Tropical Weather: NWS watching western Caribbean for potential system

While the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1, we are watching an area of low pressure currently over the western Caribbean Sea.

There continues to be a broad, disorganized area of low pressure in the western Caribbean east of Belize. This is helping keep an area of showers and thunderstorms to persist from the Caribbean Sea north across central and western Cuba into Florida and parts of the Deep South.

Conditions over the next 24 to 36 hours are going to remain unfavorable for much organization as the low slowly moves north. However showers and thunderstorms will persist over the same area they have been occurring bringing locally heavy rain and flooding.

Late this week conditions can become more favorable for some organization in the central to east-central Gulf of Mexico.

While most computer models show some organization, they differ a little on where the low moves across the Gulf of Mexico and towards the Gulf States. They differ greatly on how strong the low becomes.

Water temperatures in this part of the Gulf are marginally warm enough to support development. If wind shear relaxes at this time development would be favored. Until we can get a more defined low pressure system, and a better handle on environmental conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, models will continue to struggle with strength and path of any low.

Regardless, the chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms persisting late this week and weekend from the Central Gulf States into the Southeast is high. Flooding concerns could become a lot more common and widespread over time.

Governor urges preparedness

Gov. Scott urged Florida residents and agencies to be prepared for rain and possible flooding.

“Although the storm currently has a relatively low chance of development into a tropical system, we must take it seriously,” Scott said in a statement. “That’s why it is critically important that all Floridians take this opportunity to get prepared and make a plan that ensures the safety of their family and loved ones.”

Read Scott’s statement in its entirety below:

“As we continue to monitor the developing weather system in the Caribbean Sea, we know that families can never be too careful or over-prepared when it comes to severe weather. Although the storm currently has a relatively low chance of development into a tropical system, we must take it seriously. That’s why it is critically important that all Floridians take this opportunity to get prepared and make a plan that ensures the safety of their family and loved ones. To make sure we are absolutely prepared, today, I also directed FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton to pre-position and stage its high water vehicles and all other flood response resources so they may be rapidly deployed to assist Floridians in need in the event of any flooding. FDEM is working hand-in-hand with the NHC to track this weather and we will continue to release regular updates on Florida’s preparation for severe weather and flooding as this system develops. I encourage all Floridians to follow @FLSERT on Twitter and visit FloridaDisaster.org to create an emergency preparedness plan for their family today.”

To make an emergency preparedness plan, visit Florida Disaster’s website.

Photo via the National Hurricane Center.

 

 

Author: AP/AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark
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