Tropical Storm Bonnie expected to develop today
The National Hurricane Center has begun issuing advisories on newly formed Tropical Depression Three, located about 405 miles east-southeast of Key Largo.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph and Tropical Depression Three is forecast to become Tropical Storm Bonnie later today.
“Residents across South Florida are urged to follow the progress of Tropical Depression Three, heed local advisories, and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “All Floridians should continue to follow the activity in the tropics and take this time to update their plans and check their disaster survival kits.”
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect along the South Florida coast between Golden Beach and Bonita Beach, which covers all of Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier counties. Tropical Storm Watches are in effect along the east coast of Florida north of Golden Beach to Jupiter Inlet, which includes all of Broward and Palm Beach counties. A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect for Lake Okeechobee.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39-73 mph) are expected in the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 48 hours.
Heavy rainfall will likely be the greatest threat, with 2-4 inches possible across portions of southern Florida and the Treasure Coast, with higher amounts up to 6 inches possible in very localized areas.
Ocean swells and high winds from the storm may also produce gusty winds, frequent and dangerous rip currents, and possibly isolated tornadoes.
The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings the center of Tropical Depression Three into the Florida Straits on Friday, possibly making landfall near Key West Friday afternoon. The system will emerge into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico late Friday before turning northwest, making a second landfall as a tropical storm near southwestern Louisiana or eastern Texas in 3-4 days.
The State EOC in Tallahassee is at a Level 1, or full activation in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
n South Florida residents and visitors need to closely follow Tropical Depression Three and be prepared to implement their disaster plans.
n Mobile home residents and visitors need to heed any local evacuation orders, if issued.
n Mariners need to make preparations to secure their vessels in safe harbor.
n Residents should review their family disaster plans and ensure their disaster survival kits are fully stocked. Residents should also remember to plan for their pets.
n In light of Tropical Depression Three, supplemental Tier 3 boom is currently being removed from Escambia through Franklin counties and will be redeployed if further oil spill impacts are projected. Some Tier 1 and 2 boom is also being removed at the direction of Unified Command Mobile and Branch offices.