This story has been archived. For current updates on Potential Tropical Cyclone One, click here.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is looking less and less organized but continues to dump heavy rainfall leading to flooding in parts of South Florida.
The National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone One – not yet a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. It is still expected to become a Tropical Storm, but not until after it crosses Florida and enters the Gulf Stream.
Tropical Storm Warnings are still in place for Manatee, Polk, Sarasota, Hardee, Desoto, and Highlands counties where gusts may reach 30 to 40 mph. However, with the system being quite disorganized, winds will not likely reach tropical storm strength.
The disturbance was approaching southwest Florida Saturday morning, and heavy rain continues spreading across Cuba and south Florida. Scattered showers reach as far north as the I-4 corridor but they are beginning to break apart and become less widespread.
At 5 a.m. ET Saturday morning, the system was about 100 miles southwest of Fort Myers. It was moving northeast at 18 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 275 miles from its center, forecasters said.
The system is expected to make landfall near Naples Saturday morning. However, the heaviest rain has been falling well ahead of the landfall. A few leftover breezy downpours will linger across Florida on Saturday as it quickly moves into the Atlantic throughout the day, taking much of the tropical moisture with it.
It should be in the Atlantic, north of the northwestern Bahamas the rest of the weekend.
If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be called Alex.
A tropical storm warning was issued for southern portions of the east and west coasts of Florida.
The warning includes:
- Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas
- Florida Bay
- West coast of Florida south of the Middle of Longboat Key to Card Sound Bridge
- East coast of Florida south of the Volusia/Brevard County Line to Card Sound Bridge
- Lake Okeechobee
- Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, La Habana, and Mayabeque
- Northwestern Bahamas
The system is forecast to dump 4 to 10 inches of rain on South Florida and the Florida Keys with some areas in South Florida and the Keys seeing maximum isolated amounts of 12 inches. This could produce considerable flash and urban flooding, the hurricane center said. Isolated tornadoes are possible over South Florida Friday night and Saturday.
The following areas could see 1 to 3 feet of storm surge:
- Marco Island to Card Sound Bridge (1 to 3 feet)
- Middle of Longboat Key to Marco Island (1 to 2 feet)
- Charlotte Harbor (1 to 2 feet)
- Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas (1 to 2 feet)
Western Cuba could see about 6 to 10 inches of rain with some areas seeing maximum amounts of 14 inches. The heavy rainfall may lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, the hurricane center said.
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