Forecasters on Thursday are watching a new disturbance in the western Caribbean Sea that is forecast to bring heavy rain to portions of South Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas through early next week as it moves toward the western Atlantic.
They’re also tracking a wobbling Hurricane Epsilon, which has weakened back into a Category 2 hurricane and is forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to Bermuda Thursday as it passes east of the island, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Here’s what to know:
How will the disturbance in the Caribbean Sea affect South Florida?
The disturbance, described as a trough of low pressure, was producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms early Thursday, primarily near Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba, according to the hurricane center.
“Development of this system is unlikely to occur during the next few days as it passes near western Cuba and moves over the Straits of Florida. By late this weekend or early next week, however, some slow development is possible while the system moves generally northeastward from near the northwestern Bahamas toward the western Atlantic,” forecasters wrote.
It has a 0% chance of development in the next two days and a 20% chance of development through the next five days.
Regardless of development, the system is expected to bring heavy rainfall to portions of Cuba, South Florida and the Bahamas through early next week, forecasters said.
While Friday will be a bit drier for Miami-Dade and Broward County, the chances of rain are still between 40% to 60%, according to the National Weather Service. The moisture from the Caribbean disturbance is expected to bring a 50% to 60% of rain to South Florida during the weekend, with higher rain chances along the coastal areas, forecasters said.
The good news is that South Florida is expected be drier next week, the weather service said.
Tracking Hurricane Epsilon: Where is it going?
Hurricane Epsilon, which saw some rapid intensification Wednesday, saw some slight weakening overnight and is now a powerful Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory Thursday.
While it did see some weakening, Epsilon is just on the cusp of being a Category 3 hurricane. To be considered a Cat 3, it would need maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
As of 5 a.m. Thursday, the storm was moving northwest at 7 mph and was about 260 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, which is under a tropical storm warning.
Epsilon is large — with hurricane-force winds extending 25 miles out from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 310 miles from the center, mainly to the north.
Bermuda is expected to feel tropical-storm-force winds intermittently throughout the island Thursday, forecasters said. The center of Epsilon is forecast to move well to the east of the island Thursday night.
The hurricane is not a threat to the United States, although life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are expected along the coasts of Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, the eastern coast of the United States, and Atlantic Canada during the next couple of days, forecasters said.
Epsilon, which forecasters say has been “wobbling” since Wednesday night, is expected to make a turn toward the north-northwest later Thursday. It is then forecast to pick up speed as it moves toward the northeast Saturday, eventually taking it past southeastern Newfoundland and into the north Atlantic early next week, where it is expected to merge with a frontal zone and become extratropical.
Source: Miami Herald