We have been following the current Gulf Coast system closely ever since the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expressed concerns that the thunderstorm system could organize into a tropical storm. At the time, flooding from heavy rainfall was the most looming threat to Central Florida. In its early stages, the storm seemed unlikely to develop into a tropical system. That has changed.
Initially, the NHC estimated the storm had just a 10% chance of developing into a cyclone. Without a cyclone the thunderstorm remains just that. You cannot have a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane without cyclonic rotation. By the NHC 2:00 pm tropical update, the chance of rotational development had been increased to 20%.
Today The NHC issued a stark change of tune. During today’s 2:00 pm update, the chance of development into a tropical storm has jumped to 70%! Why the drastic leap? Conditions have changed. If you’ve followed our previous articles on the storm, you’ll know that tropical events rely on low-pressure systems to develop rotational force.
When the disorganized series of storms were first spotted they lacked the low-pressure system needed to organize. Atmospheric conditions are never static, they change quickly and when they do, the storms change with them.
The slow moving system is expected to head across Florida and out to the Atlantic Ocean. Slow moving does not mean slow wind speeds however. The storm is expected to blow past Tropical Depression wind speeds (pun intended) and reach Tropical Storm speeds. There is still a possibility that the storm could become a hurricane too depending on wind speed.
As the storm makes its way across Florida, Orlando is expected to be impacted. The NHC estimates landfall early next week with Central Florida impact on Wednesday. A warning has been issued urging Floridians to prepare as June 1 begins Hurricane Season in the state.