Tropical Storm Warnings for Southern Florida Coast

Tropical depression approaches Cuba

By Todd Wright
|  Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:26 PM EDT
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Funnel Cloud in Homestead

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Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Cayman Islands and parts of Cuba, the Bahamas and the southern Florida coast as a new tropical depression approaches.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the depression has maximum sustained winds Tuesday near 35 mph (55 kph). The depression is expected to strengthen and become a tropical storm later in the day.

It rained off and on for much of the day in South Florida, but there weren't the deluge of water predicted to drench the area on Monday. By South Florida standards, Tuesday has been a pretty mild day when it comes to rain.

Still, some wicked weather was reported in South Miami-Dade, including the appearance of a funnel cloud near Homestead.

Goverment agencies are watching the storm closely, but most county and city services will be business as usual Wednesday. Schools have also decided to stay open, despite the anticipation of heavy rains. Forecaster predict as much as eight inches of rain will be dumped on the tri-county area.

Bahia Honda State Park, Curry Hammock State Park and Long Key State park, all located in the Keys, will be closed Wednesday.

The Florida Panthers have also canceled their preseason home game against the Carolina Hurricanes, disappointed about a half dozen faithful followers.

At 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the depression's center was located about 330 miles south-southwest of Miami with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. The threshold for tropical storms is 39 mph. The storm was moving north-northeast at 10 mph.

It could turn into Tropical Storm Nicole sometime tonight, the National Hurricane Center said.

In Cuba, the tropical storm warning covers the provinces from Matanzas eastward to Ciego de Avila. The warning also covers the northwestern and central Bahamas. In Florida, it's in effect for Jupiter Inlet southward to East Cape Sable, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys.

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