Persistent downpours douse Florida ahead of tropical concern in Gulf prior to Memorial Day
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 19, 2018, 3:36:06 AM EDT
The pattern that initiated the rainy season in Florida will continue indefinitely, while another tropical concern may arise prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
Even though a weak storm with some tropical features will continue to move inland over the eastern United States, a broad south to southeasterly flow of air is forecast to continue through this weekend and in the weeks ahead.
"This flow of air will pump in tropical air and bring daily doses of showers and thunderstorms," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorlogist Paul Pastelok.
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As a result, downpours may be more frequent and thunderstorms more robust than the typical summertime regime of early morning coastal showers and afternoon storms over the interior of Florida.
Tropical trouble may brew from western Caribbean to eastern Gulf
The same weather pattern that raised brows for a potential tropical system over the eastern Gulf of Mexico earlier this week may cause showers and thunderstorms to gather near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula later next week.
"Waters are sufficiently warm to spur tropical development in this area, and steering winds may guide any feature into the Gulf of Mexico," Pastelok said.
It is possible, instead of a well-organized feature, that a series of weak features continue to brew and move northward from the western Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico and/or Florida over the next couple of weeks.
While a well-defined tropical storm may tend to consolidate and focus the downpours and increase the risk of strong winds and rough surf, multiple weaker features may periodically enhance downpours and thunderstorms over Florida, Cuba, part of Central America and the Bahamas.
"The pattern should continue to chip away at the long-term drought in parts of Florida, especially southern areas of the state," Pastelok said.
While the pattern is likely to be unsettled, the tropical threat is not high enough to alter cruise or vacation plans at this time. However, people with these plans, as well as fishing and shipping interests, should continue to keep a close eye on the situation.
Despite the favorable environment for weak tropical systems to form, explosive tropical development is unlikely.
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