26 August 2016

Threat of significant South Florida impact greatly reduced

The same disturbance that we've been watching since it left the African coast back on the 16th, "99L", is still not even a depression, and is further from becoming one today than it ever has been.  It has entered an area of strong vertical wind shear, and is very disorganized.  The approximate center is north of eastern Cuba, though you wouldn't know it by looking at a satellite image.

Models continue to track the "center" of this system (open wave) over the southern Florida peninsula/Keys, though none do so at any intensity worth worrying about.  Quite a few are unable to track a coherent vortex for the entire forecast period.

However, shear is expected to relax in a couple days, and it could actually regain some organization while near Florida, but not to the point of reaching hurricane intensity.  One model (HWRF, orange line in the map below) still favors this system to cross south Florida/Keys and then intensify to a substantial hurricane once it enters the Gulf... that cannot be ruled out yet, so we'll keep a close on it.

As the wave axis approaches, winds will pick up and chances for heavy rain greatly increase... generally Sunday into Monday for south Florida.  At this point, winds are not expected to reach tropical storm strength.

Five-day forecast rainfall accumulation over south and central Florida. (NOAA/WPC)

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