Tropical Storm Warning Issued in Florida Ahead of Potential ‘Alex’ | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel
- Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for parts of southern and central Florida.
- This is in advance of the expected formation of a Gulf tropical depression or storm.
- The system will bring soaking rain to parts of Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas.
- Wind shear and dry air will limit this system’s intensity, which would be named Alex if it becomes a tropical storm.
Tropical storm watches and warnings have been posted in parts of Florida ahead of the likely formation of a Gulf tropical depression or storm that will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to those areas into the weekend.
An area of low pressure located near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the northwest Caribbean Sea is producing clusters of showers and thunderstorms right now.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has dubbed this system “Potential Tropical Cyclone One,” a procedure allowing the NHC to issue advisories, watches and warnings for a system that hasn’t yet developed but poses a threat of tropical-storm-force winds to land areas within 48 hours.
Due to models indicating a slightly faster motion across the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storm warnings have now been hoisted for the Florida Keys and for the west coast of Florida south of Englewood. Winds over 40 mph are expected in this area Friday night or early Saturday.
Tropical storm watches are also in effect from near Sarasota and Bradenton southward to Englewood and for the Atlantic coast to the Volusia-Brevard County line. Tropical-storm-force winds (39 mph or greater) could arrive in these areas by Friday night or Saturday morning and could last into Saturday afternoon or evening.
Tropical storm watches have also been hoisted in western Cuba, including the capital of Havana, where tropical-storm-force winds could occur on Friday. Such watches have also been issued for the northwestern Bahamas.
The NHC expects this system to strengthen into Tropical Storm Alex on Friday as it draws closer to Florida.
Fortunately, upper-level winds over the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be strong, providing strong wind shear that should limit the intensity of this system.
Those strong upper-level winds should also make the system lopsided, meaning most of its impacts of heavy rain and gusty winds could be relatively far east and southeast of its center.
Keep this in mind when looking at the forecast path above, which is the potential path of the storm’s center.
Dry air over the Gulf of Mexico may also become ingested by the system and help to limit its intensity.
Timeline and Potential Impacts
Here is a general timeline we’re expecting from this system over the next few days.
–Friday: Soaking rain spreads into South Florida and continues in western Cuba. Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive late at night.
–Saturday: The storm will move across the Florida Peninsula with soaking rain, gusty winds. Heavy rain is possible in the northwest Bahamas. The system then moves east of Florida Saturday night with slowly improving conditions.
–Sunday: The system then will track off the Southeast U.S. coast. Gusty winds could stir up high surf and dangerous rip currents along the Southeast coast, even with much of the rain from this system staying offshore.
-Sunday Night-Monday: The system then moves into the open Atlantic away from the East Coast.
South Florida, including the Florida Keys, western Cuba and the western Bahamas could pick up anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, from this system. This is where rainfall flooding is most likely from this system.
Modest coastal flooding is possible in the southern Florida Peninsula from the Florida Keys to Longboat Key near Sarasota, where up to 1 to 3 feet of inundation is possible at high tide.
The Gulf Is a June Hotspot
The Gulf of Mexico, Bay of Campeche and the western Caribbean Sea have historically been hot spots for development in June.
Last year, Tropical Storm Claudette formed, then quickly moved ashore in Louisiana and the Deep South on Father’s Day weekend.
It’s another reminder that now is a good time to develop or refresh your hurricane plan well before the season’s first storm or hurricane.
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