FIRST ALERT: Tropical, Weekend and Eclipse Forecasts

Drier air aloft spreading across the southern half of Florida late Friday will limit the amount of Suncoast thunderstorms that form for most of Saturday. But that high altitude dryness will also bring more bright sunshine without very many passing clouds to provide occasional relief from the heat.  That means the heat index will soar to between 105 and 108 degrees in many places.  Scattered thunderstorms are expected to return Sunday, which will help cool things off. 

The outlook for the Great American Eclipse on Monday calls for variable clouds and scattered showers across the Suncoast at the time of greatest coverage of the sun.  That will occur at about 10 minutes before 3 in the afternoon. But with some aspects of the eclipse visible for 2 and a half hours, we should all get to see at least some of the moon passing in front of the Sun.  Just remember to  NEVER look directly at the sun, and only to use approved eclipse glasses.

ABC7 will provide the safest way to watch the eclipse, with coverage starting Monday at 1 p.m. immediately following our noon news.

Tropical Storm Harvey is encountering unfavorable conditions for strengthening over the western Caribbean.  Maximum sustained winds are predicted to remain below 50 mph over the weekend, but increase Monday as it approaches the coast of Central America. 

On its current path, Harvey poses no threat to the United States, unless it regains strength over the Gulf of Mexico after passing over the Yucatan Peninsula next Wednesday.

Steve Newman