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Tropical depression expected to form in Caribbean, send rain to Tampa Bay

The tropical action is far from Florida, but those tropical waves are still expected to result in a wet weekend.

Meteorologists continue to monitor two tropical disturbances that are churning far south of Florida. But Tampa Bay could still feel their effects this coming weekend.

Both systems will help send rain toward the bay area, said Spectrum Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay.

“It’s going to be wet,” he said. “Moisture is going to come back in really quickly.”

Related: FRIDAY UPDATE: Tropical Depression 25 has now formed

The most advanced of the duo is the tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea, designated Tropical Disturbance 1. It has an 90 percent chance of growing into a tropical depression by Saturday.

“Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for a tropical depression or a tropical storm to form later today or Saturday if the system remains over the waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea or southern Gulf of Mexico,” the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Friday morning.

Clay doesn’t think it will grow stronger than that, however.

Related: Tropical depression could soon form; second system emerges in Atlantic

The system is moving west at 11 to 17 mph and is expected to drench southeastern Mexico, Central America, and western Cuba with thundershowers and could also produce flash flooding.

But whether it continues to grow into an even stronger system depends on whether it stays over water or veers over the Yucatán Peninsula or northern Central America, where the land mass could disrupt it.

A second wave aka Tropical Disturbance 2 is east of the Lesser Antilles. It is also moving west, at 15 to 20 mph and has a 30 percent chance of strengthening in the next five days or so as it enters the central or western Caribbean next week.

The National Weather Service is monitoring two tropical disturbances that are churning south of Florida. [ National Hurricane Center ]

Tampa Bay has a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday and that grows to 80 percent on Sunday. Highs will max out at the 80s while lows will be a cool 72 degrees. But it will only be cool because of the rain and clouds.

Despite the recent lull of tropical activity in the Atlantic, we are still in the midst of an active storm season producing named storms at a historically rapid pace. There have been 23 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes, Laura and Teddy, that have formed at a rapid rate.

This season has been so busy that all 21 storm names have been used up for the first time since 2005. The next named storm, the 24th of the year, will be designated with the Greek letter Gamma.

Related: La Niña is here. That’s bad news for hurricane season and wildfires
The seven-day weather outlook for Tampa Bay from Spectrum Bay News 9 meteorologists. [ Spectrum Bay News 9 ]

• • •

2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE FOR COVID-19 AND THE STORM: The CDC's tips for this pandemic-hurricane season

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

Lessons from Hurricane Michael

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

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