5 inches of rain slams South Florida; watching holiday weekend forecast

11 AM UPDATE: “Broward County has had multiple road closures, along with reports of pumps operating at maximum capacity, and even moderate accumulations may compound any issues already in place,” Steven Ippoliti, Lead Forecaster/Incident Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.

The Food Watch was extended until 8 p.m. in Broward, but it expired in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties at 11 a.m.

SFL rainfall forecast

ENCORE! Florida’s wet week was roundly applauded in parts of the peninsula that were sliding into drought conditions.  Now, nature has decided that a repeat performance is in order for the beginning of the work week. In addition, it appears that heavy rain may have booked a return engagement for next weekend. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

Drier weather could finally settle in on Tuesday, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami. But we should probably put the word “drier” in quotes — rain chances will only fall to around 30 percent.

Then they bounce right back up into the 60-70 percent range for the end of the week. After that, said forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami, “the potential for a return to heavy rainfall will have to be watched.”

Forecast models continue to battle it out over what happens during the Memorial Day holiday. In any case, another stormy weekend is likely for the Florida peninsula, forecasters say.

Melbourne: “both models (GFS and ECMWF) show deep tropical moisture overspreading the peninsula during the first part of the upcoming holiday weekend, which will prompt high rain chances with a threat for heavy rain and localized flooding due to already wet conditions.”

Tampa: “Models continue to differ on their handling of tropical moisture/disturbance moving out of the western Caribbean. GFS appears to be an easterly outlier compared to ECMWF and CMC (Canadian) but still plenty of time to see how things will play out in the coming days.”

Saturday/ early Sunday rainfall totals:

Miami 0.61; Fort Lauderdale, 0.87 (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reported 4.39 inches through 7 a.m. Sunday morning); West Palm Beach, 1.56; and Naples 0.20.

A Boca Raton observer reported 4.84 inches; West Lake Worth reported 3.54 inches; and western Pompano Beach, 4.52. In Miami-Dade County, Homestead Air Force Base reported 2.77 inches.

Key West, 0.06; Marathon, 0.55

Orlando, 1.34; Melbourne, 0.40; Vero Beach, 0.89;  and Fort Pierce, 1.22;

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network highlights: 5.74 inches in northeastern Martin County; 3.92 inches in Lee County south of Fort Myers.

Inland Central Florida counties reported around a half-inch to an inch-and-a-half.

Safe Boating Week

Will the weather be nice enough for some Memorial Day weekend boating in Florida? Stay tuned. (Image Credit: Safe Boating Campaign/ NWS-Melbourne)



Florida peninsula faces flooding concerns as wet weekend begins


(Image credit: NWS-Miami)

Florida weekend weather in a word: W-E-T!

A Flood Watch was issued for the southeastern counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, and heavy rain is possible elsewhere through Sunday and into early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Over the next week, more than 7 inches could fall in extreme southeastern Florida, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (see graphic below).

After some slightly drier periods next week, things get interesting again for the holiday weekend with a possible disturbance coming up from the Caribbean.

NWS Miami posted Saturday: “Another plume of deep moisture from the Northwestern Caribbean may spread toward the area, although with a potential tropical disturbance at the end of the week. There is a very high amount of uncertainty in this so have only modestly elevated rain chances for the end of the extended at this time.”

Key West: “Another mid and upper trough over the Gulf to our immediate west attempts to pull a trough or area of low pressure northwards with a wide range of solutions ranging from the Gulf to east of South Florida. For now will continue to advertise above normal chances for rain, at 40 percent, but we will need to monitor this as in the very least this has the potential for significant rains over the Keys for this time frame. Stay tuned!”

Melbourne: “Both GFS and ECMWF show an increase in tropical moisture over the area late in the week but both operational solutions differ significantly on the placement of a potential tropical disturbance.”

As far as Saturday’s model runs, although there has been general agreement on a disturbance popping up in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean over the Memorial Day weekend, locations of the potential low are up for grabs. The GFS has a weak low lifting up from Cuba over South Florida, while the European has a slightly stronger system washing ashore on the North-Central Gulf Coast.

The Canadian (CMC) splits the difference and has a fairly robust tropical storm coming ashore near the Florida Big Bend area next Saturday. The Navy model (NAVGEM) only goes out to Friday, at which time the low is over the western tip of Cuba.

