8 p.m. UPDATE: The remnants of Tropical Storm Kirk are likely to redevelop into a tropical cyclone during the next day or two before it moves into an area of highly unfavorable upper-level winds as it approaches the Caribbean, according to the latest Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
At 8 p.m., the remnants were about 750 miles east of the Windward Islands and moving quickly westward at 20-25 mph. Chance of tropical formation in the next 48 hours was 70 percent.
Meanwhile, off the coast of North Carolina, a low pressure area still has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical system. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported that the circulation has become better defined but the associated showers and thunderstorms remain disorganized.
An ambitious project to protect Treasure Coast waterways from rashes of damaging algae reached its first benchmark last week, meeting a deadline as tight as a gator’s bite, but now faces critics who decry it as shortsighted and discriminatory against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe.
The billion-dollar plan, slated for state-owned land in western Palm Beach County, includes sending Lake Okeechobee overflow into an above-ground bowl formed by berms up to 37-feet high to reduce freshwater discharges into the brackish ecosystems of the St. Lucie Estuary.
It is also touted as a partial answer to environmentalists’ refrain to send the water south into the greater Everglades — the natural path before man scarred Florida’s revered River of Grass with canals, roads and homes cut into marshland.
That watershed feeds into the lands of the Miccosukee, who fear receiving harmful nutrient-laden water tainted by agriculture north of the lake.
The tribe sent a letter to South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Ernie Marks the same day the district’s proposal was due to state lawmakers saying the plan — mandated by legislation passed in 2017 — discriminates against the Miccosukee in favor of the Treasure Coast.
“Clearly, the purpose of the legislation is to reduce the high volume of polluted water from being discharged into the northern estuaries,” wrote Billy Cypress, tribe chairman. “While we do advocate for ‘shared adversity,’ it seems time after time, the only adversity is that which is imposed on Tribal lands.”
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release says 21-year-old Michael Wenzel and 23-year-old Spencer Heintz of Palmetto, along with 28-year-old Robert Lee Benac of Bradenton, each face two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Wenzel and Benac also face a misdemeanor count of illegal method of taking a shark.
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 first significant cool front of the season with drier air and temperatures dipping as deep as 59 degrees overnight moved through South Florida yesterday, nearly two months later than normal.
Typically, late November is when the first arctic pushes of frigid air come streaming down from the north. But a high pressure system locked in place east of Florida and near Bermuda had the entire east coast feeling more tropical than frigid this Christmas.
National Weather Service meteorologists noted in Sunday’s forecast that “even under clearing skies Monday, high temperatures will struggle to reach 70 degrees.”
Morning lows are expected in the high 50s to low 60s. December ended the month at an average 76 degrees, 5.5 degrees above normal.
“Cooler and drier air streams into the area behind the front, giving all of South Florida the first decent shot of cool air of the winter (delayed by a good 4-8 weeks from normal),” forecasters in the Miami office of the NWS wrote.
The last time West Palm Beach saw a temperature reading in the 50s was March 2015.
While rain was expected overnight, they should dissipate this morning with drier air moving in.
“A rare coolish day is in store for the area Monday,” forecasters wrote.