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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Florida low-pressure whips Miami while the Caribbean disturbance (#98L) tries to organize

An intense non-tropical low-pressure center developed right on schedule yesterday, drenching the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area with 5 to 8 inches of rain. Winds whipped into the night and caused scattered damage and power outages.

The low and its associated fronts have moved offshore and will head north and east into the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center is painting a yellow potential-development area where it will track – meaning the odds are low it will develop. There is a very slight chance the system could become somewhat tropical over the warm Gulf Stream waters, but it’s unlikely to have time.

The system will stay offshore of the U.S. East Coast, but the northwestern Bahamas will get the full brunt of it today with winds gusting near hurricane force. Dry air behind the cold front associated with the low will push through Florida behind the system, bringing an end to the intense storminess across the southern part of the state.

The sharp dip in the jet stream over the Gulf that is powering the Florida/Bahamas low and is lifting it to the north will eventually scoop up the Caribbean disturbance as well. That’s why you see both potential-development areas angled in the same direction.

The broad Tropical Disturbance officially tagged Invest #98L is showing some signs of developing an organized circulation in the central Caribbean, but it has a ways to go. Whether it does or not, the main threat is from torrential tropical rains producing mudslides on the mountainous islands to the north.

The National Hurricane Center is giving the disturbance a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression as it moves north.

Everybody in Jamaica, eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands should stay aware of the latest local forecasts.

The peak push of tropical moisture is forecast to impact the islands from later today into Saturday, when the cold front will finally push it off to the east.


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