After being very quiet for the last few weeks the topics are suddenly alive. This morning the big news is Invest 97 is about to become either a tropical depression (has been all morning) or a named Tropical Storm. I really think the hurricance center will go ahead and name the system, issue watches and warnings, and get a forecast track going. I expect all of that to happen with the 11 A.M. advisory.

Here’s the lastest sat shot of the situation:

It is still not the most well put together of systems. But the news is that a closed circulation has formed. Now that we have a closed center the models will all start at the same point and do a much better job of figuring out what’s what. Any time there is no center it makes for a HUGE guessing game. Where will the center pop out? When will it move? Is the true center 100 miles away from where we think? All of those questions and more make for a bad forecast. Having a center and movement makes this guessing game much easier.

Here’s another view of the system on an enhanced sat:

Now until the hurricane center names this thing we don’t get the path of projected movement. What I do work with is a set of models. The models are all moving farther south this morning than they were 36 or even 24 hours ago.  Take a look a the latest set.

Anytime they agree this much it spells a pretty accurate path of movement. This time they look like we will be spared a direct hit. The path is actually going to look more like an August track instead of a July track. But then again it is almost August. It’s been sooo hot – maybe the Earth doesn’t know it’s still July.

Impacts for us? Starting tonight the winds will pick up from the ENE. By tomorrow we should have some pretty good gusts of at least 25 mph. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it will help things feel “tropical”. We will also start to get some good rain. We are not so far behind on rain for the year, but for the summer (since June 1st) we are about 5 to 7 inches behind in most spots in Central Florida. We can’t get it all back in the next 36 hours, but we should be able to get enough to turn the yards green again. I’m looking for up to an inch of rain from Orlando to the south. Lower rainfall amounts to the north. My fear is this system trucks too far south and my northern counties get left without rain.

For now just know the process starts with wind tonight and rain tomorrow. Here’s the hour by hour look at Friday from

I’ll check back in here later today and I’ll have a full breakout on The 6 O’clock News on Local 6.