Rainy Fisherman

Plenty of rain is forecast to fall across most of Citrus County through the weekend and dark skies should be the norm.

Nobody is predicting another Dorian, but forecasters are watching a disorganized system near the Bahamas that could become a tropical depression or storm.

It’s too early to predict where this will go or its intensity, but one thing forecasters agree on — it should be a wet weekend for Citrus County starting Friday afternoon.

“The amount of rain will differ greatly dependent upon the track,” said Sheriff’s Capt. David DeCarlo, director of Citrus County Emergency Management.  “The development area is extremely wide. We will continue to monitor it’s progression.”  

The European model late Thursday showed the system tracking toward Florida's east coast and perhaps staying in the ocean. If that model holds, Citrus County would see minimal rainfall.

But, as with any tropical system, it's too early to tell. Friday's forecasts should paint a clearer picture.

But for now, Citrus can expect scattered showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Saturday and Sunday carry an 80% chance of rain. It will be windy Saturday with wind gusts as high as 28 mph. Sunday will also be windy, with slightly lower gusts.

The winds should dissipate Monday and the rain chance is down to 60%, the NWS said.

The NWS said an area of disturbed weather over the central and southeastern Bahamas became better organized Thursday morning.

Conditions are becoming favorable for a tropical depression or a tropical storm to form within the next day or so as the system moves toward the northwest through the northwestern Bahamas and toward the Florida peninsula.

The NWS said the system has the potential to bring increasing rain chances to all of west central and southwest Florida beginning Friday and continuing into the weekend.

The system has a 70% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours and an 80% chance during the next five days. 

Bryan Williams, a meteorologist with Florida Forest Service, said the disturbance should bring gusty winds and heavy rain Thursday and Friday throughout the Bahamas — including the same areas affected by Hurricane Dorian last week —  before moving into Florida this weekend into the beginning of next week. 

“Conditions are favorable for this wave to become at least a tropical depression over the next day or so,” Williams said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

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