Holiday week weather starting off rainy in South Florida

As a meandering low-pressure system pushes through, forecasters expect several days of wet weather across South Florida.

Formed off the coast of South Carolina, the tropical system could form into a tropical depression within the next couple of days. If so, it would be the first of the storm season.

The system, 230 miles off the coast of St. Augustine, has a 60 percent of chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next 48 hours, Dennis Feltgen, a National Hurricane Center spokesman, said Sunday.

It would take winds of 35 mph to make the system into a depression and winds of more than 40 mph to be a tropical storm.

But the soggy start to the holiday week — when people are taking staycations and tourists are arriving — should give way to clearer skies just in time for the Fourth of July on Friday.

The prediction: a high chance of showers most of the week, with a 30 percent chance of rain on the Fourth.

“Right now, its looking to be the drier day of the week,” said David Ross, National Weather Service meteorologist.

That means fireworks shows will likely go on as scheduled and backyard barbecues won’t have to be moved inside.

For those looking to hit the beach, Ross said, smooth conditions and a low chance of rip currents are expected for the holiday week.

While South Florida got a nice break from thunderstorms over the weekend, the wet pattern came back Sunday night and will continue into the workweek. Forecasts call for a 60 percent chance of rain on Monday and 50 percent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the charred smell wafting throughout South Florida Friday through Sunday wasn’t from people getting an early start on their grilling.

Lightning sparked a brush fire in West Broward, according to the Florida Forest Service. And the rain could help extinguish the flames and rid the region of the smoky haze wafting across the suburbs and along the coast.

The fire, which split into two separate blazes, is west of U.S. 27, not far from Mack’s Fish Camp on Dannell Lane in the Everglades.

Suzanne Ethridge of the Forest Service said that one blaze has burned 3,000 acres and the other has burned about 10,000.

Forest Service crews have been stopping the blaze from affecting some structures at Mack’s Fish Camp, which has been offering airboat rides and other activities for more than 75 years.

Marshall Jones, who owns the camp with his brother, said the fire seemed better Sunday, but they were still hoping rain would quell the flames.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be dry even though rain would help,” he said.

Jones said it’s been years since the area, mainly filled with sawgrass, has burned.

“It’s nature’s way of cleansing itself,” he said.

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