Tropical Storm Bonnie, which strengthened Thursday over the Bahamas from Tropical Depression #3, is approaching southern Florida this Friday morning. Bonnie will affect the Keys and the southern half of Florida today with local heavy downpours and sustained winds around 40 mph with some higher gusts. A northwest track is expected the rest of the weekend as upper winds steer the Tropical Storm around a dome of high pressure parked over the Southeast U.S. (the same ridge that is producing a dangerous heat wave in the Deep South and the Mid-Atlantic). This track takes Bonnie straight for the Gulf oil spill cleanup region, and will likely lead to a landfall around Louisiana by Sunday evening as a Tropical Storm.
Not much strengthening is expected over the weekend, as upper-level winds will prevent better organization of the system. Most model data indicates the current strength will be maintained or strengthen slightly, at best.