A tropical storm that poses no threat to the southwest Florida coast may in fact bring some milder temperatures and much-needed breezes to the region, forecasters say.
Tropical Storm Sandy is tracking south of Jamaica, and may blow far off the Florida coast by this weekend – bringing some rain, choppy seas for boating and an initial uptick in the hot weather, according to meteorologist Jon Jelsema.
Sandy's projected path calls for the storm to intensify into a hurricane as it crosses Jamaica and Cuba before pelting the Bahamas and cruising by eastern Florida Friday and over the weekend as a tropical storm once more.
The storm’s passing is anticipated to help “buckle the jet stream to dive much farther south than it typically would this time of year,” Jelsema said. “It will cool off next week. We’re probably looking at temperatures in the upper 70s for early next week; it could be lower.”
The cooling trend is expected to kick in during the “tail end of the weekend and into the following week,” bringing lower humidity with it, as well.
It’s even possible we’ll see the “first night of the year in downtown Tampa (with) temperatures that could drop below the 60-degree mark,” Jelsema said.
Nothing Is Certain Just Yet
While forecasters are predicting that Tropical Storm Sandy will pass nicely to the east of Florida, Jelsema warns that nothing is etched in stone – especially when it comes to tropical weather.
“We want to encourage everyone to remain vigilant,” he said. “All indications are it’s going to continue track well to the east of western Florida.”
Even so, “sometimes these systems can be … interesting.”