Alert! Brewing Tropical Storm Could Hit Florida as Hurricane on Sunday, Millions to be Affected
Weather forecasters predict Florida and the Bahamas will be hit with strong winds, coastal flooding and torrential rainfall on Sunday and Monday. There are currently two active Atlantic tropical systems being observed by meteorologists.
While Tropical Storm Gaston is expected to gradually weaken over the next couple of days between west Africa and the Lesser Antilles, the unnamed system dubbed only 99L, has a huge potential to become Tropical Depression Eight, Accuweather reports.
99L has not developed a well-defined surface circulation yet, but once formed, it will be called Tropical Storm Hermine. National Hurricane Center through in a special Tropical Weather Outlook by the released an update on Wednesday.
"Although upper-level winds are expected to be only marginally conducive for additional development, this system could become a tropical storm or tropical depression at any time during the next couple of days," it said.
"Regardless of development, gusty winds, heavy rains, and possible flash floods and mudslides are likely to occur over portions of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next couple of days," it added.
Bloomberg notes that to avoid disruption of economic activities, Florida, the second-largest producer of orange juice, will be under the experts' watch list. Gulf of Mexico will be on the list too to avoid curtailing energy production and boosting oil prices.
United Press International explains that the system 99L can end up in two ways. One, if it traverses north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, it will be in much better shape over the Bahamas, where conditions are ripe for strengthening before it approaches South Florida. Otherwise, it could weaken or dissipate.
If predictions are true, it will be the first hurricane to strike Florida in a decade following Hurricane Wilma, the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.