Hurricane center raises odds for tropical system off Florida coast

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TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
The National Hurricane Center is watching two tropical disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean.

BY JOE MARIO PEDERSEN
ORLANDO SENTINEL/TNS

ORLANDO – Two tropical disturbances have been detected in the Atlantic Ocean as one of them closes in on the southeastern tip of Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The closer of the two storms, located just east of the Florida Keys, has a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next five days, the NHC said in its 8 a.m. update.

However, the NHC said things could speed up with a 40% chance of the system experiencing tropical maturity in the next 48 hours.

The system of scattered thunderstorms and showers has organized itself over the last 24 hours, but the wave is expected to either be over or near South Florida later Friday which should stymie its development, the NHC said in its 2 a.m. update.

Environmental conditions could become more conducive for the storm’s development as it moves back toward the Atlantic on Saturday.

WOFL’s Jayme King says now is the time to be prepared for anything.

“I am advising our viewers that vigilance is key,” he said. “Adhere to your favorite media for the latest in the tropics … As we’ve seen in the past, it doesn’t take long for these storms to quickly become powerful.”

If the system goes from tropical disturbance and grows into a tropical storm it will be the fourth named storm of the 2019 hurricane season, “Dorian.”

The second system, which was identified Friday morning, is located 1,400 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands, the NHC said.

Meteorologists predict a 20% chance of development into a tropical depression over the next five days and a 10% chance in the next 48 hours as it slowly moves northwest at 15 mph.

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