Low pressure area east of Florida could form into tropical depression by Sunday

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 is monitoring a broad area of low pressure off the coast of Florida.

8 p.m. update:

Hurricane hunters went out Saturday afternoon and found the tropical disturbance off Florida’s east coast has a well-defined center but is otherwise not well organized, and therefore not yet a tropical depression.

As of Saturday afternoon, it’s about 185 miles east of Cape Canaveral, and although there is some question where it will go, it appears it will move over Florida Sunday.

Florida residents will have to watch to see if it can form into a tropical depression between Saturday night and Sunday.

If it does, we would get a cone and the Nation Hurricane Center will issue watches.

The main impacts could be rip currents, large waves at our beaches, breezy conditions and higher rain chances Sunday.

Another Hurricane Hunter mission is scheduled for Sunday, if necessary.

5:00 p.m. update:

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Rain is spotty locally on Saturday, with a dangerous risk for rip currents at our beaches north of the Cape because of the disturbance offshore.

We are on the dry side of that system, and that’s why things are hotter than normal and drier than normal through the evening.

Hurricane hunters are scoping out the disturbance and have actually measured tropical storm-force winds, but they are also looking for organization as well.

We will monitor this Saturday evening and again on Sunday to see if we get a tropical depression out of this.

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We continue to monitor a broad area of low pressure about 150 miles east of Daytona Beach on Saturday.

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Conditions could become more favorable for development over the weekend, and the National Hurricane Center said there is a 50% chance of development into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next 48 hours.

In the short term, dry continental air is streaming into area on the west side of that disturbance. This will lead to a very unusual July forecast for us on Saturday.

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We’ll have a brisk, northeastern wind and only a 20% chance for fast-moving showers, with highs in the upper-80s to low-90s.

Chief meteorologist Tom Terry

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Rusty McCranie

Rusty McCranie, WFTV.com

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