(Image credit: NWS-Miami)
If rainy days and Mondays always get you down, look for a double-whammy on Labor Day, with the potential for heavy rain, gusty winds, and flooding, the National Weather Service in Miami says.
The culprit is the tropical wave north of Hispaniola that’s getting ready to move into the Bahamas on Saturday. It’s been getting more attention from the National Hurricane Center, which on Saturday jacked up development chances to 50 percent over the next five days.
The best chance for the system to become the season’s seventh tropical depression — or Tropical Storm Gordon — will be in the Gulf of Mexico after it exits the Florida peninsula, forecasters said. But the chance of development before it rakes the peninsula Sunday night and Monday went from near zero to 20 percent.
Heaviest rain should be focused on Florida’s East Coast. “This will be closely watched over the next couple of forecast cycles and if current trends hold, a Flood Watch may need to be considered for at least parts of South Florida for the Sunday Night/Labor Day,” NWS forecasters said.
The NHC promoted Tropical Depression Six, in the far eastern Atlantic, to Tropical Storm Florence early Saturday morning. Forecasters said some gradual strengthening was expected, but the more troubling news is a westward trend in the track forecast.
There are concerns that Florence may stay weak enough as it traverses the Atlantic to miss a break in the ridge, and eventually work its way far enough west to threaten the U.S. East Coast.
Here’s what the NHC’s Robbie Berg had to say about it: “After 48 hours, the storm is expected to reach a break in the ridge, causing it to slow down and turn northwestward by day 5. The biggest change noted among the track models on this cycle was a westward shift in the overall guidance envelope.
“The European model, in particular, swung significantly to the left, showing a weaker Florence not feeling the break in the ridge quite as much. I’d like to see this trend continue before making a significant change to the forecast, so for now the updated NHC track prediction is only nudged westward. That said, the models appear to be trending away from a definitive recurvature scenario.”
Saturday’s early run of the European put Florence disturbingly close to the Bahamas as a 975mb hurricane on September 11.
For the system headed to Florida, the GFS showed some weak development in the northern Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week; the European had it spinning up off Florida’s West Coast on Tuesday after moving through the Keys; and the Canadian (CMC) projected development near Key West on Monday before moving west toward Texas as a strong tropical storm.
AUGUST/ SUMMER WRAP: Friday was the end of the meteorological summer, but don’t bother searching the back of your closet for your sweater collection quite yet. The first cold front of autumn usually occurs around the middle of October, which is the same time as the end of the rainy season.
Here are a few precipitation stats for August and warmest June-August temperatures around the state:
Miami recorded 9.58 inches of rain in August, 0.70 above average. Warmest summer temp: 94 on June 21 and 22; July 21 and 23; and August 10. The highest June-August temperature in Naples was 96; Fort Lauderdale, 95 and West Palm Beach, 94.
Key West reported an August precipitation shortfall of 3.49 inches (1.89 inches fell). Highest summer temp was 94.
Orlando, 6.72 inches in August, a 0.41 shortfall. Warmest summer temp 95 on July 12.
Tampa, 14.50 inches, plus-6.83 for August. Highest summer temp, 96 on August 17.
Jacksonville, 7.68 inches of rain in August, 0.88 above normal. Warmest summer temp: 98 on June 21.
Tallahassee, August rainfall 11.48 inches, 4.13 above average. Hottest summer temp: 98 on June 20.