U.S.

Florida Braced for Possible First Tropical Storm of the Season

The chances of Florida being hit by its first tropical storm of the season are increasingly likely during the next few days, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has said.

An NHC forecast on Sunday found a 30 percent chance of a weather system in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico turning into a tropical or subtropical storm on Monday or Tuesday. The NHC found a 40 percent chance of storms for the following three days. 

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Forecaster Michael Brennan described the system as “a large area of cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms extending from western Cuba across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Straits and much of the Florida Peninsula.”

Regardless of whether the system ends up turning into a stronger event, forecasters warn that the next few days will bring heavy rainfall across Florida and the Gulf coast. The NHC is expected to issue a new special forecast for that system on Monday.

Florida is usually hit a few times a year by large tropical storms that can cause billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses. The most dangerous of the tropical storms are classified as hurricanes once their wind speed increases.