Tropical system to make landfall Saturday morning
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The tropical disturbance over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico will bring some rain to a portion of the Suncoast through Saturday morning.
The 2 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center says that the disturbance was located 175 miles southwest of Fort Myers.
On the forecast track, the system should move across the southern and central portions of the Florida Peninsula on Saturday morning after sunrise, and then over the southwestern Atlantic north of the northwestern Bahamas late Saturday through Sunday.
Strong upper-level winds and dry air will prevent the disturbance from rapidly strengthening, but some areas of flooding are still possible across south Florida. A flood watch remains in effect for south Sarasota, Charlotte, Hardee, and Highlands counties where a Flood Watch remains in effect. Rainfall amounts are forecast to drop off sharply farther north in Manatee counties, where the risk of flooding is lower.
Latest forecast model data suggest the heaviest rain will come to an end along the Suncoast during the mid or late morning hours of Saturday, but is expected to continue until Saturday afternoon along the Atlantic coast.
As of 2 a.m., the system remains poorly organized and some slight increase in organization is possible before landfall later today. No change in status or strength is expected before the disturbance moves across Florida, but the system is expected to develop a well-defined center and strengthen slightly late this weekend and early next week over the western Atlantic.
The pressure remains the same at 1003mb, which is still rather high at this time.
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