The National Hurricane Center is closely monitoring a low pressure storm system trying to spin up over the northern Gulf of Mexico just west of Florida. The low is being dubbed “Invest 98L”; that’s a naming standard used by the NHC essentially marking it as the newest area of interest for potential tropical activity.
Related blog: What exactly is an “invest”?
As of Sunday evening the overall odds of development are generally low. In the next two days the NHC pegs the system with a 20% chance of developing into at least a tropical depression, with 30% odds in the next five days. The region of unsettled weather is expected to swirl over the Gulf on Monday, slide over central Florida on Tuesday, and then pop out over the Atlantic Ocean as early as Wednesday.
Should this system beat the odds and eventually become a named tropical system at any point in the future, the next name on this year’s list is Emily.
WHAT ABOUT SWFL?
Focusing on Southwest Florida, regardless of any further development from this storm system, impacts to our part of the state won’t change very much. The system is helping to generate a lot of clouds over the peninsula, and as we’ve seen on Sunday, downpours and showers dropping some locally heavy bouts of rain.
This unsettled kick to our weather will continue on Monday. Showers and downpours are likely in the morning, mainly in spots west of Interstate 75. Scattered afternoon showers and storms are possible moving from the southwest toward the northeast through the second half of the day.
Since this system isn’t moving terribly fast, our unsettled stretch of weather will last at least a few days. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, there’s the potential for a somewhat widespread swath of 2 to 4″ of rain falling over much of Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties with lesser amounts in communities inland away from the Gulf. Keep in mind, through some forecast model data suggest locally heavier totals, 2-4″…