The system is expected to develop a well-defined center and become Tropical Storm Alex later today, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. A system becomes a tropical storm once sustained winds reach 39 mph.
Some slight strengthening is possible while it approaches Florida today and tonight.
The system, currently a tropical rainstorm, will organize slowly and is likely to become Tropical Storm Alex over the waters surrounding the Florida Peninsula or, perhaps, right over the Sunshine State itself, according to AccuWeather.
Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of 5 a.m. June 3:
Potential Tropical Cyclone One
- Location: 420 miles southwest of Fort Myers
Maximum wind speed: 40 mph
Direction: northeast at 6 mph
Will the system strengthen into Tropical Storm Alex?
Data from the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters indicate maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph, with higher gusts.
The system is expected to develop a well-defined center and become a tropical storm later today, and some slight strengthening is possible as it approaches Florida today and tonight. Additional strengthening is possible after the system moves east of Florida over the western Atlantic late Saturday and Sunday.
When is the tropical storm expected to reach Florida?
The system is moving toward the northeast near 6 mph, and this general motion with an increase in speed is expected to begin later today and continue through Sunday.
On the forecast track, the system is forecast to move across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight, across the southern and central portions of the Florida Peninsula on Saturday, and then over the southwestern Atlantic north of the northwestern Bahamas Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
Depending on how quickly the storm strengthens, minor coastal flooding may develop Friday and continue Saturday around the Florida Peninsula and Keys, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
Much of the rain is ahead of the center. As it crosses the state, weather may improve significantly Saturday afternoon in southwestern Florida. Central and southern counties should be mainly dry, sunny and warm on Sunday.
What will be the impact of the tropical system on Florida?
Heavy rain will begin to affect Central Florida, South Florida and the Keys today through Saturday.
Central Florida, South Florida and the Florida Keys could see 4 to 8 inches of rain. Some areas in South Florida and the Keys could get 12 inches. This rain may produce considerable flash and urban flooding.
AccuWeather forecasters projected higher rainfall.
An area from the Keys to the Everglades, along with the Miami area is likely to receive 8 to 12 inches of rain, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 20 inches. Much of that rain may fall in 24 hours and could cause street and highway flooding, AccuWeather said.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in Florida tonight and on Saturday.
Isolated tornadoes are possible over South Florida beginning tonight and continuing through Saturday.
The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
Areas under tropical storm watches or warnings
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas
West coast of Florida south of the Middle of Longboat Key to Card Sound Bridge
East coast of Florida south of the Volusia/Brevard County Line to Card Sound Bridge *
Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, La Habana, and Mayabeque
A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible somewhere within the watch area within 48 hours.
Key messages issued by Hurricane Center about Potential Tropical Cyclone One
Heavy rain associated with the system is expected across western Cuba, where life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides are possible.
Heavy rain will affect portions of Central Florida, South Florida and the Florida Keys today and continue through Saturday. Considerable flash and urban flooding is possible across South Florida and in the Keys. Flash and urban flooding is also possible across the northwestern Bahamas.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in western Cuba today and tonight, in Florida tonight and on Saturday, and in the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday. Tropical storm conditions are also possible in the watch area in western Cuba today and tonight.
Track Potential Tropical Cyclone One on radar
Tracking the tropics in real time:
These graphics, which update automatically, show you activity in the tropics in real time:
Excessive rainfall forecast
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This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Potential Tropical Cyclone One strengthens. Storm warnings issued