NFL rainfall forecast

Heavy rain is also expected in northeastern Florida through Monday, with close to 3 inches forecast in the Gainesville area. (Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

7 day rainfall forecast

The Weather Prediction Center has more than 7 inches of rain in the forecast for the Miami area through next Saturday. (Image Credit: NOAA)

Excessive rainfall

Excessive rainfall — i.e. flooding — is possible in South Florida and all of Central Florida on Saturday. (Image credit: NOAA/ WPC)

More heavy rain likely for weekend, forecasters say

Weekend rain

RAIN TRAIN CHUGS ONWARD: More intense storms and heavy rainfall are forecast to soak the Florida peninsula over the weekend, the National Weather Service said Friday. There’s a potential for localized flooding. (Image Credit: NWS-TampaBay)


TROPICS WATCH: Major forecast models are still predicting development of some sort in the Caribbean next week as the holiday weekend nears. The Navy model (NAVGEM) is the earliest with a system spinning up on Tuesday off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the northwestern Caribbean, after which it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.

The only model that backed off Friday, to some extent, is the European, which in an early run showed a broad area of low pressure forming off the northwestern tip of Cuba and a very weak, sloppy disturbance moving across Central Florida.

The possibility of a very wet Memorial Day weekend is getting attention from the National Weather Service. “There are signs that another plume of very deep moisture will begin to move toward the region from the south later in the week,” forecasters in Miami said Friday morning.

NWS Key West: “For later in the week or from Wednesday night, a variety of the global models continue to bring a low pressure area northward again out of the Caribbean Sea thanks to another trough returning over the Gulf of Mexico.”


NEW SUMMER FORECAST: NOAA’s new forecast for June through August was released Thursday. It calls for wetter than normal weather in the East and above average temperatures in all but the North-Central parts of the U.S. (Image credits: NOAA/ CPC)


THE CHANGING NATURE OF WET SEASONS: Urban areas across the Florida peninsula are getting their rain during the wet season in increasingly intense bursts, while the actual length of the rainy season has been edging down slightly, a new Florida State University study concludes. Urban areas and rural areas end up getting their usual amount of rainfall, but it’s more spread out in the rural areas.

The study was published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.

“The strong relationship between land cover and these trends in rainfall seems to suggest that land cover has everything to do with changing wet seasons,” said Vasu Misra, associate professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science at FSU and the study’s lead author. “I think this has some very strong implications for urban planning in Florida as well as for Florida’s hydroclimate.”

Misra and colleagues looked at data over the past 60 years and found that the average wet season decreased by 3.5 hours per year in most Florida cities — but not rural areas.

They speculate that warmer temperatures in urban areas cause higher concentrations of water vapor, which results in more intense episodes of rainfall.



Week-long rain train derails Florida drought


HOW DOES JUNE LOOK IN FLORIDA? Wet, according to the new forecast released by the Climate Prediction Center Thursday. It’s calling for above-average rainfall for the entire state, which is nothing to sniff at considering June is normally one of the wettest months of the year. (Image credit: NOAA/ CPC)

Florida’s heavy rain event over the past week washed away drought conditions and Abnormally Dry conditions over much of South Florida and Central Florida, although pockets remained on Thursday, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report.

Severe Drought in northern Miami-Dade County was reduced to Moderate Drought, as it was in Collier County. The Abnormally Dry conditions in most of Palm Beach County were removed, and counties north of Fort Myers went from Moderate Drought into the Abnormally Dry category.

Pockets of Moderate Drought remained in the Orlando area.

RAINFALL REPORT: Showers and thunderstorms didn’t make it to South Florida’s East Coast on Wednesday as brisk easterly winds kept most of the convection in the western burbs and the peninsula’s interior.

Miami International Airport posted precipitation goose eggs for the first time since May 11, and only a trace of rain fell in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Naples managed to pick up 0.08 of an inch, but Marco Island checked in with a hefty 2.46 inches.

Other areas of the peninsula continued to get hammered on Wednesday. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network reported more than 4 inches falling in northeastern Martin County; 3 inches in St. Lucie County; more than 4 inches in Columbia County in North Florida; and more than 2 inches in the Jacksonville area.

Rain remains in the forecast for the next week.


TROPICS WATCH: The GFS is back to showing tropical development in the Caribbean prior to Memorial Day Weekend. These model runs are entering broken record territory — repeat, repeat, repeat — and the eventual storm has been pushed back several times.

