Florida faces trop­i­cal peril on both coasts

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By KIM­BERLY MILLER

Florida is fac­ing trop­i­cal peril on both sides this week as a strong wave of mois­ture sweeps across the tip of the state and a cy­clone brews in the western Caribbean.

Palm Beach County will ex­pe­ri­ence gusty winds and rain for the next sev­eral days from the wave, which should clear the area Fri­day but leave trail­ing show­ers in its wake.

The trop­i­cal sys­tem, which was iden­ti­fied as a de­pres­sion by the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day and would be named Nate if it de­vel­ops into a storm, is fore­cast to move north from Nicaragua, graze Can­cun and land some­where be­tween Biloxi, Miss., and Clear­wa­ter.

The of­fi­cial hur­ri­cane cen­ter fore­cast calls for the de­pres­sion to reach hur­ri­cane strength be­fore land­fall Sun­day.

Hur­ri­cane cen­ter fore­cast­ers warned Wed­nes­day that with noth­ing to stymie de­vel­op­ment and only nour­ish­ing warm wa­ter in its path, rapid in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion is pos­si­ble. “The sys­tem is fore­cast to con­tinue strength­en­ing over the Gulf of Mex­ico and could af­fect por­tions of the north­ern Gulf Coast as a hur­ri­cane this week­end with di­rect im­pacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rain­fall,” fore­cast­ers wrote in their af­ter­noon dis­cus­sion. “How­ever, it is too early to spec­ify the tim­ing or mag­ni­tude of these im­pacts.”

South Florida isn’t ex­pected to see any ef­fects from would-be Nate, but the trop­i­cal wave will bring heavy rain­fall that could to­tal more than 5 inches in Palm Beach County through Sun­day.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Mi­ami is warn­ing lo­cally higher amounts are pos­si­ble as the wave moves through to­day and Fri­day.

“Even if the rain isn’t heavy all day, the chances are close to 100 per­cent,” said Stephen Konarik, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the NWS in Mi­ami. “After that we still kind of stay moist and we’ll have pretty high rain chances through the week­end.”

The weather ser­vice put Palm Beach County at a high risk for rip cur­rents, un­der high surf and coastal flood ad­vi­sories and un­der a flood watch.

While the flood watch was ini­ti­ated be­cause the ground is al­ready sat­u­rated from week­end rain­fall, the coastal flood ad­vi­sory is a cos­mic event.

To­day’s har­vest moon is bring­ing the higher king tides of fall that cause coastal flood­ing, ex­ac­er­bated by the east winds of the trop­i­cal wave. The sea­sonal shifts that af­fect king tides in­clude changes in winds, at­mo­spheric pres­sure and a slow­ing of the Gulf Stream cur­rent that runs the length of Florida’s east coast.

The har­vest moon is the full moon clos­est to the Septem­ber equinox, which was Sept. 22.

Konarik said tides are run­ning as much as 2 feet above nor­mal.

“That will peak with the full moon, but there will still be sev­eral more days with el­e­vated lev­els into early next week,” he said.

Lannis Waters / Daily News file photo

The har­vest moon brings the higher king tides of fall that cause coastal flood­ing, ex­ac­er­bated by the east winds of the trop­i­cal wave. Singer Is­land’s con­dos loom in the back­ground.

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