QUIET IN SOUTH FLORIDA WHILE BARRY BECOMES A HURRICANE

Happy Saturday, South Florida.

While we woke up to mostly quiet conditions, skies across South Florida were on the hazy side because of the layer of Saharan dust that extends from the Atlantic across the Bahamas & the southern half of our peninsula.  That means our South Florida sky will actually look milky blue rather than the bright blue we like to see.

High pressure across the Atlantic, drier air in the upper levels of the atmosphere and a layer of Saharan dust will all help keep rain chances across South Florida & Bahamas on the lower side today.  And of course with an ocean breeze in place, temperatures will remain near seasonal this afternoon, not to mention that any shower or storm activity that DOES develop will push inland towards Interior areas & the Gulf Coast.

Good news is that this drier weather pattern is here to stay through the entire weekend.  So feel free to plan any outdoor activities this weekend as rain won’t be a major issue next few days.  And while temperatures this weekend will remain warm & seasonal, the high humidity levels across South Florida will make temperatures feel like the 100s.  So please be sure to keep hydrated if spending any significant time outdoors today and tomorrow.

Shifting focus towards the Tropics.  We have been keeping a close eye on Barry over the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  It has continued to strengthen into a hurricane since early this morning & is forecast to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane by this afternoon.  As Barry remains a slow-moving storm, heavy rainfall and dangerous storm surge expected across North Central Gulf Coast from Louisiana into Mississippi.  Rainfall amounts in excess of 10-15″ likely through the next 36 hours, with isolated amounts reaching as high as 20-25″.  As if that weren’t serious enough, life-threatening storm surge across some spots will likely reach as high as 6 FEET!

While tropical storm-force winds extend outward 175 miles from the center, Barry is expected to hold on to its tropical storm status hours after moving inland on Sunday, eventually weakening into a remnant low pressure system by the start of the upcoming work week.

The National Hurricane Center is also keeping an a tropical wave over the Central Atlantic.  Right now chances for development remain very low with this one as it will be battling dry air next few days.  However, we need to keep an eye on this one as it will be quickly moving towards the West in the days to come.

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