You might want to think twice about heading to the beach this Labor Day as forecasters expect storms to drench South Florida Monday.
The wet weather comes after thunderstorms rolled in Sunday, spinning off what could become Tropical Storm Gordon off Florida’s southwest coast by Monday evening.
By 11 p.m. Sunday, the storm was moving northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico at 15 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.
The system continued to gather strength Sunday night, with its center 175 miles southeast of .
South Florida residents will also start Labor Day under a flood watch — the issued the watch for 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday for Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
The National Weather Service said the storm is likely to pass over the southern Florida Keys Monday afternoon and could create rip currents along South Florida’s beaches.
The current wind pattern is expected to gradually change and lead the storm over the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday or Wednesday. That will spread heavy rains across much of the Bahamas, South Florida and the Florida Keys during the next day or two, according to the .
The heaviest rain, between two and four inches, is expected to fall along the coast from just south of Miami to just south of West Palm Beach, as the storm system moves through the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Weather Service.
Some areas could also see as much as eight inches of rain, according to the weather service, and flash flooding is possible.
The weather service also issued a tropical storm watch for the Alabama-Florida border Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a patch of bad weather off the African coast formed into Tropical Storm Florence early Saturday morning but is not expected to reach hurricane strength or threaten the United States. It will strengthen over the next few days, however.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, the tropical storm was located west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands — about 2,500 miles from South Florida. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with the system moving northwest at 14 mph. Additional slow strengthening is expected.
In addition to Florence, forecasters also are watching a tropical wave located that’s just emerged off the west coast of Africa. The system is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms and the hurricane center said some slow development of this new system is possible during the next several days while it moves westward across the eastern tropical Atlantic.
So far in 2018, the Atlantic tropics have been relatively quiet. At the start of August, hurricane experts at Colorado State University said that conditions in the Atlantic — cooler than average ocean surface temperatures and varying wind speeds in the atmosphere — have diminished the chances of a hurricane striking the U.S. during the remainder of the hurricane season, which goes until Nov. 30.
John Homenuk, a meteorologist at nymetroweather, said in a tweet that “[d]evelopment conditions are about to become much less hostile in the Tropical Atlantic.”
But the weekend storms did cause some headaches for residents.
In , several traffic signals stopped working because of the weather, while Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport saw weather-related flight delays.