Potential Tropical Cyclone #18 in Caribbean

"Tropical storm watches and warnings may be needed for the Cayman Islands, central and western Cuba, and the central and northwestern Bahamas later today or tonight". Referenced by forecast models as Invest 93L, the disturbance has a medium chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Saturday.

The NHC issued a tropical storm warning for Cuba.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, a broad area of low pressure was over the western Caribbean Sea and Central America and was producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms.

South Florida including the Florida Keys: 3 to 5 inches, isolated maximum of 8 inches possible. A tropical system off the coast of northeastern Nicaragua became more concentrated and showed greater likelihood of development as it moved north.

By early Saturday morning, it could be Tropical Storm Philippe. Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew through the system to investigate the potential for development and found wind speeds of 35 knots and no well defined center of rotation.

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The chances of it threatening Tampa Bay, however, is slim at best.

This moisture will then get pulled into a storm system advancing through the eastern states, providing additional fuel for heavy rain in parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions Sunday into Monday.

That's not good news for this year's Moonfest in downtown West Palm Beach, which is scheduled for Saturday.

Localized rainfall of 5-10 inches (128-250 mm) will raise the risk of flash flooding and mudslides on land areas in the northwestern Caribbean into Saturday. "Also, there will be enough instability to support scattered thunderstorms, mainly Saturday afternoon and evening, as another frontal boundary approaches South Florida from the north". The Cayman Islands National Weather Service advised that flooding may occur in low-lying areas.

  • Sonia Alvarado