Much of Florida is at risk for Excessive Rainfall over the weekend. (Credit: NOAA/ WPC)
The first weekend of fall is expected to be a wet one for Florida’s East Coast.
The area was at risk for Excessive Rainfall on Saturday with another stormy day due Sunday, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center and the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Maria is churning north-northwest east of the peninsula and the Bahamas, but the trigger for the wet weekend is an upper level low in the Gulf of Mexico and what NWS forecasters called a “robust area of deep moisture” across Florida.
The entire East Coast from Miami to Jacksonville was under at least “Marginal Risk” for excessive rainfall — defined as rainfall exceeding flash flood guidance — and a slice of the Treasure Coast and Space Coast is under “Slight Risk,” one level up from Marginal.
WPC graphical forecasts showed up to an inch-and-a-half of rain falling along Florida’s East Coast over the weekend, and as with any Florida rainfall event local amounts could be higher.
“With drainage difficulties from sewers with debris still around from Irma, this could lead to some urban type street flooding, especially along the east coast metro areas,” NWS forecasters in Miami warned.
Hefty rainfall totals were posted Friday as well. Miami reported 2.17 inches on top of the 2.29 inches measured on Thursday. Fort Lauderdale had 0.61 of an inch and West Palm Beach, 0.45 of an inch.
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network said 3.64 inches fell in East-Central Martin County through 7 a.m. Saturday.
Rain chances diminish next week as the west side of Hurricane Maria pumps drier air into the Florida peninsula, forecasters said.
TROPICAL FORECAST MODEL SNAPSHOT: Saturday’s run of the GFS showed two Atlantic systems, one near the Greater Antilles and another near the coast of Belize in the Caribbean toward the end of the first week of the new month. The European had nothing new on its map over the next 10 days.
As usual, the Canadian (CMC) was a bit more aggressive and had a storm developing near the northeast coast of Hispaniola next weekend and moving into the Bahamas and South Florida on Tuesday, October 3 as a tropical storm. Saturday’s CMC run also featured another low latitude storm in the eastern Atlantic tracking west toward the Lesser Antilles.
The Navy model (NAVGEM) also suggested something brewing in the Caribbean next weekend.
With all of the unusually warm water in the tropical Atlantic, and with wind shear likely to remain low/ favorable due to an approaching La Niña in the Pacific, it seems likely that people in the coastal U.S., Central America and the Caribbean will be watching the National Hurricane Center website carefully through October and early November.
“Unfortunately, current W. Hemisphere SSTs match up well with what is typically observed when end of Atlantic hurricane season is active,” Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach said in a Tweet Thursday.
Maria had turned to the north-northwest on Saturday. (Credit: NOAA)
HURRICANE MARIA UPDATE: The official NHC forecast had the storm remaining off the U.S. East Coast before turning northeast by mid-week. However, several forecast models suggest a brush with North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Maria is forecast to begin losing strength late Sunday or Monday, dropping from a major 125-mph storm Saturday to an 85-mph Category 1 hurricane by Wednesday.