A tropical disturbance over the southeastern Bahamas Wednesday evening is trying to become better organized, and its potential for growth into our next tropical depression is increasing.
New data Wednesday evening shows a 50% probability of the disturbance developing into a tropical depression by Friday with higher 70% odds of development through Sunday.
Where is it going?
The disturbance is tracking west/northwestward and favors a track across South Florida Friday night and Saturday before entering the Gulf of Mexico near or south of Tampa Bay.
From there, our guidance diverges significantly with tracks varying from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
Here's what we know: this system is being steered by a large high pressure ridge centered over the Southeastern U.S. The disturbance will track within the clockwise wind flow of the ridge. A cold front approach from the northwest and break down the western edge of the ridge. That will force a turn more toward the north. Exactly when that turn happens will depend on how quickly it organizes and how quickly it moves between now and Monday.
What about impacts?
Right now is too early to know for sure exactly what the impacts will be or who exactly will feel those impacts. The impacts and where they will happen are at the mercy of the exact track, though those impacts can be experienced away from the center of the track.
What do we need to do now?
We all need to be informed. Even inland, tropical systems can bring significant impact. Anyone on the coast from Louisiana to Florida should check disaster supplies and make sure they are ready for impact. If you're not on the coast, make sure family and friends on the coast are informed and aware. People who don't watch news and mainly watch streaming services like Hulu or Netflix are often out of the loop and aren't aware that a storm may be coming.