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Potential Tropical System Near Florida Panhandle Fuels Tampa Bay's Rain Chances

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area of low pressure in the Florida Panhandle that is bringing humid conditions and could produce heavy rainfall in the greater Tampa Bay area to start the work week.

Forecasters say the low-pressure system was located between Panama City and Apalachicola early Monday morning and moving to the northeast. It has a 40 percent of developing into the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season’s sixth named storm in the next five days once it moves through the Carolinas and emerges in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ray Hawthorne, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, said the region can expect plenty of rain as the system moves onshore.

“The disturbance is not likely to form unless it moves off the Carolina coast Wednesday or Thursday,” Hawthorne said. “Even if it doesn’t, an increase in local and periodic heavy rainfall and a few areas of flooding are expected.”

If it does develop, it would be named Tropical Storm Fay.

Also on Monday, the season’s fifth tropical storm formed in the open Atlantic and is no threat to land.

As of 5 a.m., Tropical Storm Edouard was located about 530 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and speeding to the northeast at 36 mph. It has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Forecasters are also monitoring a third tropical wave about 650 miles east of the Windward Islands. Conditions are not favorable for strengthening.

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