We are less than a week into the start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season and there already appears to be another storm potentially brewing in the Caribbean and southern Gulf. As of Thursday afternoon, nothing had developed yet but we are monitoring an area of showers and storms east of Nicaragua that may try to develop into an area of low pressure later this weekend and move our way by early next week.
Right now the general consensus from most of the long-range computer models is that an area of low pressure will develop slowly and begin tracking toward the state of Florida as early as Monday or Tuesday. The main threat from this storm system will be locally heavy rainfall and the potential for flooding as it moves through. Some rainfall estimates are projected to top 4” in some areas. It is still too early to pinpoint where the heaviest rain will fall, as that will ultimately depend on the eventual track and strength of the system. Also, breezy conditions will develop Monday into Tuesday as the system approaches.
At this time it appears that the strongest this system would become would be a low-end tropical storm. The environmental conditions will not be ideal for significant strengthening given some expected southwesterly wind shear. Also its transit time over the Gulf will be short, not giving it a chance to take advantage of water temperatures in the low to mid 80s. The most likely scenario of a tropical depression or weak tropical storm tracking toward the Florida west coast by Monday night or Tuesday seems most reasonable at this point. It is important to note that these storms tend to have a mind of their own and the forecast is subject to change. The main thing to take away from this is to know that we will at LEAST see good soaking rains the first couple of days next week. We’ll definitely keep you updated.
It will be VERY wet to start next week. We’ll keep you posted on its progress through the weekend. If there are any drastic changes to the current thinking and forecast we'll let you know.
Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley