National Hurricane Center places Florida in red zone as midterm elections near

Florida red zone

National Hurricane Center places Florida in red zone as midterm elections near

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Florida may soon be hit by another tropical system, maybe even a hurricane, in the coming days.

A little more than a month after Hurricane Ian swept across the state, causing widespread devastation and killing dozens of people, a new area of low pressure has been detected more than 200 miles north of Puerto Rico just two days before the midterm elections.

Though voting on Election Day in Florida likely won’t be threatened by a landfall, the system brewing in the distance could have its far reaches extend to the state by Tuesday. As of Sunday afternoon, the system was producing “a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms,” but it is forecast to move northward and then northwestward into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean “where environmental conditions appear conducive for additional development,” the National Hurricane Center said in a tropical weather outlook.

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“The system could be at or near hurricane strength before it approaches the northwestern Bahamas and the east coast of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the potential for a dangerous storm surge, damaging winds, and heavy rainfall to a portion of those areas,” the hurricane center said.

A five-day graphical tropical weather outlook from the National Hurricane Center, located in Miami, shows the eastern half of the Florida peninsula covered in a red zone signifying the projected area where the system could strengthen into at least a tropical storm, one step below a hurricane. The formation chance within the next five days is 90%.

“Regardless of development, there is an increasing risk of coastal flooding, tropical-storm-force winds, heavy rainfall, rough surf, and beach erosion along much of the southeastern United States coast, the Florida east coast, and portions of the central and northwestern Bahamas beginning in the early to middle part of this week,” the hurricane center’s outlook added. “Interests in those areas should continue to monitor the progress of this system as tropical storm, hurricane, and storm surge watches could be required for a portion of these areas by early Monday. Additional information on this system, including gale warnings, can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service and in products from your local weather office.”

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Rainfall and tropical storm-force winds could extend over a large part of the Florida peninsula later Tuesday into Wednesday morning, according to AccuWeather. Landfall over southeastern Florida could happen on Thursday.

The Atlantic hurricane season stretches from June 1 to Nov. 30. If this system becomes the next tropical storm, it will be named Nicole. There is another disturbance much farther out in the Atlantic Ocean, which may also form into a tropical storm. The next name after Nicole is Owen.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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