Bad weather ahead, as the National Hurricane Center warned that a tropical storm could make its way to southeastern Florida ahead of Election Day.
Hurricane season isn’t over; it’s officially over in November. 30. A system of showers and thunderstorms north of Puerto Rico is expected to move north, northwest and west to the Florida coast by mid-next week, the center said.
On Sunday, forecasters were also monitoring an area of low-pressure storms hundreds of miles east of Bermuda that could become a brief tropical depression or tropical storm in the coming days.
In terms of the system closest to Florida, “along parts of the southeastern U.S. coast, the east coast of Florida, and the central and northwestern Bahamas from early to mid-week,” the center reported on Sunday.
With Tuesday being Election Day, voters in South Florida may begin to feel the effects as the system brings moisture from the Caribbean Sea. As of Sunday, the system near Bermuda had a 70 percent chance of developing within the next five days, according to the Hurricane Center.
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“Worst-case scenario, I’m speculating here, it could be a tropical storm or it could be a low-end hurricane,” said Sean Batty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “Can’t rule out a low-end hurricane, but still Early on, we didn’t have enough confidence to say for sure.”
Strong winds and excess rainfall could be expected across much of southern Florida next week as early as Tuesday, depending on how the system develops, according to the center.
Barry Baxter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, encouraged South Floridians to remain vigilant.
“Technically, we’re still in hurricane season until the end of the month,” he said. “So don’t let your guard down just because it’s November. We rarely get them this time of year, but we still get them.”
Former Category 1 Hurricane Lisa dissipated over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico Saturday morning.
So far this season, there have been two major hurricanes, Category 3 or above.
NOAA forecasts at least four more hurricanes to form before the hurricane season officially ends on Nov. 11. 30.