Cen­ter: Sys­tem off coast has 80% chance to form

Orlando Sentinel - - Local & State - By Joe Mario Ped­er­sen

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

Jayme King.

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.

LYNNE SLADKY/AP

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.

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