This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida, with each day focusing on a different hazard. Thursday was set aside for hurricane and flooding safety as the National Weather Service in Melbourne, above, notes. We are 70 days away from the Colorado State University hurricane forecast on April 6. Other seasonal forecast should start coming in as well from services like AccuWeather and Tropical Storm Risk in the UK. Early indications are that it could be another above normal season.
Here’s something you don’t see very often in South Florida — a forecast for a nasty weekend.
People getting off a plane in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach could be forgiven for wondering if perhaps the plane had landed in the wrong city — Chicago maybe, or Indianapolis.
Well, OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny, but highs should only be in the mid-60s with brisk northwest winds. But then rain moves in Saturday night accompanied by very chilly low in the 50s, with Sunday temperatures “struggling to make it into the lower- and mid-60s,” according to National Weather Service forecast discussions.
The West Palm Beach forecast for Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 63, and a 40 percent chance of showers along with northwest winds gusting up to 18 mph.
The trigger for the rain will be a cold front that moves through the area Friday morning and stalls over the Keys, then tries to work its way back to the north over the weekend. South Florida will apparently not make it back into the warm air, but the close proximity of the frontal boundary should pump moisture into the area.
NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, however, has cut projected rainfall for South Florida’s East Coast, from three-quarters of an inch to a quarter of an inch.
“Where this boundary sets up may help to increase rainfall amounts across portions of the region, but the general consensus is still for a period of widespread light to moderate rain,” NWS forecasters said Thursday morning.
Most of the Florida peninsula remains Abnormally Dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with the exception of Miami-Dade County and southeastern Broward County.
January rainfall deficits range from almost an inch in Naples to an inch-and-a-half in Fort Lauderdale and more than 2 inches in West Palm Beach. Miami remains on the plus side by 1.45 inches.