The coastal area from Golden Beach at the Miami-Dade/Broward county line all the way down to Craig Key was placed under Tropical Storm Watch as Tropical Depression No. 18 remains on its path to Cuba, South Florida and the Bahamas.
“Coastal Miami-Dade” means east of Interstate 95 down to the highway’s end and east of U.S. 1/Dixie Highway down to Homestead.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas as well as the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara. There’s a Tropical Storm Watch for the Central Bahamas.
At the 2 p.m. advisory, sustained winds remain at 35 mph, 5 mph under Tropical Storm status and getting the name Philippe. The tropical storm force winds are on the east end of the storm, which is projected to pass to the south and east of South Florida.
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Whether it works its way up to a name or stays a number, the storm should create extra wetness in an already soggy South Florida. Saturday’s 2 p.m. advisory puts it 80 miles south of Havana, Cuba, hustling north-northwest at 25 mph.
In South Florida, the thunderstorms were expected to end around 2 p.m., and then pick up around 8 or 9 p.m. and last through early Sunday morning. Some areas could see as much as four inches of rain.
The National Weather Service also says some “brief tornadoes” are possible for South Florida and the Keys Saturday.
“Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expect to become a tropical storm overnight,” says the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. advisory. “On the forecast track, the center will move across western Cuba this afternoon, across the Straits of Florida tonight, and across the northwestern Bahamas Sunday morning.”