The system is expected to move through southern Florida tonight and early Saturday before emerging into the Gulf of Mexico later in the day. NHC’s current forecast predicts the system to become a tropical storm over the weekend in the Gulf, but doesn’t rule out the possibility that it will happen tonight before it moves to Florida.
For this reason, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the Southeast Florida coast from south of Jupiter Inlet to north of Ocean Reef. Regardless of the storm’s name, it will bring rain on the order of 1-3 inches to Central and South Florida until Saturday. Some areas may see up to 5 inches.
The system is expected to move northwest and steadily strengthen from Sunday to early next week. The National Hurricane Center̵
Unfortunately, Tropical Depression Nineteen’s governance pattern is not very clear. “The uncertainty in the runway forecast is much greater than normal beyond 48 hours,” according to the hurricane center.
“As a result, the risk of seeing direct impacts from this system extends well outside the cone of uncertainty, even more than usual in this case,” says the hurricane center.
Most forecasting models expect the system to move to the northern Gulf coast between New Orleans and the Florida Panhandle by the end of Monday or Tuesday, but then the governance patterns break down and the system snakes near the coast.
Whether the meander is offshore before a landing or onshore will make a difference in terms of impacts. Either way, this will be one to keep an eye out for in the coming days because slow-moving tropical systems can lead to extreme flooding.
When this system gains enough strength to be a tropical storm, it will earn one of the next names on the list.
Paulette and Rene are currently in the central Atlantic Ocean and pose no immediate threat to landing and are not expected to approach the United States.
This means that if the South Florida system did form, it would likely be Sally or Teddy, whichever of the other possible development areas in the Atlantic is named first. There are currently three other areas that are looking for development.
If any of these forms, it will be the first eighteenth and possibly the nineteenth, or even the first twentieth named storm to form.