Weather

Be prepared to get very wet this weekend, as heavy rains are virtually guaranteed

Potential tropical storm headed for South Florida on Saturday

The National Hurricane Center is upping the chance of a tropical wave in the western Atlantic Ocean developing on Friday night or Saturday into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm.
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The National Hurricane Center is upping the chance of a tropical wave in the western Atlantic Ocean developing on Friday night or Saturday into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm.

Have Halloween party plans tomorrow?

Mother Nature has good and bad news.

The good: She’s going to offer the perfect mood setter — the proverbial “it was a dark and stormy...” scenario.

Thanks to a low pressure disturbance in the Western Caribbean that is forecast to move over Western Cuba and the Cayman Islands this weekend, a whole mess of wet weather is going to move north and northeast in the next day and a half toward Miami-Dade and the Keys. “A lot of moisture is associated with that,” said Chris Fisher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The disturbance has an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone, Fisher said. “But regardless as to if it develops or not, we are going to get plenty of showers and thunderstorms tomorrow and into Sunday.”

The bad: Read the top again. The forecast calls for nearly a 100 percent chance of South Florida getting doused.

The National Hurricane Center is upping the chance of a tropical wave in the western Atlantic Ocean developing on Friday night or Saturday into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm.

So Halloween howlers, beware: “Anyone with outdoor activities, be prepared to get wet,” Fisher said.

For the Irma and Maria weary, there is not a concern of damaging winds that would necessitate the putting up, or leaving on of, shutters. If the disturbance turns cyclonic, “the models have been fairly consistent, keeping it to our southeast as it is skirting through Cuba and then staying off our southeast coast,” Fisher said.

But as we saw during Irma, heavy rains can be plenty damaging.

“Some of the storms could be on the stronger side,” Fisher said. “But the biggest threat is going to be the amount of rain that we could potentially see. We are looking at two to four inches of rain — that is a possibility — with isolated higher amounts. Our ground, even though it’s been dry the last few days, it’s still fairly saturated and that could be an issue in poor drainage areas tomorrow.”

The risk of rip currents will continue to increase this weekend over the Atlantic and Gulf waters of South Florida, the National Weather Service reports.

The rains, with moderate winds, are expected to start rolling in early Saturday morning and continue arriving into the late morning and through the afternoon. The soggy weather should break by early Sunday morning, with a slight 10 percent chance of showers Sunday night and sun on Monday with highs in the 70s. This gives you a good two nights to party before Halloween arrives on a mostly sunny Tuesday.

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

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