Forecasters are eyeing a system off Florida’s east coast with the potential to develop into a tropical storm by early next week.
National Hurricane Center forecasters are monitoring a trough of low pressure over the eastern Caribbean Sea that could bring wet, rainy weather to Tampa Bay by Election Day.
National Weather Service meteorologist Christianne Pearce called the system “very disorganized,” and said it was too early to say how much of an effect the storm will have on Florida’s west coast but that the Tampa Bay area likely would see an increase of rain by early to the middle of next week.
“More of the models are getting into agreement that it could affect the east coast by the middle of next week,” she said. “We could see some rain on our coast as well.”
As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the disturbance was producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms and predicted to move northward over the southwestern Atlantic by Sunday, near Hispaniola.
A subtropical or tropical depression could develop by early next week, after which the system is expected to move westward to west-northwestward over the southwestern Atlantic. According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a 70% chance of formation over the next five days.
Regardless of its development, National Hurricane Center forecasters predict an “increased risk of coastal flooding, gale-force winds, heavy rainfall, rough surf and beach erosion” among much of the southeastern United States including Florida’s east coast and portions of central and northwestern Bahamas. The disturbance is expected to bring heavy rainfall to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands over the weekend.
Another disturbance located farther east in the Atlantic is unlikely to pose a risk to Florida, Pearce said. That system, though better defined than it had been, is located several hundred miles east of Bermuda and has a 50% chance of developing over the next two to five days.
According to the 2 p.m. update, “a tropical or subtropical depression could form within the next few days while the system moves northwestward, and then turns northeastward over the central Atlantic.” After that, the system is expected to merge with a strong cold front, ending the chance of further development.
Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Depression Lisa, which had been hovering roughly 60 miles northwest off the coast of Veracruz, Mexico, had dissipated by Saturday morning.