Friday, January 15, 2021
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Tropical Depression Nineteen crossing over South Florida

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Tropical Depression Nineteen continue crossing over south Florida this morning, emerging into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by this afternoon.

As of 8 a.m., Nineteen remains a depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It is currently moving to the west of 9 mph.

The center of Tropical Depression will cross directly over the WINK viewing area during the day today, bringing with it gusty tropical squalls & cloudy skies.

So what does this mean for our weather? Well, unfortunately, Saturday is not going to be a great beach day! Look for abundant cloud cover and periods of rain through the day, which may be heavy at times. Winds will become breezy in the afternoon, with sustained winds up to 10-20 mph possible, with wind gusts up to 30 mph inland, and gusts approaching 40 mph along the coast. A brief tropical tornado cannot be ruled out, though that threat is low.

The main threat from this system is going to be heavy rain and the potential for localized flooding, especially considering some areas near the coast already dealt with flooding issues earlier this week due to heavy rain from thunderstorms. This additional rain could aggravate those areas that already have saturated soils, so we may see some localized street flooding yet again, particularly for areas with poorer drainage.

So, a Flood Watch is in effect for all of Southwest Florida.

The Tropical Depression will move into the Gulf of Mexico by this afternoon, where it is forecast to become a tropical storm by Sunday morning, taking the name “Sally”. Additional strengthening is looking likely as it continues to move over the warm waters of the Gulf and into an area of low wind shear.

A second landfall near hurricane intensity is forecast midweek next week along the north-central Gulf Coast. Everyone from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle must closely monitor the progress of Nineteen.

Elsewhere, the tropics are very busy, but none of the other disturbances pose any imminent threats to Southwest Florida.

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