Forecasters are watching a low pressure system forming about 150 miles east-southeast of Jacksonville, according to a National Hurricane Center update Sunday evening.
During flights on Saturday and Sunday, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane found a well-defined center of circulation within the storm. But it remained unorganized, and the National Hurricane Center has not classified it as tropical depression.
The storm has a 40 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical depression within two days and is moving offshore in Florida. The system moved south from Georgia and the Carolina coast.
While thunderstorms and shower activity were still disorganized, “environmental conditions are marginally conducive for development, and a tropical depression could still form overnight or on Monday while the low moves slowly west-northwestward or northwestward, reaching the coast of northeastern Florida or Georgia Monday evening or Monday night,” the National Hurricane Center stated in its Sunday evening advisory.
Even if it were to strengthen into Tropical Storm Fred, however, Spectrum Bay News 9 Meteorologist Mike Clay said spaghetti models for the system show it could move any direction. That includes a path across the Sunshine State toward Tampa Bay, while others project the system will head east into the open Atlantic.
Stay with tampabay.com for updates on the system’s status.
Times Staff Writers Josh Fiallo, Natalie Weber, Michaela Mulligan and Thomas C. Tobin contributed to this report.
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