We recently reported that a storm system was gearing up off the Gulf of Mexico and on a path to impact Central Florida. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping a close eye on the system due to its potential to become dangerous. At the time, the potential for development was low. That changed In yesterday’s 2:00 pm tropical update.
A low-pressure system has developed off the Gulf Coast, which does not bode well for Central Florida. Previously the storm system was disorganized and lacked the low-pressure system needed to become a Tropical Storm. Because of the development of a low-pressure system, the NHC has upped the chances of potential rotational development (Tropical Storm designation or higher) from 10% to 20% over the next 2 days. The potential to become a Tropical Storm remains at 20% over the next 7 days as the storm slowly makes its way to Florida.
It is the slow-moving progression that is the biggest threat to Orlando currently. When a storm moves quickly through an area, it can only do so much damage. A storm’s real danger is when it lingers. Think of it like touching a hot stove: if you briefly touch it, it may hurt, but you won’t be seriously burned. If you let your hand rest on it, you’ll sustain a serious injury.
All hurricanes begin as disorganized storms over the Ocean. The longer the storm remains over the ocean, the more potential it has to become one cohesive storm. It also has more time to accumulate moisture that will then come back down as rain. A storm that moves slowly will carry a lot of rain and dump it in one area over a long period of time. When this happens, flooding occurs.
Flooding is the biggest risk to Central Florida at this time. The storm has not yet developed into a cyclone formation; whether it does or not remains to be seen. That means while a hurricane is possible, flooding is currently the number one concern. “Rainfall totals could average around 2 inches in some areas of Central Florida with as much as 3 inches closer to Lake Okeechobee, leading to localized floodinga nd standing water,” according to the National Weather Service.
Flooding is a common occurrence in the area due to its low elevation and centralized position (making it a target for both Atlamtic and Gulf storms). Just because it is common doesn’t mean it is safe though. Especially for tourists who do not deal with tropical weather regularly. Flooding also has the potential to cause serious injury or damage, as we saw last year with Hurticane Ian.
As always, stay tuned right here. We will continue to keep a close eye on this storm and any others with the potential to impact Central Florida. We will bring you the latest with any developments that could disrupt your Walt Disney World vacation.