SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY TUESDAY - An area of low pressure over Georgia is set to emerge into the NE Gulf on Tuesday. From there it will drift slowly to the south over some very warm water and then to the west through this work week.
Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 80′s over the area this low will be moving and conditions are expected to become more favorable for this to develop into the next tropical cyclone. The next name up on the list is Barry. Will it get enough power (39 mph sustained winds) to be named that remains to be seen but more and more it is looking like it will later this week.
It will have a very large circulation at first and that will make it difficult to intensify rapidly. This large or broad area of low pressure will be close enough to the Suncoast to produce showers and thunderstorms which may bring some very heavy rain at times to parts of the Suncoast. It’s difficult to pin point exactly where the training (many storms moving over the same area) will set up but where it does expect the potential of 4-6 inches of rain.
The atmosphere is really juiced up right now and that means you will see blinding downpours with rainfall rates at 2-3 inches per hour with some of the storms. This makes driving treacherous. Remember you are required to have your headlights on while using the wipers. Also you should not use your emergency flashers while moving.
This storm will be close enough to us through Wednesday to bring the potential for some heavy rainfall before it slowly heads west toward Texas or Louisiana . Most of the forecast models suggest a westerly motion through Thursday and then there is a split between the models after that. The European takes it more toward the TX, LA border, while some others take it toward MS, LA border on Friday. It is too early to speculate where it is going to go because it hasn’t even formed as of yet.
Tuesday we can expect variable cloudiness throughout the day with an 80% chance for periods of showers and thunderstorms followed by a few hours of relative calm. Winds will be out of the WSW at 10-15 mph with some higher gusts with the approaching storms. The high on Tuesday expected to be 89.
Rain chance stays elevated Tuesday night with a good chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms developing and moving onshore. Lows will be in the mid to upper 70s across the area.
Wednesday the rain chance stays at 80% with the potential for some heavy rain once again especially during the morning hours. Rainfall estimates from forecast models are suggesting some 3-5 inches of rainfall with some isolated areas getting a bit more than that. Generally most everyone will see at least an 1″ of rain. The high on Wednesday will be in the upper 80s.
Thursday the system should be pulling away from the Suncoast and we should see a bit more sunshine. Look for partly cloudy skies and a good chance for mainly scattered storms. The high on Thursday around 90.
Some slightly drier air is expected to move in on Saturday bringing our rain chances down to 40%.