The experts say this is typical GFS bias for this time of the year, which is still off-season (the hurricane season starts June 1, although nature isn’t very good at calendar watching).

In addressing this issue in his blog, Weather Underground Director of Meteorology Jeff Masters said: “The GFS model suffers from a known bias in over-predicting tropical cyclone formation in the Western Caribbean this time of year.”

Michael Ventrice, a Ph.D. meteorologist who specializes in tropical weather for The Weather Company, parent company of the Weather Channel and Weather Underground, tweeted on May 12: “This is how you know the GFS tropical cyclogenesis Caribbean bias is showing its ugly head. This past week of runs alone are likely going to result in a huge false alarm to genesis ratio for 2018.”

But now, rather interestingly, the European (ECMWF), which doesn’t usually mess around with phantom tropical storms, has hopped on board the Caribbean development train for the holiday weekend. The Thursday run shows a storm — not strong enough to be a hurricane — running up Florida’s West Coast.

Thursday’s run of the GFS brings this system up the West Coast as well, perhaps making landfall just north of Tampa, possibly as a vigorous tropical storm, putting a big damper on the holiday weekend.

Ditto for the Canadian (CMC), which brings it on-shore from the Gulf a bit farther south and has it crossing the peninsula around Lake Okeechobee.

The Navy’s forecast model (NAVGEM) only goes out to the Wednesday prior to the weekend, but also shows a low developing in the western Caribbean off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Luckily, even though more forecast models are getting into sync on this (still unlikely) event, it’s at least a week away, so there’s plenty of time for forecasts to change. With the wet pattern we’ve been in during this second-half of May, perhaps what we’ll see is just a continuation of that trend, with another round of very heavy rainfall over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Heavy rain slams Florida from tip to top, and more on the way

FL Keys rainfall totals

(Image credit: NWS-Key West)

Tired of the rain yet? Don’t worry, we have only about 153 days to go in the 2018 rainy season.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center released its new seven-day rainfall forecast, showing another bull’s-eye on South Florida. The National Weather Service in Miami said in its Wednesday morning forecast discussion: “Little to no change is expected this weekend in the overall wet weather pattern. In fact, both ECMWF and GFS hint that moisture plume may become even more significant over South Florida.”

7 day rainfall
(Credit: NOAA/ WPC)

The low pressure system that has been slip-sliding around in the Gulf of Mexico has soaked most of the rest of the state as well, although there was some good news in that the National Hurricane Center issued its last Special Tropical Weather Outlook on the weakening disturbance at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Nonetheless, the hits are expected to keep on coming, from the panhandle all the way down to the Keys. On Tuesday it was the panhandle’s turn in the soggy spotlight, as Tallahassee notched record rainfall with 1.41 inches, breaking a century-old record for the date of 1.35 inches set in 1918.

There were plenty of other significant totals on Tuesday as well, up and down the peninsula. Some selected highlights from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network: northeastern Broward County, 2.72 inches; northwestern Charlotte County, 2.82; western Desoto County, 2.12; western Polk, 2.17; and Leon County (south of Tallahassee), 3.49.

Even in the far western panhandle, a Gulf of Mexico barrier island in Okaloosa County checked in with 2.39 inches.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for above-normal rainfall over most of Florida through at least June 8. The agency will issue its new summer forecast for June, July and August on Thursday.


SEVERE WEATHER: The National Weather Service in Miami released a report on an EF-0 tornado in the Acreage, west of West Palm Beach, on Monday. It traveled 1.5 miles with wind speeds of 75-80 mph, investigators said. It touched down for a total of 4 minutes, traveling northwest to west-northwest starting at 5:34 a.m.

It uprooted trees and caused some structural damage.

Two other tornadoes were reported in Florida Monday by the Storm Prediction Center, one just northeast of Lake Okeechobee and another on Florida’s northeast coast.

Melbourne, Vero Beach report record rains; 9-plus inches on West Coast

Florida rainfall

(Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

Parts of the Florida peninsula picked up more than 9 inches of rain over the Sunday-Monday period, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Much of the precipitation has been focused over the East Coast, with record rainfall occurring Monday in Melbourne and Vero Beach.

But the West Coast has been hammered as well, particularly inland Hillsborough County. Riverview, an unincorporated community south of Brandon, measured 9.64 inches of rain through 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, the NWS Tampa office reported. Other observers in the area reported more than 8 inches, most of it falling on Tuesday.

