Thursday, June 20, 2013

Barry comes ashore neat Veracruz

Tropical Storm Barry made landfall at about 9 a.m. Thursday just north of Veracruz, Mexico.

Its maximum sustained winds were holding at 45 mph, heading west -- away from the U.S. -- at about 5 mph.

Barry is expected to weaken as the day goes on and become a "remnant low" pressure system by late tonight or Friday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain in some areas, causing flash floods and mudslides in the mountains of central Mexico.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Barry forms in southern Gulf

The second tropical storm of the young 2013 season -- Barry -- formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service, at 5 p.m. EDT, Barry's center was about 70 miles east of Veracruz. It was heading west at 6 mph, away from the U.S., expected to hit the Mexican coast sometime Thursday morning.

Data from an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft say maximum sustained winds have reached 40 mph, with higher gusts.

The weather service says the 70-mile-wide storm is expected to weaken once it hits the coast.

The storm is expected to produce heavy rain and possible flash floods in the mountainous areas of Central Mexico.

System in southern Gulf expected to strengthen but stay south

Forecasters say a tropical depression crossing Mexico's Bay of Campeche is getting better organized and is expected to become a tropical storm before making landfall along Mexico's Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the Atlantic season's second tropical depression is drenching areas in its path with up to 10 inches of rain in some places, raising the threat of flash floods.

The depression formed Monday off Belize and was about 115 miles east of Veracruz, Mexico, Wednesday morning. It is expected to strengthen before making landfall Thursday morning near Veracruz.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). A tropical storm warning is in effect from Punta El Lagarto to Barra de Nautla.

The storm is expected to track due west, across the mountainous Mexican peninsula.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Could this storm become Barry?

A tropical depression has formed off the coast of Belize and forecasters say it is expected to bring as much as 5 inches of rain to parts of Belize, Guatemala and northern Honduras.

Keep informed here as we update this report on .

Read more here:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rain totals already significant

This update from Bay News 9, as of 5:30 p.m.:

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for all of Tampa Bay until 10 p.m.
The Florida Highway Patrol closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge just before noon due to excessive winds of more than 40 mph. It remains closed.
At least three inches of rain pounded parts the Bay area, along with gusty conditions and the chance of more tornadoes. Multiple parts of the Bay area already received more than three inches of rain early in the day.
Rain totals as of 4 p.m.
West Largo 4.88
Seminole  3.85
St. Pete/Clearwater Airport  3.61
Bradenton  2.44
Lakeland Highlands 2.44
Citrus Park 3.03
Cheval 3.35
Land O Lakes 3.32
Port Richey 2.10
Hudson 2.69
Brooksville 1.65
As of 5 p.m., Andrea is located at 29.5 N, 83.4 W with winds of 65 mph. The storm is moving NNE at 17 mph and is about 99 miles W of Tampa.
Looking ahead, rain chances drops off dramatically on Friday.

Manatee, Sarasota may be out of TS Andrea's tentacles

A National Weather Service warning about a tornado threatening parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties has been allowed to expire.

"The storm that produced the tornado has now weakened and is no longer capable of producing severe weather," the Weather Service said in an update issued at 1:15 p.m.

In earlier alerts, the Weather Service said a tornado was threatening Lakewood Ranch, Parrish, Duette and Myakka City, the latter of which was struck by a separate tornado early Thursday.

The violent weather was spawned by Tropical Storm Andrea in the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the region does remain under a tornado watch until 10 p.m. Thursday.

Click here for the latest on's coverage of TS Andrea, including a tornado that struck before sunrise in Myakka City. 

Read more here:

Myakka City smacked by tornado; no injuries reported

The back half of woodcarver Rod Green's worshop was demolished Early Thursday morning by a tornado near Myakka City. JIM DE LA/Bradenton Herald

Read more here:

MYAKKA -- The sound of a cell phone text alert told Herb Loynd to gather his family and take cover.
Just before 3 a.m. Thursday, a tornado touched down near Myakka City, doing property damage but causing no injuries, authorities are reporting.

"My phone woke us up and told us to take cover," Loynd said.

He said the family huddled in the hallway of his house on stilts a few dozen yards from State Road 70.
"I opened the window, and you could feel the rumbling," he said. "Stuff went everywhere."

Read more here, including updates later Thursday.

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea forms in Gulf

The swirling mass of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico now has a name: Tropical Storm Andrea.

A news release from the National Hurricane Center in Miami says a reconnaissance aircraft spotted a well-defined area of circulation over the central Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.

The storm is expected to dump 5-7 inches of rain on Manatee County, starting Wednesday night.

A tropical storm warning was issued a 6 p.m. from Boca Grande north to the Ochlockonee River. The National Weather Service upgraded the mass of low pressure to tropical storm status Wednesday evening after a reconnaissance aircraft spotted a well-defined area of circulation over the central Gulf of Mexico.

At 6 p.m., Andrea was 310 miles southwest of Tampa moving north at 3 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A flood watch has been issued for most of Southwest Florida, including Manatee County through 8 p.m. Thursday. A flood watch means that flooding is possible during the next 24 to 48 hours. Residents in flood-prone areas should take action to protect property.

Coastal flood and high surf advisories have also been issued for the area until 8 p.m. Friday.

The weather service predicts 5- to 7-foot waves with large breaking surf and rip currents at area beaches through Friday. High tides may run 1 to 3 feet above normal.

Barricades are already up in flood-prone areas of Anna Maria Island and sandbags are being distributed.

“We always have sand available for residents,” at North Bay Boulevard and North Shore Drive, said Diane Percycoe, the city’s finance director and emergency manager. Sandbags can also be picked up at city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

City workers are also cleaning out storm drains in anticipation of heavy rains, Percycoe said.

Officials in Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key all report they are ready for flooding in low-lying areas and are monitoring weather reports.

Even odds that tropical system will form, forecasters say

There's now a 50-50 chance that the area of low pressure heading our way could become a subtropical or tropical storm, the National Weather Service says.

A satellite photo taken at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The odds have been steadily increasing since the system began dumping large amounts of rain on western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula at the beginning of the week.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is on call to make a flight into the system this afternoon if forecasters deem it necessary, the weather service reported.

At 8 a.m., the broad area of low pressure is producing a number of disorganized thunderstorms and strong gusty winds. Forecasters say environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development over the next day or so, becoming a tropical depression by late Thursday.

The next update from the National Weather Service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Weather system coming our way

Manatee County is in for a soaking this week, as a large low pressure system works it way up the Gulf of Mexico.

Thomas Dougherty, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, says the system is causing heavy rains in western Cuba and the Florida Keys and will reach our area by Thursday.

Manatee should expect to see at least five inches of rain between now and Saturday. “At least an inch a day, through Saturday, with more rain in isolated areas,” he said. “We’ll have some big numbers in the next few days,” Dougherty said Tuesday.

While forecasters don't expect the disorganized system to form into a tropical storm, the chance of that happenig has gone up from 30 percent ot 40 percent Tuesday. They say they'll have a better idea of what will happen in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Manatee County officials are keeping a close eye on the weather, said Steve Simpson, emergency operations manager with the Manatee County Department of Emergency Management. “We’re looking for rain, and possibly some flooding,” he said Tuesday afternoon.