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Tropical formation is ‘likely’ before hitting Florida

<i>CNN Weather</i><br/>As June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season
CNN Weather
As June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season

By Jennifer Gray, CNN

As Wednesday marks the beginning of hurricane season, the tropics have seemed to get the memo as well.

The first real sign of something brewing has come to light and could impact portions of Florida as early as Thursday.

This is partially due to what’s left from Hurricane Agatha, which made landfall in western Mexico on Monday, with winds higher than 100 mph.

While Agatha has dissipated over Mexico, the moisture associated with the storm is still on the move.

It could become our first tropical depression or tropical storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

We could soon see Alex

“This system is likely to become a tropical depression by the weekend as it moves northeastward into the northwestern Caribbean Sea, southeastern Gulf of Mexico, and crosses the Florida Peninsula,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its tropical weather outlook.

As of Wednesday morning, the NHC says there’s a 70% chance of tropical development with this system within the next 48 hours, and an 80% chance within the next five days.

This has the attention of forecasters across South Florida, as this area of disturbed weather moves in that direction.

“All eyes will turn to the Gulf of Mexico into the upcoming weekend as a developing area of low pressure moves northeastward towards the area,” said the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Miami.

While models aren’t quite lining up yet on exactly where this storm will go, parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba and South Florida will get increased moisture and rain from this system.

See if your area will be impacted

The European forecast model takes the system right over the Florida Peninsula Friday and Saturday.

The American forecast model has the storm taking more of a southerly route, over extreme South Florida and the Keys on Saturday and Sunday.

Our high resolution forecast model shows it somewhere in-between.

“This will likely be an east-heavy system with most precipitation on the eastern half of the low,” said the NWS office in Miami. “This means the deep layer moisture and heavy rains can start across the area as early as Thursday night based on current model trends.”

Regardless of development or track, based on the current guidance the ample tropical moisture that this system will bring will increase the likelihood of rain across the Sunshine State for the end of the week through the weekend.

“With the potential for deep tropical moisture moving into the area, heavy rainfall during this time frame could lead to localized flooding across South Florida, especially in areas that have been saturated due to recent heavy rains,” said the NWS office in Miami.

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A slight risk of flooding is currently in place across extreme South Florida for Saturday, according to the Weather Prediction Center’s (WPC) excessive rainfall outlook.

Gusty winds also could be a threat, the WPC said.

If this becomes Alex, this will be the first storm of what’s expected to be a busy Atlantic hurricane season.

There’s also another area the NHC is watching 200 miles east of the Bahamas.

Development looks unlikely with this system and is moving away from land.

Forecasters warn of another above average hurricane season

Just last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its forecast for this hurricane season.

They are forecasting an above average year with 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes — of Category 3 strength or greater.

There are several contributing factors that play into a “busy” hurricane season.

“We are in an active period,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad. “There are certain ingredients that drive the intensity and the frequency of hurricanes.”

One is the existing La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific.

This phenomenon creates cooler-than-average ocean temperatures around the equator in the Pacific and results in weather impacts around the globe.

La Niña presents favorable conditions for hurricanes — in contrast to that of El Niño.

How to prepare for hurricane season

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