On August 25, 2016, in News Releases, by Staff
MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott spoke with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Department of State (DOS) on potential storm impacts. FDEM is actively monitoring a low pressure area associated with a tropical wave in the Western Atlantic Ocean. FDEM has not yet elevated the activation level of the State Emergency Operations Center, but stands ready to do so if the storm threatens Florida.
Portions of South and Central Florida may be at risk for heavy rainfall, potential flooding and rip currents late this weekend through early next week.
Governor Scott said, “In Florida, we must always be prepared for a storm before landfall. Now is the time to gather supplies and ensure our families, homes and businesses are fully prepared for any potential storm impact. With the threat of a developing storm, we must continue to dump standing water since we are also working to combat the Zika virus. With the primary elections on Tuesday, I also encourage all Floridians to take advantage of early voting opportunities in case there is a storm in our state next week. This storm should serve as a reminder for everyone to get a plan if they don’t already have one.”
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is referring to the developing storm as Invest 99L, and estimates it to have a 40 percent chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours and a 70 percent chance of cyclone formation within the next five days. The NHC does not anticipate any direct impacts to Florida prior to the the early morning hours of Sunday, August 28th.
Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Bryan W. Koon said, “We are actively monitoring Invest 99L, and are regularly and continuously engaging our state and local partners as this system continues to develop. Right now, the system is still somewhat disorganized, and its specific track and level of intensity remain uncertain. I encourage everyone to have a plan in place for yourself, your family, and your workplace or business, and be prepared to follow your plan should this event impact your area.”
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said, “Florida’s Primary Election is on Tuesday, August 30. While it is too premature to determine if voters will be impacted by adverse weather conditions, I encourage all Florida voters who have not voted by mail to get ahead of any possible weather disturbances by voting early. All 67 Florida counties are offering early voting through Saturday, August 27. The following ten Florida counties are offering an additional day of early voting on Sunday, August 28: Bradford, Broward, Charlotte, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, and Pinellas.”
The NHC is monitoring the progress of this as it continues to develop and expects to have a more accurate estimate of the system’s track and level of intensity once it passes through the Bahamas in the next 24-48 hours. Heavy rainfall is anticipated over portions of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next couple of days.
The next name on the 2016 Atlantic Storm name list is Hermine (pronounced Er-meen).
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is the state agency charged with preparing for all types of disasters in Florida. The Division is the state’s disaster liaison with federal and local agencies, and is the lead consequence management agency for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The Division maintains the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee and the State Warning Point, the 24-hour communications and command center for response coordination. Follow the Division on social media at facebook.com/FloridaSERT or on Twitter @FLSERT.
Tropical Wave ’99L’ Remains Disorganized While Hurricane Gaston Expected to Weaken
MIAMI, Aug. 25 (UPI) — A tropical wave identified as Invest 99L remains disorganized thanks to strong winds in the upper atmosphere, but it is expected to find more favorable conditions beginning this afternoon as it moves west toward the Bahamas and Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Gaston in the mid-Atlantic should weaken into a tropical storm Thursday as it continues into open water, far from land.
Invest 99L could become a named tropical storm Thursday or Friday as it dumps heavy rains on Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. It is expected to slow down over the Bahamas amid more favorable conditions for growth before approaching Florida. If the weather system becomes an organized cyclone, it will be called Tropical Storm Hermine.
Invest 99L has not formed a well-defined circulation center, which makes forecasting the system difficult. The large tropical wave composed of thunderstorms could reach South Florida by late Sunday. It has a potential of becoming a hurricane.
Whether 99L organizes or not, the National Hurricane Center cautions that its heavy rains and strong winds will still cause problems as it moves west.
“Regardless of development, heavy rains are likely over Puerto Rico today, and strong winds and heavy rainfall are likely over portions of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next couple of days,” the NHC said in an advisory Thursday morning. “These rains could lead to flash floods and mudslides.”
Better forecasts and tracking models for 99L should be available later Thursdaywhen the storm system is expected to organize into a tropical storm. Hurricane Hunter aircraft have been scheduled to fly through the storm every six hours because of the potential threat to property and residents in South Florida.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Gaston has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is about 1,200 miles east of the Leeward Islands headed into the open ocean. It is no threat to land.
“Gaston is moving toward the northwest near 17 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast Friday night,” the NHC said in a statement. “Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.”
If weakened back to a tropical storm, Gaston is expected to re-strengthen on Saturday and beyond but it is not forecast how much it will re-intensify.