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A hazardous weather outlook issued Tuesday for Southwest and Central Florida, includes Levy County , the Suwannee River and coastal waters. The outlook was issued by the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
Showers and some thunderstorms are predicted for today (Tuesday) and while none are expected to be severe they will contain lightning.
The low pressure area that is causing the weather alert is forecast to move slowly northward along the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and Thursday and then cross Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday night and Friday.
While the NWS forecast says it is too early to predict the impacts, heavy rain and the potential for some flooding is most likely with wind shear. A weak instability on Thursday could result in a threat for isolated tornadoes and winds and seas could pick up on Thursday.
The movement of the storm is a reminder that the 2013 hurricane season has started and emergency preparation and survival information will be available at the Levy County Department of Public Safety Expo on Saturday, June 8 at the Bronson Youth League Field.
The Expo will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it is free.
There will be helicopters, fire trucks, ambulances, law enforcement vehicles and other public safety, emergency and disaster vehicles will be available for inspection. Personnel will also be on hand to explain the equipment's function. There will also be demonstrations by emergency personnel and free CPR training.
Concessions will be available with all profits going to the Bronson Youth League.
In the meantime, updates on the weather can be found here at the Chiefland Citizen and at the Levy County Emergency Management Department website,www.levydisaster.com.
The National Hurricane Center issued its 2013 hurricane season outlook on May 23 saying there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes, according to the center press release.
Three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity are expected to come together to produce an active or extremely active 2013 hurricane season. These are:
• A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995;
• Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea; and
• El Niño is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation.
“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive winds patterns coming from Africa."
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike.