Florida to endure flood threat from approaching Gulf system, hurricane center says

Tribune Content Agency

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center continues to track a system forming in the Gulf of Mexico expected to dump rainfall over a good portion of Florida as it slowly moves toward the state into the weekend.

In its 8 a.m. EDT tropical update, the NHC stated the area in the eastern Gulf continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms as a surface trough of low pressure interacts with an upper-level trough.

“Environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable for additional development over the next several days as the system meanders over the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” according to NHC forecasters. “The system is then forecast to move across the Florida Peninsula this weekend and emerge into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by early next week.”

The NHC gives the system a 10% chance of forming into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days, and 20% in the next seven days.

Its slow migration toward the state, though, is expected to produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds from Wednesday into the early weekend as moisture from the system mixes with the normal summer pattern of afternoon and evening thunderstorms related to heating throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.

Rainfall totals could average around 2 inches in some areas of Central Florida with as much as 3 inches closer to Lake Okeechobee, leading to localized flooding and standing water, the NWS warned.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, but the NHC reviewed data from a January storm and confirmed it was technically the season’s first tracked system, an unnamed subtropical storm.

So the first tropical depression of the season would be named Tropical Depression Two, and the first named system of the year would be Tropical Storm Arlene.