South Florida under tropical storm warning as potential Alex unleashes flood threat through Sunday

·2 min read

Much of South Florida is under a tropical storm warning amid the looming threat of what could soon become Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

The National Hurricane Center expects the system in the Gulf of Mexico to form into a tropical storm later Friday.

The National Weather Service office in Miami last reported the potential tropical storm’s location in the Gulf at about 470 miles west-southwest of the city, and data from the Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunter aircraft showed the system moving at about 40 mph.

Areas under a tropical storm warning include coastal parts of Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

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"Rain is already spreading northeastward, well out ahead of the system, across the southern third of Florida," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. "It's been raining most of the day already across the Keys and Miami area, and that rain continues to spread northward, getting up toward north of Lake Okeechobee."

Forecasters expect flooding to be the storm’s main threat to South Florida, which will remain under a flood watch through Sunday, according to the NWS, with between 4 to 8 inches of rain expected.

Isolated spots could receive up to 12 inches of rain, said NWS Miami meteorologist Larry Kelly.

“The main impact that we're concerned about here is that rainfall potential for urban flooding, and that could lead to flash flooding as well,” Kelly said.

Regardless of whether the system develops into a tropical storm, the impact across South Florida remains the same, he said.

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Through Friday afternoon and overnight, Kelly said the threat for “a few to several” isolated tornadoes will ramp up as the system moves across the Florida peninsula.

Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning is also in effect for the Florida Keys, the northwestern Bahamas and parts of Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Weather experts say the yet-to-be-named system could move across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico through Friday and across southern and central parts of Florida on Saturday.

It's expected to move north of the northwestern Bahamas Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

STORM TRACKER: Track the forecast path of potential Tropical Storm Alex

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Alex expected to form Friday, hit South Florida; NWS

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