We are still monitoring an area of disturbed weather in the Caribbean that will play a big role in our weather for early next week across southwest Florida. As of Friday, the earliest scheduled recon flight into the system will be Saturday and that will be tentative on the development of the system overnight Friday into Saturday morning. The most likely scenario is for the recon flight to occur Sunday to investigate the system.
It does appear as it stands now that this storm will be a more of an inconvenience than anything else. We are not expecting a hurricane, nor do we expect a strong tropical storm (winds 60-70 mph). I feel at the most we’ll see a weak tropical storm or even better a tropical depression that will give us a good soaking for a couple of days before moving on into the Atlantic.
As far as potential impacts assuming this does develop into a weak tropical storm Colin, rain appears to be the biggest issue. Regardless of development this storm will produce plenty of rain. This much is guaranteed. It is still too early to try to pinpoint which areas will see the heaviest rainfall, but what we do know about these types of systems, particularly in June is that most of the rainfall occurs on the right side of the storm track. So, wherever it comes ashore, expect the heaviest rain to be near and to the right of the track. This area will have a direct tap from the Gulf of Mexico and there will be plenty of moisture available for a good soaking. How much rain? 2-4” in general with some areas seeing higher totals around 6-7” depending on where the most persistent rain bands set up.
Another concern is the threat for severe weather and isolated tropical-type tornadoes that often form with these systems. The storm will be approaching southwest Florida from the Gulf. This will put the area in the favorable right front quadrant where enhanced wind shear in the low levels will create spin and allow for a few tornadoes to develop in the rain bands. Given the forecast track, southwest Florida will be in a favorable area for these types of storms. Tides also will be higher than normal given the expected persistent onshore flow, so minor coastal flooding may become an issue along with heavier surf and rip currents.
My thinking hasn’t changed since Thursday. The primary factors working against this being anything more than a low-end tropical storm are expected southwesterly wind shear and dry air that will reside across the northern Gulf by later this weekend and early next week and the fact that it won’t be over the Gulf longer than a day and half, not long enough to organize and take advantage of water temperatures that are exceeding 80. I expect the storm to approach the coast by Monday night and early Tuesday then move out fairly quickly as it gets caught up in those aforementioned southwesterly winds. Most models agree on bringing the storm onto the west coast of Florida anywhere from the Big Bend south to Lee & Collier Co. Enjoy your weekend. There will be no issues other than the typical afternoon storms along the sea breezes. The weather will begin going downhill late Sunday night with wet weather likely for Monday and Tuesday, along with breezy conditions. Nothing to worry about, just more of a big inconvenience for some of you. As always, we’ll keep you updated on any changes.
Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley