Chance of cyclone in far Atlantic increases to 50%; rain and flooding in South Florida forecast

David Selig, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Two tropical disturbances are being monitored by the National Hurricane Center as of Wednesday morning, with one being given larger odds of becoming at least a tropical depression.

In an 8 a.m. tropical weather outlook, the Miami-based hurricane center said a tropical wave far out in the eastern Atlantic closer to Africa now has a 50% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. That's up from the 40% chance forecasters were giving it Tuesday night.

The disturbance is expected to travel west over the open Atlantic at about 15 miles per hour.

By next early next week, a tropical depression could form several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, which mark the eastern perimeter of the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, a tropical wave that was over Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday had a low 10% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone, which refers to tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

"This disturbance is forecast to move northwestward to northward during the next several days, producing locally heavy rainfall over portions of the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and Florida," said the National Hurricane Center's latest outlook, issued at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"Conditions could become marginally conducive for development over the weekend while the system turns northeastward off the southeast U.S. coast."

The South Florida forecast office of the National Weather Service said Wednesday morning that the tropical wave that is closer to South Florida will "bring a chance for heavy rainfall and localized flooding into the weekend."

Forecasters also noted that minor coastal flooding will also be a possibility as a new moon and higher-than-average tides combines with the expected rain from the tropical wave.

About 2 to 3 inches of rain was expected through the weekend in South Florida.

The next system to develop into a tropical cyclone will be named Chantal, the third named storm of the 2019 hurricane season.

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30.

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