areas until Sunday night when the rain chances drop to a low 20 percent.
Those along South Florida’s east coast, particularly in Palm Beach County, are the ones at risk for tropical-storm force winds, heavy rain, localized flooding and a high risk of rip currents along the Atlantic beaches, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters say they also can’t rule out a tornado risk, but that it depends on the system’s track, which they still have uncertainty about.
The National Hurricane Center says the U.S. Southeast Coast from Central Florida into South Carolina can expect to see two to four inches of rain through Sunday.
Here’s how wet it will be this weekend in South Florida, according to the National Weather Service:
Miami-Dade County is looking at a 50 to 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday, with new rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, though higher amounts are possible during thunderstorms. Once Saturday night rolls around, however, those chances drop to 30 percent until Sunday night when they get to a low 10 to 20 percent.
Broward County has a 60 to 70 percent chance of showers Saturday, with new rainfall between a quarter and half of an inch possible. The rain chances could slowly start to drop during the night, but don’t expect to wake up Sunday rain free. The forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers, with possible thunderstorms.
Palm Beach County, which is where forecasters expect will feel most of the bad weather, is expected to have rain all day with a 70 percent chance of rain, with south winds up to 8 mph. The good news is that your rain chances drop to a low 30 percent late Saturday night, so you might be able to do a late night run to your local Denny’s without getting drenched. Unlike Miami-Dade and Broward, your Sunday isn’t looking better with 60 percent chance of showers likely.
The Keys Saturday forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms, with northeast winds of 10 to 15 mph. But, don’t feel too down, it’s actually better than your Friday forecast of 60 percent chance of rain.
Those in Central Florida who are not in the tropical storm watch area may have a forecast similar to Palm Beach’s with around 70 percent chance of rain and thunder. However, your forecast also calls for stronger winds. Orlando’s forecast, for example, says the winds will be 15 to 20 mph Saturday, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Central Florida residents who are living in watch areas like Vero Beach and New Smyrna Beach could also see possible tropical storm conditions Saturday and Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.
St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach won’t see possible tropical storm conditions until Sunday but are still projected to see a heavy downpour Saturday with a 70 to 80 percent chance of rain. Those chances will jump to a whopping 90 percent Sunday.