Forecasters on Monday gave a late-season tropical disturbance that developed in the Atlantic a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next two days -- and 90 percent by the end of the workweek -- as it heads northwest toward the Bahamas.
But Floridians shouldn't be too worried, as odds are favorable that a cold front developing over the week will steer the storm, named Invest 96-L, north and away from the East Coast.
"We have a low pressure system developing mid-week and it will be moving northeast and runs along the Eastern seaboard," said Rodney Wynn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "As it treks, it's going to steer the storm north and away."
Wynn said tropical systems are attracted to areas of low pressure, or cold fronts, and tend to steer toward them. While this disturbance -- which would be known as Tropical Storm Patty -- maintains that 90 percent chance of development, the cold front will have made its way to Florida by that time.
That's when Wynn said it will intercept the system, and presumably spare Florida.
"It helps to imagine high pressure like a mountain," said Wynn. "It will block any tropical pressure. But low pressure acts as a valley, inviting the tropical system right in."
"That's why we're very confident that this system will not be a threat to Florida or the East Coast."
That isn't the only favor this area of low pressure will grant Tampa Bay.
"Following the low-pressure cold front are some cooler Canadian winds which should bring temperatures down nearly 10 degrees," Wynn said.
That means lows will plunge into the low 50s -- and even chillier in areas north of Tampa Bay -- starting Friday morning, and highs only reaching the low to mid 70s.
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