Will Invest 99L impact Florida?

Many computer models take weather system into Gulf of Mexico

By Tom Sorrells - Chief Meteorologist, Troy Bridges - Meteorologist

ORLANDO, Fla. - Southern Florida is bracing for heavy rains from a tropical disturbance that could strengthen into a tropical storm.

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The models for Invest 99L still take the system into the Florida Keys by Sunday afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami has upped the chances for the invest to become a tropical system in the next 48 hours. The chance for the next five days is still listed as 60 percent.

The impacts from Invest 99L will be confined to South Florida over the weekend. The system was expected to drop up to 2 inches of rain starting Saturday in South Florida with possible flash flooding Sunday in the Miami area and the Florida Keys.

The track after the weekend, as well as the strength, for the invest are highly uncertain.

Keep in mind the area from the Key into the Gulf has less shear for the system to battle and has ocean temps well into the 80s. That will provide an excellent environment for the invest to become a tropical storm.

Spokesman Randy Smith of the South Florida Water Management District said water levels have been lowered in area canals in anticipation of the storm.

Elsewhere in the tropics

Tropical Storm Gaston is moving northwestward in the Atlantic with no change in strength.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Friday night were near 65 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says strengthening is forecast during the next two days and Gaston could re-strengthen to a hurricane on Saturday.

The storm is centered about 915 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving northwest near 15 mph.

Central Florida forecast

A breeze off the ocean waters will continue to bring a few scattered showers across Central Florida off and on through Friday.

"Rain chances will not be widespread at 30 percent," Bridges said. "Expect a mix of sun and clouds through the day, with a high temperature of 91 degrees."

Rain chances will gradually increase through the weekend and next week.

High temperatures by the start of next week will be in the upper 80s.

Watch News 6 for more on this story.

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