Yesterday was the official peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the map is lit up with no less than two tropical storms and four additional areas to watch for future development. Only one of those areas is of immediate concern to Florida, a broad area of showers and thunderstorms in the Bahamas that might become a tropical depression tonight or tomorrow as it passes over southern Florida. There is no immediate expectation of this becoming a tropical storm or hurricane while it makes its pass over the southern part of the state, but locally heavy rainfall is expected in the Keys and the southern part of the state. From there, the forecast models generally agree that further development could happen in the Gulf of Mexico and any system that forms would mostly head towards the north-central Gulf Coast. There are still a few days to go before that picture becomes clear. In the meantime, try not to get freaked out by the big scary red swath that’s showing up on the map. The color refers only to the chance of development… not the strength of the storm. Right now there’s no immediate threat of direct impacts to Central Florida Attractions area, but we’ll keep an eye out for any potential spinoff effects such as severe storms. Here’s the Hurricane Center’s discussion on the storm system:
Shower and thunderstorm activity located over the northwestern and central Bahamas and the adjacent waters continues to shows signs of organization. In addition, surface observations indicate that pressures have fallen over the area since yesterday and, along with wind and satellite data, suggest that a broad area of low pressure could be forming between the northwestern Bahamas and South Florida. This system is forecast to move westward at about 10 mph, and it could become a tropical depression while it is near South Florida tonight. But if not, the disturbance is expected to become a tropical depression while it moves slowly west-northwestward over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend and early next week. Regardless of development, this system is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of the Bahamas, South Florida, and the Florida Keys during the next couple of days, and interests there, as well as along the northern and eastern Gulf coast, should monitor its progress. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...70 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.
Other ares to watch are further out in the Eastern and Central Atlantic, but we’re quite a while away from knowing if those are of concern to us or not. Keep calm and carry on!