NHC: Low-pressure system near Florida-Georgia coastline may become tropical depression Monday night

·1 min read

A low-pressure system over Florida’s east coast might develop into a tropical depression later tonight or by early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The system, which was located about 150 miles east-southeast of Jacksonville on Sunday evening, is producing disorganized showers in the area and has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical system, NHC forecasters said.

“Environmental conditions are marginally conducive for development,” the NHC said in its 8 p.m. tropical weather outlook. “A tropical depression could still form overnight or on Monday while the low moves slowly west-northwestward or northwestward, reaching the coast of northeastern Florida or Georgia Monday evening or Monday night.”

The hurricane center said it sent out an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft early Sunday morning and reported minimal changes in strength since yesterday.

“Interests in Florida should continue to monitor the progress of this system,” the NHC said.

A large amount of dry Saharan dust from Africa has been over the Caribbean and Florida in recent weeks, acting as a tropical storm shield. The dust helps suppress thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes, and its produces some magnificent sunsets.

However, we’re quickly approaching the time in hurricane season when tropical activity historically starts to pick up. Sept. 10 is usually the peak of hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

NOAA is predicting the 2021 season to be an above-average year with an estimated 13-20 named storms. An average season observes 14 named storms.

So far in the 2021 season, we’ve had four tropical storms – Ana, Bill Claudette and Danny – and one hurricane, Elsa.

The next named storm will be called Fred.

rsimmons@orlandosentinel.com, Jpedersen@orlandosentinel.com, nontiveros@orlandosentinel.com.

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