76ºF

Potential tropical system has moved past Miami-Dade and Broward, still trying to organize

Tropics satellite image for Saturday, May 16.
Tropics satellite image for Saturday, May 16. (WPLG)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The broad area of low pressure that we’ve been tracking the last few days has moved north on schedule. It’s passed Miami-Dade and Broward, trying to organize into a well-defined circulation near the northern Bahamas.

The high-pressure system that was causing the continuous windy weather all along the Florida east coast and over the Bahamas this week has moved away, so the only concern now is with bands and clusters of heavy tropical downpours rotating around the developing circulation. Some of these gusty thunderstorms will affect the Dorian-battered islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, but generally the worst weather will over the ocean farther north. Some bands will also rotate into the Central Florida coast.

The atmospheric pattern will become increasing conducive for the system to organize today, and there is a decent chance it will become a Subtropical Depression or Subtropical Storm by tonight or tomorrow. It’s called subtropical because the ingredients that created the system included an old cold front and wintertime-like upper-air disturbances. If it sheds those legacy components, and there are signs that it will, it will simply be called a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. It becomes a Tropical Storm if the winds in the circulation reach 40 mph.

The atmospheric pattern will stay fairly conducive for the system to organize over the next couple of day as it tracks offshore and parallel to the Southeast U.S. coast. The fairly cool ocean-water temperatures – it is still May after all – should limit its potential strength, however. On Monday, it might come pretty close to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The computer forecast models disagree on how far offshore the system will track.

In South Florida, the atmosphere is already drying out as the winds on the backside of the circulation, pull in drier air from the Gulf of Mexico. Much better weather is ahead.


About the Author: