Rick Scott urges Floridians to get prepared as season’s first tropical system approaches Gulf Coast

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With chances increasing that Tropical Storm Colin could form over the weekend and create messy conditions across much of Florida by Monday, Governor Rick Scott is urging Floridians and visitors to the state to prepare now.

“We are closely monitoring this tropical system and its potential impacts on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Our most important goal is to protect our families, visitors and communities, and we will take every action to make sure our state is prepared for this weather event,” said Scott. “While Florida’s emergency officials, first responders and National Guard stand ready to respond to any need, it is crucial that Floridians use every resource to make sure their homes and families are immediately and thoroughly prepared.”

The broad low pressure area is expected to form over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico or the southern Gulf of Mexico by late this weekend, the National Hurricane Center stated Friday. The Center gives the system a 50 percent chance of the system becoming a tropical cyclone over the next five days.

Upper-level winds could be more conducive for development as the system moves northeast ward across the Gulf. Regardless whether it becomes a named storm, it’s likely to produce heavy rains in Florida.

FDEM Director Bryan Koon said that even if this system does not develop into a named storm, it still poses significant risks from flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes, and rip currents.

“This is expected to be a fast-moving storm, which means that it could mature very rapidly and very close, giving us little warning,” said Koon.

The potential impacts of this tropical storm include:

— Rainfall amounts through Wednesday could reach up to five inches across much of Central and South Florida with isolated totals of eight to ten inches along the I-4 corridor.

— Severe thunderstorms are possible across North Florida on Sunday. Additional severe weather is possible through Tuesday across portions of Central and South Florida.

— Increased wave heights along the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday and along the Atlantic Coast on Wednesday will elevate the risk of rip currents and minor coastal erosion.

For the latest information on the 2016 Hurricane Season visit FloridaDisaster.org.