South Florida (finally) gets a soaking

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Cloudy conditions stretch from the Florida Keys north through the North-Central peninsula, with most of the weekend precipitation focused on southern areas. (Credit: NOAA)

The parched Florida peninsula finally got some relief as the week wound down, with nearly an inch of rain drenching some southern areas.

In West Palm Beach, Palm Beach International Airport measured 0.78 of an inch Friday after .02 of an inch of an inch Thursday. Adding that to the 0.44 of an inch that fell on Dec. 1, the monthly total rose to 1.24 inches, an above normal total for the first nine days of December.

Fort Lauderdale had 0.62 of an inch Thursday and a trace of rain on Friday as most of the rain cells migrated in off the Atlantic over the Palm Beach coast. But some parts of northern coastal Broward County were hit with between 1.5-2 inches from Friday morning through Saturday morning, the South Florida Water Management District reported.

Officially, Fort Lauderdale has had 1.29 inches of rain this month, and moderate to heavy rain had again set up over the Broward coast on Saturday morning, so look for those totals to spike.

Miami has had 1.11 inches, with significant rainfall likely on Saturday.

On the other hand, the West Coast has been more or less skunked, as the recent cold front that swept down the peninsula and stalled over the Florida Straits set up northeast winds and delivered most of the moisture to the East Coast.

Slightly drier air has been in control in Central Florida, but the area is still under heavy cloud cover and that, along with cool temperatures in the 40s and 50s, has been giving the state the sort of “raw” breezy conditions typical of mid-autumn in the Midwest and Northeast.

The heaviest rain over the next several days — through Monday at least — should be focused in the Florida Straits near the Upper Keys, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center says. Graphical forecasts show 1.67 inches falling near the Islamorada/ Tavernier area through Monday.

So far, the Keys haven’t had much rain out of this front. Marathon picked up 0.04 of an inch Friday while Key West reported just a trace.

The southern Keys were still on the warm side of the front as the week wound down. Key West checked in with a high on Thursday of 85, tying a record set in 1978. Friday’s high was a little cooler 79.

A return to more tranquil weather is in the forecast with slightly above normal temperatures on southeasterly winds, according to the National Weather Service.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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