On the East Coast, Vero Beach had 2.20 inches of rain Tuesday, a record for May 14. The previous mark was 1.35 inches set in 1949.

Melbourne also saw record rainfall — 1.94 inches, breaking the previous record of 1.77 inches set in 1969.

While the heavy rain has been fairly localized, NWS forecasters in Tampa said: “Don’t worry, if you haven’t received much rain yet, the wet weather pattern will continue into next week.”

Other two-day totals around the state:

South Florida: West Palm Beach, 4.28; Miami, 1.82; Fort Lauderdale, 2.21; and Naples, 1.40.

Keys: Key West, 4.49 and Marathon, 0.60.

East-Central: Melbourne, 2.84; Vero Beach, 2.5; and Orlando, 0.89.

West Coast: Tampa, 1.85; Sarasota, 2.18; and Fort Myers, 0.79.

Jacksonville, 0.21; Gainesville, 0.67

RECORD COOL TEMPS have popped up in Central Florida over the past couple of days, thanks to all of the cloud cover.

Monday’s high was 74 in Daytona Beach, a new record cool maximum for the date. The previous record was 75 set in 1960.

It was 76 in Orlando, which tied a record cool high set 87 years ago in 1931.


Development chances for the system in the Gulf of Mexico dropped to 10 percent on Tuesday, but the threat of heavy rain remained across the Florida peninsula. (Image credit: NWS/ NHC)


Up to 5 inches of rain slams South Florida; Key West sets rainfall record

Key West rainfall record

(Image credit: NWS-Key West)

Heavy rain swamped South Florida from the Keys to Palm Beach Sunday, and a week-long parade of showers and storms was in the forecast.

Key West set a single-day rainfall record for May 13 with 3.25 inches, easily washing away the old record of 1.44 inches set 30 years ago in 1988.

The National Weather Service reported 3.19 inches at Palm Beach International Airport — well short of the record for the date of 5.22 inches set in 1946.

But other unofficial totals in Palm Beach County were noteworthy, including more than 5 inches in Lake Worth and 4.51 inches in Palm Beach.

More rain was in the forecast for the entire week, with precipitation chances of up to 70 percent in South Florida through next Sunday. NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center shifted Excessive Rainfall warnings north to East-Central Florida through Wednesday as an additional 4-6 inches were forecast for the Treasure Coast.

The precipitation is being pumped into the peninsula from a developing low in the Gulf of Mexico, which the National Hurricane Center said Sunday had a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical or subtropical storm before it comes ashore later this week in Northwest Florida.

Even then, tropical moisture is expected to hang over the Florida peninsula for the long-term, the National Weather Service said.

On top of everything else, more forecast models were hopping on board with a possible tropical system brewing in the Caribbean next week, although anything that forms would likely be much weaker than what the GFS has been advertising over the last few days.

Official Sunday totals from the National Weather Service: Miami, 1.23 inches; Fort Lauderdale, 1.67; West Palm Beach, 3.19; Naples (Municipal Airport), 0.05 (Overnight totals in Naples 0.82).

Keys: Key West, 3.25 inches and Marathon, 0.52.

East-Central Florida: Orlando, 0.12; Melbourne, 0.90; Vero Beach, 0.30; and Fort Pierce, 0.41.

West-Central: Tampa, 0.15 and Fort Myers, 0.51.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network 24 hour totals through 7 a.m. Monday:

South Florida: Lake Worth 5.01 inches; Wellington, 4.83; and Pompano Beach, 3.82.

Keys: 3.33 inches, Big Pine Key.

West-Central: Hillsborough County: Around a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch fell, with 1.53 inches reported east of Apollo Beach;

East-Central: 1.31 inches near Sebastian in Indian River County; 2.5 inches Indiantown in Martin County; 1-2 inches in Brevard County;

ECFL rainfall forecast

The risk of flooding shifts north to the Treasure Coast through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)


RECORD WATCH: Sunday’s high at the Orlando Sanford Airport was 77, which busted a record for coolest high temperature for the date. The previous record was 78 set in 1997.


TROPICS WATCH: The NHC cut chances of development for the low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico from 40 percent to 30 percent over the next five days, and 20 percent over the next two days. “Although this system could still acquire some subtropical or tropical characteristics while it moves slowly northward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the next few days, the low has not shown signs of increased organization during the past 24 hours,” forecasters said in a Monday afternoon update. (Image credit: NHC)