UPDATE: Possible tropical system drenches South Florida

Update 8 p.m.: The weak low-pressure area over Florida is interacting with an upper-level low to produce a large but disorganized area of cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean northward through most of the state, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Environmental conditions appear to be marginally conducive for some additional development before the upper-level winds become unfavorable early next week, according to the center’s 8 p.m. tropical weather outlook. The chance of a tropical system forming over the next five days is 40 percent.

Regardless of development, the system is likely to produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of western Cuba, the Florida Keys, and the Florida peninsula during the next several days while the system moves northwestward to northward, according to the NHC. The next tropical outlook will be issued at 2 a.m.

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In Palm Beach County: Rain likely tonight, Saturday

Showers are likely through the night in Palm Beach County under mostly cloudy skies, according to the National Weather Service forecast. The chance of rain is 70 percent. Expect lows in the mid-70s and southerly winds around 5 to 10 mph.

On Saturday, the forecast calls for partly sunny skies in the morning, then mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Look for highs in the upper 80s and southeast winds around 10 to 15 mph.

Cars splash through a flooded section of US1 in Lake Worth Friday afternoon, September 29, 2017. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Update 2 p.m.: Parts of Florida’s east coast are slipping out of the soggiest projected zone for the would-be tropical storm coming from the south, but forecasters warned of rain and gusts for days to come and seas up to seven feet “primarily off Palm Beach County” Friday evening.

The National Weather Service puts the chance of showers at 80 percent for West Palm Beach this afternoon, with up to half an inch of rain falling. The chance of rain falls to 50 percent Saturday with up to a quarter inch of precipitation.

Sunday brings a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and gusts up to 24 mph.

Rain chances remain 50 percent or higher at least through Thursday for most of the region.

Forecasters warned of a moderate risk of rip currents on all Atlantic beaches.

UPDATE 11 AM: While the would-be tropical system moving over Florida was expected to bring rains of 1 to 2 inches by midday, “rain chances along the east coast metro will be more limited later in the day with heaviest rains focusing along and (northwest) of a Naples to Lake Okeechobee line,” the National Weather Service’s Miami office said in a midmorning update.

9 A.M.: If you were thinking about restarting your sprinklers for the weekend, you might want to hold off.

A system that might or might not become tropical is, at the very least, “likely to produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of central and western Cuba, the Florida Keys, (and) the Florida peninsula during the next several days, according to a National Hurricane Center 8 a.m. Tropical Weather Outlook update.

And the National Weather Service’s Miami office said in an early morning update that “regardless of development, a stormy period is expected across South Florida through the upcoming weekend with the potential for locally  heavy rainfall leading to localized flooding, along with gusty winds.”

And as if the Maria-ravaged eastern Caribbean needed more misery, there’s a tropical wave.

“Although there are no signs of organization,” the tropical outlook said, “Conditions could become a little more favorable for some development next week while the system moves toward the west-northwest. This system is expected to bring locally heavy rains over the northern Leeward Islands, including  Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Palm Beach Post weather reporter Kimberly Miller is traveling to Puerto Rico Friday to report on conditions.

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