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The area of disturbed weather about 200 miles east-southeast of Puerto Rico has been designated a “Potential Tropical Cyclone” by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). In English, that means it’s not a tropical storm (or hurricane!) but will very likely become one in the next day or so. It gives people a better “heads up” that significant weather is on the way rather than waiting for arcane and nerdy technical criteria to be met before the NHC stirs into action 🙂 .
Right now it’s most likely this system (#Fred if it forms) will move into the Gulf of Mexico late Friday and the weekend and first impact the west coast of FL and then the Panhandle, before moving inland into the southeast and mid-Atlantic. Since this is not yet even a depression or storm, the forecasts have a bit lower confidence than normal. Best guess is though the system could strengthen in the Gulf and become a significant Tropical Storm before making landfall sometime late this weekend.
The earliest southern FL would feel the impacts of this system will be Friday, while the impacts on the western side of FL will most likely be this weekend.
This is a heads-up only! There are no warnings or watches issued. If I was RV’ing or planning to RV along the west coast of FL or FL Panhandle, I would not change my plans right now — but I would have a “Plan ‘B'” in the back of my mind.
I would also make sure I pay attention to the tropical forecasts, either from the National Hurricane Center, local TV weather forecasters, or reputable, established weather websites.
I will update this special advisory on Wednesday 11 August or sooner, if there is significant change.