The National Hurricane Center released an advisory Tuesday forecasting a Potential Tropical Cyclone 6 that could become a tropical storm that threatens Florida this weekend.
The disturbance, moving over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this afternoon and evening, could form into Tropical Storm Fred. The probable path of the storm shows it near Hispaniola on Wednesday and the southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday.
“For those not aware of the term Potential Tropical Cyclone, it is a term the National Hurricane Center uses in advisory products to describe a disturbance that is not yet a tropical cyclone, but which poses the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours,” said David Peaton, Levy County Emergency Mangement’s assistant director, in a Tuesday email update.
Current winds have the storm at 18 to 35 miles per hour, and forecasters plan to re-evaluated as it approaches Cuba later in the week. If the disturbance does increase into a tropical storm, it could hit southern Florida on Saturday and move north by Sunday.
“With all of the rain and flooding that the tri-county area has seen, it wouldn’t take too strong of a storm to cause us issues,” Peaton said.
It has been more than a month since Hurricane Elsa—this year’s fifth storm—hit Florida on June 7. While Elsa skirted around Alachua and Columbia counties and caused some flooding, it added to the already rain-saturated North Central Florida region that closed local springs and led to sinkholes in Newberry and Archer.
Experts predict 2021 would be a busy hurricane season and recommend making preparations, including buying a generator.