Tropical Threat Present inFlorida This Week

Flash flooding concerns will continue throughout Florida on Tuesday due to an area of low lying pressure that is moving slowly throughout the area. This system has already caused many rain showers and thunderstorms; causing 11 inches of rain in some areas of the state already.

It is yet to be determined if this system will become a tropical cyclone or not, but the weather will still be unstable for a while throughout the Sunshine State. A frontal boundary stalled on Sunday from southwestward Bermuda all the way to the northwest Bahamas before finally reaching the Florida peninsula.

When a frontal boundary is present, it causes more clusters of showers and thunderstorms over the mainland. This is also true in most cases for the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical Atlantic basin.

As predicted, there is a weak area of low pressure that has developed at sea level over the weekend, and another area of pressure has also formed in the upper levels of the atmosphere over the same area.

The weather right now in the area is highly conducive to producing a tropical cyclone; as the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and western Atlantic are adding moisture to the air. This increases the instability, therefore leading to a situation where tropical development is favorable.

Tropical systems cannot form when there are strong temperature gradients present, and that is yet another reason why a tropical cyclone is more than likely. Since the stationary front has dissipated, the air in the north and the south is muggy and warm, meaning that there aren’t strong temperature differences.

Winds in the upper atmosphere are expected to remain bitter for development. The National Hurricane Center has also been highlighting an area that is believed to be the hot spot for possible tropical or subtropical development, and this area is located off of the Southeast coast. The weakened area of low lying pressure will make its way across Florida on Tuesday, which will further diminish the chances of this system becoming anything more than a possible tropical depression. After moving through Florida, the system will begin to make its way into the Atlantic Ocean, but showers and storms will linger for several more days.

Although this system is unlikely to form into a tropical depression or storm, there are two impacts that will be felt from this pattern.

Most Floridians are used to thunderstorms on a daily basis in mid-summer, but there is a small portion of the state that will see repeated clusters of storm activity with heavy rain into next week. There will be a chance for flooding where the rainfall lasts the longest. Flash flood watches are currently in effect for a part of the west-central Florida Coast, including Tampa Bay and surrounding areas, through Tuesday evening.

A little over 11 inches of rain fell near Holiday, Florida, on Sunday which led to some flooding reports. An observer near Tarpon Springs also reported 11.39 inches of rain since Friday. Also, many areas of Pasco and Pinellas counties have received at least 6 inches of rain since Friday.

Stay tuned to The Weather Channel for continuous updates on this system, as it is not clear yet just what path it may take. Also, be prepared for severe weather by having an emergency kit on hand at all times. It should consist of non-perishable food items, bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, and blankets.