The National Weather Service issued an advisory Sunday night for a storm moving east over Pahokee.
The advisory, in effect until 10:15 p.m., said a strong thunderstorm over Canal Point and moving east at 10 mph could bring wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph. These winds can down small tree limbs and branches and blow around unsecured small objects.
The system’s tropical storm-force winds, which extend up to 80 miles from its center, are not expected to have any affect on land as Gert makes a slow northeast turn and spirals farther north into the Atlantic.
Forecasters earlier in the day had predicted the storm would strengthen — and they expect it will grow more over the next day or two, according to the Hurricane Center’s Sunday evening advisory.
In the Pacific Ocean, forecasters are keeping an eye on the remains of Hurricane Franklin, now known as Tropical Depression Jova. That system has top winds of 30 mph and, like its Atlantic cousin Gert, is not expected to make landfall. Jova was forecast to dwindle to a remnant low overnight Sunday into Monday.
UPDATE, 8 p.m.: Satellite images indicate that the cloud pattern associated with the
broad area of low pressure centered about 800 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands has changed little in organization since yesterday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Environmental conditions are still favorable for a tropical cyclone to form within the next two days while the low moves westward or west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph across the tropical Atlantic.
The formation chance remains at 70 percent within the next two days and 80 percent within the next five days.
UPDATE, 2 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center said the low pressure system has not become any better organized during the day. The environmental conditions are still favorable for a tropical cyclone to form within the next two days. The formation chance remains at 70 percent within the next two days and 80 percent within the next five days.
ORIGINAL POST: National Hurricane Center forecasters said in their 8 a.m. update Tuesday that the low pressure system located about 800 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands could become a tropical depression or storm within the next 24 hours.
If the system does reach tropical storm status, it would be named Don.
The system remains more than 3,000 miles from West Palm Beach and if it ever threatens the U.S. mainland, wouldn’t approach until next week at the earliest.
In its 8 a.m. update, the NHC said the system will move westward or west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph across the Atlantic ocean. The formation of a tropical storm or depression in the next two days increased to 70 percent, and holds at 80 percent for formation in the next five days.
A broad area of low pressure hovering in the Atlantic about 650 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is showing signs of development as it moves westward.
Though there’s just a 10 percent chance of development in the next 48 hours, there’s now a 60 percent chance of tropical formation in the next 5 days, according to the National Hurricane Center’s outlook issued at 8 p.m. That’s up from 50 percent earlier in the day.
Shower and thunderstorm activity is disorganized, according the the hurricane center, but environmental conditions are expected to become more favorable for some development of the system later this week.
The disturbance is moving westward at 5 to 10 mph.
Update 5 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for areas of the Florida Gulf coast from Anclote River to Indian Pass.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for areas west of Indian Pass to the Walton and Bay county line.
The watches were issued despite the system still not becoming better organized and with limited evidence of banding features.
Official wind measurements remain at 35 mph.
But National Hurricane Center forecasters said a few of the computer models now turn tropical depression nine into a hurricane so the decision was made to issue a hurricane watch.
“It is important not to focus on the forecast landfall point of this system,” forecasters wrote. “Among other reasons, dangerous storm surge flooding is likely along the coast well to the east and south of the path of the center.”
While thunderstorm activity has increased, the organization of the system has not changed much since last night, forecasters said.
“Another NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft is scheduled to investigate the cyclone this afternoon to see if the depression has become a tropical storm,” the 11 a.m. discussion says.
The National Hurricane Center has also issued potential storm surge flooding maps for Florida’s Big Bend region. The maps are a new product being used operationally for the first time with this storm, said NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
Tropical depression 8 remains disorganized as of the 11 a.m. update and has maintained a wind speed of 35 mph, just under tropical storm strength. As the system moves closer to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, it is expected to strengthen some. The track of the system was shifted a little west this morning, putting it slightly closer to the Outer Banks, but it is still expected to make a hard north turn before landfall.
