BY JOE MARIO PEDERSEN
ORLANDO – A tropical wave over the southeastern and central Bahamas is highly likely to form into a tropical depression or possibly Tropical Storm Humberto in the next 48 hours as its projected cut across Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The system has a 70% chance of forming into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours and an 80% chance of doing so in the next five days, the NHC said.
“Conditions are becoming favorable for a tropical depression or a tropical storm to form within the next day or so as the system moves toward the northwest through the northwestern Bahamas and toward the Florida Peninsula at 5 to 10 mph,” the NHC said.
Should the system organize into a tropical depression it will be the ninth recorded depression of the year, and if it then grows to maintain at least 39 mph sustained winds, it would become Tropical Storm Humberto.
HEAVY GAIN, GUSTS PREDICTED
Meteorologists forecast heavy rainfall and powerful gusts Friday across portions of the Bahamas already affected by Hurricane Dorian, which brought devastation to the area with Cat. 5 winds and flooding earlier in September.
South Florida is forecast to be within the storm’s projected path as it moves west toward the Gulf of Mexico. However, gusty winds and heavy rain is expected across the state, the NHC said.
WOFL meteorologist Glenn Richards said the system has not had sufficient time over open waters to intensify into anything that would impact Florida with severe conditions.
“We will still get breezy weather with winds of 20 mph both Saturday and Sunday, and also some periods of heavy rainfall, especially along the coastal counties,” Richards said.
A second tropical wave detected off the Cabo Verde Islands has a lower chance of becoming a tropical depression, containing 40% chance of tropical development within the next five days.