MIAMI — Southern Florida is bracing for heavy rains from a tropical disturbance that could strengthen into a tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday the system now over the Bahamas has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression by Sunday. It’s expected to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico early next week and has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression by midweek.
Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement that Floridians should continue to closely monitor the disturbance and be prepared in case it does strengthen. Scott added that people should dump any standing water from rains to prevent Zika-carrying mosquitoes from breeding.
“The storm is disorganized and it’s still very unclear on where impacts to our state might be,” Scott said. “Weather in our state can change very quickly and Floridians must stay alert and always have a plan.”
The system is expected to drop up to 2 inches of rain starting Saturday in South Florida with possible flash flooding Sunday in the Miami area and the Florida Keys.
Spokesman Randy Smith of the South Florida Water Management District says water levels have been lowered in area canals in anticipation of the storm.