Tropical storm watches are now up for parts of Florida and Cuba for the possibility of the first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center began advisories for the potential tropical cyclone Thursday afternoon. Forecasters believe the system could become a tropical depression on Friday, then reach tropical storm strength late Friday or Friday night. If that happens, it would get the name Alex.
Here is a breakdown of the current watches from the NHC:
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the west coast of the Florida peninsula south of the Middle of Longboat Key and for the east coast of the Florida peninsula south of the Volusia/Brevard County line, including Lake Okeechobee.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for all of the Florida Keys, including the Dry Tortugas and Florida Bay.
The government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, and Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible somewhere within the watch area within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in the Florida Peninsula and the northwestern Bahamas should monitor the progress of this system.
The potential tropical cyclone is expected to produce heavy rains over the eastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Cayman Islands and western Cuba through Friday. Heavy rains will begin to affect South Florida and the Keys Friday and continue through Saturday.
The following storm total rainfall amounts are currently expected:
- Eastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Cayman Islands: 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum of 6 inches.
- Western Cuba: 6 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum of 14 inches. This rain may cause life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides.
- South Florida including the Keys: 4 to 8 inches with maximum totals of 12 inches. This rain may produce considerable flash and urban flooding especially across the urban corridors.
Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Cuba on Friday, and in the watch area in Florida by Friday night or Saturday morning.
The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
- Marco Island, FL to Card Sound Bridge...1-3 ft
- Middle of Longboat Key, FL to Marco Island, Florida...1-2 ft
- Charlotte Harbor...1-2 ft
- Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas...1-2 ft