Previous story: Tropical depression nine was finishing its trek through the Florida Straits early this morning with winds of 35 mph, and is expected to become a tropical storm today.
As of the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the system is expected to track west-northwest today and turn more to the north tonight.
A tropical storm or hurricane watch may be issued today for part of Florida’s Gulf coast, the center said.
Hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said a hurricane watch could be issued if there is uncertainty in the intensity forecast when a strong tropical storm is in an environment that might allow for enough strengthening to push it to hurricane strength. It means winds of hurricane force would be possible.
If tropical depression nine gains tropical storm status it would be Hermine or Ian, depending on if it does so before tropical depression eight, which is off the coast of North Carolina.
Regardless of strengthening, TD 9 is expected to bring heavy rain to South Florida. Palm Beach County could expect 2.75 to 5 inches of rain through Thursday, and northern areas of the county were upgraded this morning to a “moderate” risk of excessive rain by the Weather Prediction Center.
“The stage is set for widespread moderate to heavy rains for Central to South Florida,” Weather Prediction Center forecasters wrote in their morning discussion. “High resolution guidance is very wet, showing either stripes of 7+ totals…..or local maxima of 5-7 inches.”
The National Weather Service in Miami said this morning precipitable water values are near record high for this date at 2.45 inches – meaning if all the moisture in the air column fell at once, it would equal 2.45 inches.
“Numerous showers and gusty squalls” are expected throughout the day with the potential for trailing rain bands to dump several inches in localized areas.
As tropical depression nine moves further away from Cuba, winds will turn more southerly with a breeze of 10 to 20 mph and higher gusts, NWS forecasters said.
For Palm Beach County, gusty winds up to 40 to 50 mph are also possible today, according to the National Weather Service in Miami. An alert for a high risk of rip currents is in effect.
Rain chances in West Palm Beach are 90 percent today.
Tropical depression eight, which is 95 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and its center will be near the Outer Banks this afternoon or evening. The system could become a tropical storm later today, but tropical storm warnings have already been issued for areas of North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet and Pamlico Sound.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter is investigating the depression this morning.
Hurricane Gaston, which is no threat to land, has 100 mph winds and is heading northeast at 6 mph. Little change in strength is expected over the next two days as it moves further out to sea.
In Florida, a stretch of the state from Sarasota to near Panama City is in the cone of tropical depression nine. It’s a similar area targeted by Tropical Storm Colin in June.
“Right now we’re thinking this will mostly be a big rain producer for the northwest and northern part of the peninsula,” said Dan Kottlowski, hurricane expert with the Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather. “It’s still fighting wind shear and there is a large area of dry air to its north, but it will soon be over very warm water with less shear.”
The National Weather Service in Tampa, issued a flood warning for the Myakka River this morning.
The system is expected to maintain tropical storm strength as it moves through Florida. The center of its track then takes it out into the Atlantic, but the northern edge of the cone skims the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Tyler Fleming, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tampa, said the area is bracing for 8 inches of rain or more over the next five days.
“We’re also looking for tides to be 1 to 3 feet above normal and some coastal flooding,” said Fleming, who didn’t want to compare the coming system to Colin. “Every storm is going to be unique.”
Update 8 p.m.:The National Hurricane Center said the tropical wave moving into the Caribbean Sea still has no closed circulation, but continues to have a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone over the next five days.
The wave, formally called Invest 97-L, is expected to hit the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight with gusty winds and heavy rain.
It is no threat to Florida.
As it continues its trek west, forecasters said it will enter an area more conducive for development and could become a tropical cyclone.
Update 2 p.m.: A tropical wave over the eastern Caribbean Sea continues to have a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone over the next five days as of the 2 p.m. forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
The wave has changed little from the 8 a.m. advisory, according the meteorologists, and still has no closed surface circulation.
But, forecasters are hinting that it could form up into something more in the next couple of days as continues its trek into the western Caribbean.
