Tropical Weather Aims at Tampa Bay
By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter
Forecast models are suggesting that a storm might arrive early next week.
It’s time to pay attention.
Hurricane season just started this week, but already an area of concern has emerged in the western Caribbean. Models so far have suggested that rain and thunderstorms could evolve into a tropical storm and cross the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida. And at the least, we should expect plenty of rain to start next week.
Here’s today’s National Hurricane Center 8:05 a.m. report:
“An area of showers and thunderstorms has developed over the western Caribbean Sea. This system is moving west-northwestward toward the
Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and a low pressure area is expected to form over the Yucatan or the adjacent waters by late this weekend. This low could develop into a tropical cyclone as it subsequently moves across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Peninsula early next week. Regardless of development, locally heavy rains and flooding are possible over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and the Florida Peninsula during the next several days. Formation chance through 48 hours: low, 10 percent; formation chance through 5 days: medium, 60 percent.”
And here’s what Accuweather says as of 10:43 a.m. today:
“The combination of low wind shear, warm water and lowering surface pressures in the area of concern may allow a tropical system to develop in the region (northwest Caribbean and eastern Gulf of Mexico). If a tropical system develops, indications are that it could track toward western Florida by late Monday night or Tuesday. Regardless of development, downpours will douse the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and much of the Florida peninsula.”
No panic, but as they say: Keep your weather eye peeled — and review your plans and supplies, just in case. The National Hurricane Center’s site is at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ .
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