A tropical storm watch has been hoisted Thursday afternoon for all of South Florida. A system in the southern Gulf of Mexico is gathering strength and poses an increased risk of tropical-storm-force winds and flooding over the next 48 hours.
While it is still too early to determine if the system will make landfall or not, it is never too early to prepare.
A tropical storm watch indicates that tropical-storm-force winds of at least 39+ mph are possible within 48 hours.
The system, anointed Potential Tropical Cyclone One, is expected to become a tropical depression or storm by Friday. Flash flooding is a risk as as the storm is predicted to generate heavy rain across South Florida. This weekend could see as much as a foot of rain which could possibly cause flash flooding.
The National Weather Service in Miami said that “it is becoming increasingly likely heavy rainfall will occur across South Florida Friday and Saturday.”
“With some areas across South Florida already drenched from recent heavy rainfall, the possibility for flash flooding would be the primary to be the primary effect from this disturbance,” The National Weather Service in Miami said.
In addition, strong to severe thunderstorms are also a danger, the Weather Service said, and isolated tornadoes will also be a possibility.
The tropical storm watch is in effect for:
The west coast of the Florida peninsula south of Longboat Key
The east coast of the Florida peninsula south of the Volusia/Brevard County line, including Lake Okeechobee.
Earlier today, the Florida Keys was issued a storm watch.
The storm will become Tropical Storm Alex if its sustained winds reach 39 mph.
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