“Considerable flash and urban flooding” could continue in Florida as what remains of Hurricane Agatha continues its journey past the state into the western Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Potential Tropical Cyclone One, as the storm is now known, has dumped upwards of 10 inches of rainfall and flooded streets in Miami on Friday and Saturday, sending cars floating down the street.
— Miami Fire PIO (@MFR_PIO) June 4, 2022
The storm has reached sustained winds of up to 45 mph, and is moving northeast at around 18mph, according to an NHC update, where it could continue bringing inclement weather to South Florida, the Keys, and the Bahamas.
As the potential cyclone continues its progress into the Atlantic, all tropical storm warnings in Central Florida counties were dropped on Saturday afternoon.
As of Saturday afternoon, the storm was located 15 miles south-southwest of Fort Pierce Florida, and moving northeast.
Right now, the system is being called “Potential Tropical Cyclone One” — but if it reaches tropical storm status, with winds over 39 miles per hour (63 kph) — it would be named Tropical Storm Alex.
Meteorologists expect the system to become a tropical storm by Saturday night as it moves into the western Atlantic.
This would be the first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began this week.
Potential for major flooding continues to be the main concern across South Florida as Potential Tropical Cyclone One approaches the region. For the latest potential impacts for South Florida, visit our tropical portal at: https://t.co/1qqyQVfGdy #flwx pic.twitter.com/qT26UyTeaT
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) June 3, 2022
Hurricane Agatha killed at least 11 people, with over 30 more missing, as it swept over Mexico.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted another intense hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, with up to 21 named storms. Normally, there are around 14 named storms per year.
The agency puts the blame in part on ongoing La Niña conditions in the Pacific, which can lead to more intense Atlantic hurricane seasons, as well as warm surface water temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Scientists warn that the climate crisis is likely to make hurricanes both stronger and more frequent.
Researchers have also been able to show connections between the intensity of specific storms, like Hurricane Harvey, which pummelled Texas in 2017, and the climate crisis.