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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Potential Tropical System Impact Becomes More Likely for Region

System Expected to Emerge in Caribbean, Head Northward Into Gulf

 
Series: Weather | Story 5

Last updated 8/24/2023 at 12:50pm

Courtesy NOAA

A new tropical system is expected to form after entering the Caribbean from the Pacific Ocean over coming days. The potential development may take place as weather moves northward into the western Gulf of Mexico, where it would threaten the west coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Franklin, depicted at the right north of Hispaniola in this image, is expected to move northward away from Florida and into the open Atlantic.

The possibility of a tropical storm or Hurricane impacting Florida and potentially threatening the Lake Wales area is increasing as models are indicating the potential development of a new system in the western Caribbean.

If the system strengthens, it would likely move near the western tip of Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico and approaching the west coast of Florida. The waters of both the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are far warmer than historic records, potentially providing vast amounts of energy for the rapid intensification of any system there.

The development has been anticipated for some time, as related in an article published a week ago in LakeWalesNews.net after certain long-range models showed the long-range development chances.

Courtesy National Weather Service

Hurricane Charley passed over Lake Wales in 2004 shortly after an explosive increase in intensity, reaching Category Four status shortly after moving over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The track from the southwest coast toward the Lake Wales Ridge area is one fraught with emotion for many residents, who have seen three hurricanes take a similar path during the past 19 years, including last year's Hurricane Ian and 2004's devastating Hurricane Charley.

Lake Wales News.net will continue to track developments in the tropics and bring readers our locally-focused analysis of potential threats. Readers are again reminded to update their Hurricane plans.

Maintaining supplies of water and canned or dried foods and emergency or solar lighting can provide essential comforts. Filling empty plastic containers to 90 percent full and placing them in empty space in freezers will help sustain frozen foods for longer periods of time in the event of power outages.

 

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