As the area prepares for a tropical storm, NBC2 chief meteorologist Allyson Rae spoke to The Daily Sun about the situation.
Is there a chance the storm will become a category 1 hurricane?
It will be difficult for the storm to reach hurricane strength due to the amount of wind shear present in the atmosphere. This wind shear is also the reason why the storm has had a hard time organizing into a tropical system and remains lopsided, meaning a lot of the convection and thunderstorm activity is far removed from the broad area of low pressure.
What do you project the rainfall amount to be in Charlotte and southern Sarasota counties?
Rainfall totals should be about 1-3 inches and possibly near 5 inches if the storm moves north.
Should residents who live on the water (canals) be concerned?
This is not a storm we are expecting storm surge, so living on the water or a canal will pose no different threat than any other area. Rain remains the main threat.
What is the current path of the storm, and which areas will be most affected?
The center of the storm will pass over southern or central Florida; however, the bulk of the rain is far removed from the center of the storm. Currently, Collier County is where rainfall totals could be at their highest. If the storm pushes farther to the north, more areas may experience higher rainfall totals. Also, our coastal spots may experience the highest wind gusts up to 30-40 mph from time to time.
What advice would you give to residents?
Don’t panic! The most dangerous thing to do during the storm is to drive through flooded waters. Stay informed to NBC2 for any developments or changes in the forecast.
What are the projected wind speeds, and does the wind present the most danger?
Some of the higher wind gusts along the coastlines will reach 40-45 mph. To give some perspective, sometimes our afternoon severe thunderstorms produce wind gusts over 60 mph. Although an isolated tornado may produce higher wind speeds, rain is the main threat for most areas from this storm.
Do you have any other comments/projections?
Imagine living up north and getting a few inches of snow! This is mostly going to be an inconvenience for most areas. With that said, flooding is possible in some locations farther south, especially on Saturday when we are expecting the heaviest rain.