Florida will be target of tropical depression expected to form off Southeast coast this weekend

Doyle Rice

A soggy weekend is on tap in Florida, as a tropical disturbance that formed Wednesday near the Bahamas spins toward the state. The National Hurricane Center gives the system a 90% chance of tropical development within the next five days:

"The system is expected to move northeastward offshore of the southeastern United States coast," the hurricane center said. "If the current trend continues, a tropical depression is likely to form by Saturday night."

"No immediate development is expected as the system slowly drifts toward (or over) the Florida peninsula," University of Georgia meteorologist Marshall Shepherd wrote in Forbes. "However, the conditions are favorable for development later in the weekend or early next week as the system heads back over open waters near Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas."

If the storm's winds reach 39 mph, it would become Tropical Storm Dorian, making it the fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

"Regardless of development, locally heavy rains are possible over the northwestern Bahamas and southern and central Florida through the weekend," the hurricane center said.

Slow start: The hurricane season has been rather quiet. Will it last?

Because of the heavy rain, "some flooding will be possible across the region on Friday and into the upcoming weekend especially in the low-lying and poor drainage areas," the National Weather Service in Miami said.

By Monday, the system will likely spread heavy rains northwards along the coast as far as the Outer Banks of North Carolina, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.

Meanwhile, far out in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Chantal is wandering far from land. The hurricane center said the storm should fade away over the next day or two.

And in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Ivo poses no threat to any land area and is expected to stay well off the west coast of Mexico. As of midday Friday, the center of Ivo was 430 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida may get drenched by new tropical depression