This is not a test. Hide your family. Sell all of your belongings for canned food and weaponry. Prepare yourself for utmost destruction. The year's first tropical disturbance is churning just off the coast of Florida, and the time has come to PANIC!
Wait, what's that? It's basically just a big rain shower that has essentially no chance of developing into a tropical storm? Hmm. Well, you may as well at least prepare yourself for the coming five months of Weather Channel and local TV news freakouts over every other disturbance within 500 miles of South Florida.
We'll do our best to stay slightly more reasonable, though we can't promise we won't raid Riptide's sizable emergency subterranean liquor supply while covering hurricane season.
As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on a disturbance that's churning out thunderstorms and showers about 70 miles off the coast of Daytona Beach. The system does have the low pressure typical of developing storms, but it isn't very likely to strengthen this weekend.
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The hurricane center gives it just a 10 percent chance of growing in strength by next week. Dr. Jeff Masters at the blog Weather Underground wrote that high wind shear throughout the Caribbean is making it tough for any storms to blow up.
"Vertical wind shear will be very high over most of the tropical Atlantic," he wrote earlier this week, "and there will be a large amount of dry, sinking air, making it difficult for tropical storms to form."
So yeah, it's probably OK to venture out of your prepper shelter for the moment.