System off Keys could become tropical depression, with 70 percent chance of development

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The chances of a disturbance between the Bahamas and the Florida Keys developing into a tropical depression have increased significantly.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) now says there is a 70 percent chance that the system will become a tropical depression over the weekend.

The low is forecast to move generally northwestward near or over the eastern Florida Peninsula through Friday evening, and then move northward to northeastward over the Atlantic near the east coast of Central Florida on Saturday.

"The developing tropical depression off of the east coast of Central Florida will bring us waves of showers and some locally heavier showers," said FOX 35 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Richards. "The heavier rainfall and wind will stay offshore as the tropical depression takes shape."

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The disturbance is expected to curve to the north, then northeast along the southeastern coast of the United States. The system might become better organized off the northeast coast of Florida on Sunday and could become a stronger tropical system near the Carolinas early next week.  The NHC says there is a 90 percent chance of further development.

"On Monday, this system may become a tropical storm, as it moves northeast along the east coast of the U.S.," Richards added.

If the system continues to develop and reaches tropical storm status, it would be our fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, named "Dorian." 

Forecasters are also watching a tropical wave located about 950 miles east of the Windward Islands. The chances of this storm developing are 70 percent over the next two days, but then increases to 80 percent over the next five days. 

"Environmental conditions appear conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression is
likely to form during the next day or two while the low moves westward to west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph," the NHC reports.

This is another system that Floridians need to watch closely.



Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Chantal remains out in the North Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (48.28 km/h).  It is located about 900 miles (1,448.41 km) southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The tropical depression is moving southeast at 8 mph (12.87 km/h). 

Chantal remains well removed from any landmass over the open waters.  Moderate to strong vertical wind shear will continue to impact Chantal. Nearly all the deep convection has dissipated and is removed from the center of the system. 

Chantal should dissipate by Friday night and the remains of Chantal will track along the outer periphery of the Bermuda Azores high pressure, causing the system to make a clockwise loop into the weekend. What is left of Chantal will move north and northeastward into the North Atlantic during the upcoming weekend.