New storm growing more likely off Florida coast

As a low-pressure system forms off the coast, a weather-weary Florida begins to prepare for what could be another major storm to add to the list of this hurricane season.

JENNY STALETOVICH, Miami Herald

A swirl of clouds moving across the Caribbean continues to threaten to organize into a tropical depression or storm over the next two days as it nears Florida.

In their latest update, National Hurricane Center forecasters said a weak low pressure system is expected to form later today. As it continues to move toward Florida, the disturbance will encounter weak wind shear, increasing the odds of a tropical depression or storm forming. Over the next 48 hours, the system has a 40 percent chance of developing, they said.

However, Saturday night or Sunday, wind shear is expected to increase and block any further intensification, they said.

Regardless of whether a storm forms, forecasters warned hurricane-weary Florida that the soggy state will likely get heavy rain.

National Weather Service forecasters warned rain is likely across South Florida, with the east coast expected to get the heaviest. Scattered showers are expected today, with rain picking up tonight and heavy rain and thunderstorms along the east coast likely to begin Friday night and Saturday.

In advance of the storm, the South Florida Water Management District has again started moving water through canals to make room for more.

Chief Engineer John Mitnik said this week he expects two inches of rain in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Most canals had returned to normal levels after Irma, he said, but with more rain coming the district is again keeping canals low.

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