Tropical Disturbance In Caribbean Showing Signs Of Development
An area of disturbed weather between Cuba and Jamaica has an increasing chance of developing into the season’s next tropical depression some time this weekend, increasing the flood risk across parts of South Florida.
Images from satellite are showing a better-defined system with heavier showers and thunderstorms over the central and western Caribbean Sea Friday morning. Computer models have been hinting at tropical development in this area for more than a week, but have been inconsistent in timing the organization of this system. The increasing organization of the disturbance prompted the National Hurricane Center to increase the chances of development to 60% as of their mid-morning Friday update.
Rainfall is running 150-250% of average over the past 30 days in #SouthFlorida. The prospect of additional heavy rain from continued easterly flow (and perhaps a tropical contribution) could easily lead to more flooding this weekend. #FLwx pic.twitter.com/3BLBC9bx3L— Ray Hawthorne (@ray_hawthorne) October 23, 2020
Days of easterly winds have been producing bands of heavy rainfall over portions of South Florida, where soils are already saturated. An analysis of gauge and radar data show that much of the Gold and Treasure coast areas have seen rainfall between 150 and 250 percent of average over the past 30 days. The forecast for 3 to 6 inches of additional rain in some areas this weekend is the reason why Flood Watches are in effect.
The forecast track and intensity of the disturbance is highly uncertain because it is in its formative stage. For much of the season, global computer models have done a poor job forecasting what meteorologists call the “genesis” (or formation) of tropical cyclones. The overall steering pattern may draw moisture northward from this disturbance into South Florida this weekend, but there is a good chance the core of the disturbance could stay in the Caribbean until early next week. Another cold front over the United States may pick this system up into the eastern or central Gulf of Mexico some time next week, but interests in Florida are encouraged to monitor forecasts this weekend as changes are likely.
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