Center: System off coast has 80% chance to form
An area of thunderstorms passing over the Florida straits Friday night is was expected to become the first tropical storm of the year.
The area of pressure is already producing gale force winds as it passes by southwest Florida and heads toward the Bahamas where it has a 80 percent chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical storm in the next 48 hours and over the next five days, according to the National Hurricane
Center 8 p.m. update on Friday.
However, odds are point to Saturday morning as a likely time for the system to develop, said NHC hurricane specialist Robbie Berg.
Meteorologists expect the system to bring heavy rainfall and possible tropical-storm-force winds to the Florida Keys, southeast Florida and the central and northwest Bahamas through Saturday.
“Regardless of development, the disturbance will continue to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds across portions of southeastern Florida and the northwestern Bahamas through Saturday,” Berg said.
“In addition, hazardous marine conditions will continue off the Florida east coast and in the Bahamas, where Gale Warnings are currently in effect,” he said. “Dangerous surf conditions and rip currents are also possible along portions of the southeast U.S. coast this weekend and early next week.”
Central Florida has a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of rain Saturday, said FOX 35 meteorologist
If the storm forms with circulation with sustained winds over 39 mph, it will be named Arthur.
Hurricane season officially begins on June 1. If Arthur forms, this will be the fifth season in a row that a storm developed in May.
In 2019, subtropical storm Andrea started hurricane season early on May 20, east of the Bahamas, but petered out by May 21.
The Miami skyline is shrouded in clouds as a cyclist rides along Biscayne Bay on Friday. A trough of low pressure moving through the Florida Straits could organize over the northwest Bahamas on Saturday and become the first named storm of the hurricane season.