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Caribbean System May Spawn Floods From Florida to Caymans

Storm forecasters are tracking a potential tropical weather system that may spawn heavy rain and flooding from the Bahamas and Florida to the Cayman Islands.

The disturbance has a 30 percent chance of organizing and strengthening into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days as it moves northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Two days of heavy rain and local flooding may occur across western Cuba, southern Florida, the central Bahamas and Yucatan peninsula, the NHC said. The center is also monitoring Tropical Storm Chris southeast of Newfoundland, the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Chris was 630 miles (1,010 kilometers) from Cape Race, Newfoundland, moving east-northeast at 20 mph, the NHC said in its 5 a.m. Atlantic time advisory. Its top winds were 60 mph. Little change in strength is expected with the storm forecast to become post-tropical by the end of the week.

The two other storms that received names when their winds reached 39 mph formed in May, ahead of the official June 1 start of the hurricane season. Three storms don’t usually develop in the Atlantic so early, Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground Inc., wrote in his blog. In 1887 and 1959, three storms formed before June 20, he said.

A nearly stationary area of low pressure about 330 miles south of the tip of Mexico’s Baja California is producing showers though it’s only given a 10 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next two days, the NHC also said.

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