Potential Tropical Cyclone One kills 3 in Cuba and floods South Florida » Yale Climate Connections


Potential Tropical Cyclone One (PTC 1) brought torrential rains and flooding to western Cuba and much of the southern Florida coast overnight, dumping more than 10 inches of rain. In Cuba, where Paso Real de San Diego recorded 11.85 inches (301 mm) of rain, flooding killed at least three people and displaced more than 4,000, according to floodlist.com. In South Florida, many deep-sea rescues were carried out in the Miami metro area, where many places received more than 10 inches of rain, as documented by WPLG meteorologist Michael Lowry.

As of 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, PTC 1 was centered near the southwest coast of Florida, about 35 miles northeast of Naples. The system was tracking northeast at 18 mph with upper winds of 40 mph and a central pressure of 1002 mb. Despite tropical storm-force winds, dry air and high wind shear had combined to prevent PTC 1 from organizing well enough to be classified as a tropical cyclone, according to the NHC, but the disturbance still swept away by a tropical storm. As of 9 a.m. EDT Saturday, Fowey Rocks in the Florida Keys reported sustained winds of 46 mph, gusting to 56 mph, at an elevation of 144 feet. As of 9 a.m. EDT Saturday, Fowey Rocks in the Florida Keys reported sustained winds of 46 mph, gusting to 56 mph, at an elevation of 144 feet. Tropical storm warnings remained in effect for parts of southeast Florida and the northwest Bahamas, and a tropical storm watch was in effect for Bermuda.

Forecast for PTC 1

The disturbance had marginal conditions for development on Saturday afternoon, with strong wind shear of 20 to 30 knots, ocean waters at 27 degrees Celsius (81°F) and an atmosphere with an average relative humidity of 60%. Saturday afternoon satellite images show that PTC 1 had a modest area of ​​severe thunderstorms entirely east of an ill-defined low-level surface circulation over southwest Florida. Strong upper-level winds from the west-southwest prevented the development of large thunderstorms on the west side of the center.

Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation amounts for the 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, June 4. (Image credit: NOAA)

Wind shear is expected to remain elevated for the next four days and PTC 1 is unlikely to intensify significantly. However, the upper level low pressure system will influence PTC 1 over the next few days, potentially providing enough energy and rotation for it to develop into Tropical Storm Alex on Saturday evening or Sunday morning as it heads east-northeast towards the sea. Monday morning, PTC 1 should pass a few hundred kilometers north of Bermuda. In its 11 a.m. EDT wind probability forecastthe NHC gave Bermuda a 35% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds.

In its tropical weather forecast for Saturday at 8 a.m. EDT, the NHC gave PTC 1 a two- and five-day chance of developing into a tropical storm of 90%. PTC 1 is expected to peak at 50 mph on Monday, then turn extratropical on Tuesday.

Heavy rain from PTC 1 will continue to be its main threat, with a few tornadoes possible over Southeast Florida and the Keys through Saturday afternoon. Minor coastal flooding from a 1-3 foot storm surge will also affect the Northwest Bahamas.

Bob Henson contributed to this post.

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