National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said the system will be sending wind and moisture into South Florida beginning Tuesday as the wave moves south of the state. Winds could increase to 17 mph over coastal areas with showers expected to increase and be more widespread into Wednesday.
Coastal Palm Beach County is down more than three inches of rain for the month of July and has a deficit of nearly five inches for the season, which began June 1.
The concern is what the wave does when it enters the super warm waters of the western Caribbean Sea in a couple of days. That’s when the chance for tropical cyclone formation really ramps up.
Tropical systems need sea surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees to develop and the water in the western Caribbean is a toasty 86 degrees.
But what could work against the wave’s development in the short term is its speed. It’s currently moving at a swift 25 to 30 mph, which can make it hard for it to develop into an organized cyclone.
AccuWeather forecasters are predicting the forward speed should lessen by midweek, putting the wave in a better spot for development with less wind shear.
“Even if the wave fails to develop before reaching central America or Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, it could then organize int he Bay of Campeche later in the week,” said Rob Miller, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
Update 4:21 p.m. A significant weather advisory has been issued for western Palm Beach County alerting to the possibility of funnel clouds as a line of strong thunderstorms with rotation moves northeast at 35 mph.
This advisory is in effect until 5:15 p.m. The storms could include gusty winds of up to 55 mph . A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 9 p.m.
Update 3:15 p.m.: A line of severe thunderstorms producing waterspouts has triggered a marine warning by the National Weather Service for coastal waters from the Jupiter Inlet to Biscayne Bay. The line of storms is moving east at 23 mph with winds gusting to 40 mph.
Waterspouts can easily overturn boats and create suddenly higher seas. This video was taken at about 2:45 p.m. today in Fort Lauderdale.
Update, 2:25 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for areas with poor drainage in northeastern Palm Beach County. The advisory is in effect until 4:15 p.m.
The alert comes after Doppler radar spotted thunderstorms possible of producing heavy rain. More than two inches of rain has already falling in some areas, according the the NWS.
Some locations expected to experience flooding include, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Tequesta and Juno Beach.
Update, 1:30 p.m.: Palm Beach County has been upgraded to a slight risk of thunderstorms by the Storm Prediction Center in Norma, Okla., which is the second tier alert on a five-tier scale. South Florida was not previously expected to have these kinds of severe storms today, and was not even considered marginal for activity as of Friday afternoon.
Palm Beach County remains under a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m.
According to center forecasters warm tropical air blowing from the south is colliding with the forecast cold front boundary in Palm Beach County, causing new storms to develop.
“An isolated tornado or two also does not appear out of the question,” forecasters wrote in their most recent convective outlook. “There now appears enough potential to support slight risk probabilities across parts of the central/southern peninsula.”
About 4.7 million people in a swath of South Florida including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Pompano Beach are now in the “slight” category for severe weather.
Forecasters said as the system moves east, a squall line with hail and an embedded tornado is possible.
While a 60 to 70 mph wind shear from the surface to middle atmosphere is strong enough to initiate severe storms, the available energy for the storm in the form of warm moist air is more modest.
But the storms are expected to intensify this afternoon with more daytime heating, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Update, 1:25 p.m.: The National Weather Service has changed its alert status to severe thunderstorm watch.
The alert is active through 9:00 p.m. in Palm Beach, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties.
Update, 1 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for northeastern Palm Beach County until 1:15 p.m.
The storm is 8 miles south of Indiantown moving east at 25 mph and includes wind gusts of 60 mph.
Locations that will be impacted include Palm Beach Gardens, North County Airport, Jupiter Farms, Philo Farms and Caloosa.
Original post: A significant weather advisory for 45 to 55 mph winds for north central Palm Beach County until 1 p.m. has been issued by the National Weather Service.
Radar is tracking a strong thunderstorm near Canal Point moving northeast at 30 mph.
The primary impacts will be gusty winds that can knock down small tree limbs and branches.
Jupiter, Tequesta, Canal Point, Limestone Creek, Jupiter Farms, Philo Farms and Caloosa are the areas that could be affected.