National Hurricane Center tracks system that could bring rainy weather as hurricane season starts

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'Regardless of development, the system could produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over portions of the Florida Peninsula later this week.'

Thursday marks the first official day of hurricane season on the Atlantic coast, and already the National Hurricane Center is tracking a system forming in the Gulf of Mexico that could bring heavy rains to Florida.

“An area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms is associated with a surface trough of low pressure interacting with an upper-level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable for additional development over the next several days as the system meanders over the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” the hurricane center said Wednesday morning during its latest update. “The system is then forecast to move across the Florida Peninsula this weekend and emerge into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by early next week. Regardless of development, the system could produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over portions of the Florida Peninsula later this week.”

The hurricane center predicted the system had a 10% chance of forming into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days, and 20% in the next seven days.

With hurricane season here, AAA released a new survey Wednesday that shows most Floridians aren’t prepared for serious storms and many don’t plan to follow government warnings to evacuate.

“According to the survey, about 1-in-5 Florida residents (19%) do not make advanced preparations for hurricane season or severe weather. Even more concerning, 24% say they would ignore warnings to evacuate in the event of a hurricane. Of those who would evacuate, more than half (56%) say they would not leave their homes unless an approaching hurricane was a category 3 or stronger,” AAA said in a press release after getting survey results from 5,000 people who were sampled from April 20-27.  The agency said the survey has a maximum margin of error of ± 1.4%.

The biggest reasons why people don’t plan to follow evacuation orders are because they want to be at home if they needed to fix damage, they don’t have a place to take their pets, or they believe the storm will change directions.

“Staying in the path of a potentially deadly storm is just not worth the risk,” AAA Public Relations Manager Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “Take steps now to develop an evacuation plan for your family and pets. If you’re worried about property damage, contact your insurance advisor. Having adequate coverage will give you the peace-of-mind in knowing that anything damaged while you’re gone can be repaired or replaced.”

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

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