Tropical Storm Gustav
Moving Towards Jamaica...Gustav Forecast to
Strengthen in the Northwestern Caribbean Sea
Later this Week...Tropical Depression Eight
Forms near the Leeward Islands...River Flooding
Continues in Several Locations...High Heat Index
Values Possible Today...
Updated 8:00 AM EDT Thursday
Tropical Storm Gustav is strengthening again
over the northern Caribbean Sea. At 7:30 am,
Gustav was located about 80 miles east of
Kingston, Jamaica and was moving west-southwest
around 6 mph. Maximum sustained winds have
increased to near 70mph and Gustav could become
a hurricane later today. Tropical Storm Gustav
is expected to move westward near the southern
coast of Jamaica today and then near the Cayman
Islands Friday before entering the southern Gulf
of Mexico over the weekend. Gustav could become
a Category 3 major hurricane by Sunday. It is
too soon to determine potential impacts to
Florida, but this system will need to be
monitored over the Labor Day weekend as the
western Panhandle currently lies in the
5 day error cone.
Early this morning, the tropical wave
northeast of the Leeward Islands was classified
as Tropical Depression Eight. At 5am, T.D. #8
was moving west-northwest near 5 mph with
maximum sustained winds near 35 mph. A northwest
motion is expected to occur today through
Saturday before a more westward turn is expected
by early next week. T.D. #8 has the potential to
become Tropical Storm Hannah today and could
even become a hurricane in the next few days.
High pressure across the state will lead to
another day of decreased storm coverage.
However, enough lingering moisture near the
surface will allow for the development of
isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms
statewide along local sea breeze boundaries. The
best chance for storms will be away from the
coast, mainly over interior areas. Most storm
activity is expected to decrease around sunset,
though a few lingering showers are possible over
eastern areas through mid to late evening.
Some strong storms are possible today, but
severe weather is not anticipated. Given slow
storm motion with weak steering winds, any storm
today could produce heavy rain that may lead to
an increased risk for flooding of localized
areas due to recently saturated grounds.
Frequent lightning strikes and brief gusty winds
will also be possible in thunderstorms.
Record river flooding will continue along the
upper St. Johns River near Lake Harney. Moderate
flooding has begun downstream near Sanford and
moderate flooding could occur at DeLand by this
afternoon. The Santa Fe River has risen above
flood stage at Fort White and will reach
moderate flood status on Friday. The St. Marks
River has crested and is expected to fall back
to a moderate flood by Friday. The Ochlockonee
River near Havana has fallen back to moderate
flood status and the Ochlockonee River
downstream near Bloxham is forecast to fall
below flood stage Thursday afternoon. The St.
Mary’s River at Macclenny has also fallen to a
moderate flood stage and is expected to keep
falling to near flood stage through the weekend.
For the latest river flood information, please
Southeast River Forecast Center.
Daytime high temperatures are expected to
again reach into the low and mid 90s statewide
with heat index values in the upper 90s to low
100s possible across many areas this afternoon.
Do not leave children or pets in vehicles.
Temperatures can quickly rise above 130 degrees,
increasing the chance for heat stroke or death.
East winds and moderate ocean swells will
result in a moderate risk for rip currents along
all Atlantic Coast beaches today. Please click
here for your beach destination forecast.
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