76ºF

Central Florida flirts with record heat; system near Carolinas could become tropical

Hurricane experts say low pressure system has 80% chance of tropical development

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Central Florida forecast calls for a heat index near 105, with sea breeze storms passing through the region.

“A developing area of low pressure along the North Carolina coast, combined with a large high pressure across South Florida, will maintain a westerly steering flow across Central Florida on Thursday,” News 6 meteorologist Candace Campos said. “The offshore flow will be strong enough to at least delay the formation of the east coast sea breeze. The deeper moisture is shifting east of the area, with rain chances still up to 40-50% across the area, which is around our seasonal average for early July.”

A few strong storms will be possible, especially where the sea breezes collide late in the day near the coast. Lightning strikes will be the primary threat. Heavy rainfall will occur, but the steering flow should keep storms moving, so rain accumulations should remain low.

Highs will reach the mid-90s for much of the region, including the coast. Melbourne’s record high on this date is 95, set in 1975.

“Increasing moisture surges back for the weekend, with afternoon storms likely each afternoon and highs above average in the mid- to low 90s,” Campos said.

Tracking the tropics

The developing low off the coast of the Carolinas is also catching the eye of the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC says the low as an 80% chance of developing tropical characteristics in the next few days.

If it becomes a named storm, it will be called Fay.


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