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Tropical development possible near south Florida this weekend

Paulette is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 miles per hour (17 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday.

The depression now has winds of 35 miles per hour. Forecasters say the disturbance could form into a tropical storm by next week.

Flood watches have been issued for a large part of Florida Saturday morning.

The tropical storm watch is in effect for Jupiter southward to the upper Florida Keys. Some slow development of this system is possible while it moves westward and then southwestward over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico through early next week. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, September 12, 2020, due to the presence of Tropical Storm Sally (formerly Invest 96L and Tropical Depression Nineteen) that is moving across South Florida and forecast to become a hurricane tracking toward Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. A north-westward motion should begin Friday evening and continue into the weekend.

We're right in the height of the storm season now.

Note: None of these storms pose a direct threat to New Jersey or other coastal areas along the eastern United States, but forecasters say Tropical Storm Paulette is generating swells that are causing rough seas. It is too early to determine the magnitude of this rainfall event, but there is increasing confidence that rainfall totals could be excessive.

Sally is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane by late Monday. There are also two waves near the west coast of Africa that have a decent chance of development. There isn't much on the forecast track yet but they see a 90% chance it will grow into a tropical depression in the 5 days ahead. NASA is reporting that the smoke has traveled almost 1,300 miles across the western US and eastern Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, air quality is expected to remain unhealthy across the western US through much of the weekend as numerous large wildfires continue to burn across the region.