Tropical storm watches and warnings may be needed for the Cayman Islands, central and western Cuba, and the central and northwestern Bahamas later today. The next named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is Philippe.
November sees one more tropical storm or hurricane, on average, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is too early to say exactly where the heaviest of the rain will fall, and some models even suggest the worst of the rain will avoid SWFL entirely.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft said that maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts.
The system has a 40 percent chance of developing into at least a tropical depression within five days.
The National Hurricane Center started advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone #18, or PTC18, this is because the storm is not fully developed tropically yet, but it is close enough to threaten land and residents with hazardous weather.
The storm is forecast to move north, then northeast, across Cuba, pass south of Florida, and head out to sea in the Atlantic Ocean.
The chances of it threatening Tampa Bay, however, is slim at best. "The good news is whatever this is should stay well to our east".
"Potential for 3 to 4 inches of rain is increasing, with localized heavier amounts and flooding possible", forecasters wrote this morning.
An approaching cold front front is expected to move into the Nature Coast north of Tampa Saturday evening and move south of Fort Myers overnight. The Cayman Islands National Weather Service advised that flooding may occur in low-lying areas. That's more than a foot above the 15.5 feet that the Army Corps of Engineers is comfortable with.