South Florida

A tropical wave may threaten your Labor Day. Here’s what you can do about it.

Recent summer storms had shoppers at a Doral strip mall seeking shelter in this Aug. 30, 2018 file photo. A coming cold front expected Dec. 21, 2018, might bring summer-like severe thunderstorms to South Florida.
Recent summer storms had shoppers at a Doral strip mall seeking shelter in this Aug. 30, 2018 file photo. A coming cold front expected Dec. 21, 2018, might bring summer-like severe thunderstorms to South Florida. hcohen@miamiherald.com

Labor Day weekend: the summer’s last big blast at the beach, backyard barbecues, picnics at the park.

Except this year in South Florida.

Apparently, the August lull in the Atlantic is ending and the tropics want to party this holiday. And the tropics’ idea of par-tay is to churn up wet ‘n’ nasty weather.

The National Hurricane Center is giving a wave off the coast of Africa an 80 percent chance of strengthening in a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

The National Weather Service’s Miami office said we’re in for wetter weather this weekend as a tropical wave in the Lesser Antilles eventually crosses South Florida this weekend and into Monday and Tuesday, dumping heavy rain. The weather service’s model suggests the system is moving slowly but still warns of “potentially increasing showers and thunderstorms across the area along with possible locally heavy rainfall and localized flooding.”

More rip currents, too, along Atlantic waters as they are fed by east winds, according to the weather service. These potentially elevated rip currents can be dangerous to swimmers.

(If you defy the experts’ advice and go swimming anyway and get stuck in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore with the current until you are out of it. Once free, turn and swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore..)

Heavy rain is expected to be widespread across South Florida by Sunday. Source: South Florida Water Management District
Heavy rain is expected to be widespread across South Florida by Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. South Florida Water Management District

As if all that killjoy wetness wasn’t enough to put the kibosh on your outdoor plans, people who were considering a visit to the Key Biscayne area for a dip at the popular Crandon Beach North should note that the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County issued an alert recommending that people not swim at the beach after two consecutive water samples revealed high levels of enterococci, a bacteria that can lead to urinary tract infections, diverticulitis or meningitis in susceptible individuals.

So what are you going to do this weekend?

Miami.Com has several ideas to consider trying when it’s rainy outside and you just can’t stand to be cooped up inside.

Among them: Visit a museum like the Pérez Art Museum Miami or the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami or the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island. Check out the new Brickell City Centre. Go to a movie. (People seem to be loving “Crazy Rich Asians” so you can get with the program if you haven’t seen it yet.)

Of course, there’s also the Netflix binge option if you choose to stay in. We’re currently catching up on “Bloodline,” the now canceled three-season family noir drama set in the Florida Keys. If you can’t enjoy the Keys’ emerald waters this weekend, at least take them in on your 4K TV.

The old “Scarface,” which had many in Miami staying indoors to catch the film 35 years ago, is coming to Netflix on Saturday. Al Pacino has canceled his South Beach one-man-show appearance that had been set for September so watching that gangster film, which he’d surely have talked about since some parts of it were filmed on Ocean Drive, could suffice.

And this year’s biggest hit, “The Black Panther,” hits the streaming service Tuesday, when it’s likely to still be wet outside.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
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