If you've lived in Miami longer than, say, one week, you're probably familiar with the South Florida weather sensation known as king tides. During a few stretches of the year when the moon is closest to the Earth, the gravitational pull causes higher-than-normal tides, prompting the hellish phenomenon of sunny-day flooding.
King tides typically affect South Florida in the fall, and — as luck would have it — they are expected in the area this Thursday through next Tuesday. That's precisely when Tropical Storm Dorian, the fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, could hit Florida.
(2/2) Latest NHC forecast on #Dorian keeps it at TS strength due to aforementioned pitfalls. Shear does weaken and whatever #Dorian is should impact Bahamas and potentially FL Friday and Saturday. What that will be is still a wide range of possibilities. Be prepared regardless. pic.twitter.com/A8FI5hjNLi— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) August 27, 2019
As of 8 a.m., the National Weather Service (NWS) says Dorian is expected to arrive in Florida early Sunday as a weak storm with heavy rain. A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic as Dorian moves across Saint Lucia this morning.
So far, forecasters say Puerto Rico, the D.R., Barbados, Martinique, Saint Croix, and other Caribbean nations could see up to six inches of rainfall, which might cause "life-threatening flash floods." Although it's too early to say how much rain Florida could get, it's likely the Miami area will see some impact from the storm.
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"While uncertainty remains high, wind and rain impacts are possible in the Bahamas and Florida later this week and this weekend," states an NWS bulletin issued this morning. "Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Dorian and ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place."
That could mean trouble for South Florida because, even before the latest forecast, the City of Miami advised its residents to be prepared for king tides later this week:
#KingTide Reminder: expect limited King Tide impacts in #Miami tomorrow evening (08/26), with impacts gradually increasing throughout the week. Remember to report King Tides in your neighborhood by using the 311 app. pic.twitter.com/Ar9iri0i51— City of Miami (@CityofMiami) August 25, 2019
It remains to be seen what the combination of Dorian and king tides will bring to South Florida. The NWS will release an updated advisory at 11 a.m.