Light rain is expected to dampen the weekend in South Florida, with heavier rain possible next week. (Credit: NWS-Miami)
Looks like Florida’s warm and dry February is due to be interrupted next week by some stormy weather.
National Weather Service continues to watch forecast models that predict a vigorous cold front sweeping across the Florida peninsula next week, part of a Gulf low pressure system that could pack some severe storms.
For now, the GFS shows the system impacting the peninsula late Thursday, with the low skirting the northern Gulf Coast and a trailing cold front that could bring heavy rain.
It’s too far out for NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center to weigh in, but NWS forecasters say that the basic scenario for thunderstorms and a strong front is supported by both the GFS and the European forecast model (ECMWF).
The Canadian model (CMC) has the system impacting Central and South Florida a bit earlier on Wednesday with an additional batch of rain moving through on Thursday.
The Weather Prediction Center, which forecasts rainfall amounts, has about an inch of rain falling in and around the Palm Beach area through next Thursday.
“While this system is still quite distant in the forecast period, the amount of consensus between the 00z GFS and 00z ECMWF in a strong system entering the Gulf with a mid-level cutoff low capable of digging as far south as Cuba (if the ECMWF can be believed here) raises some need to maintain awareness of the forecast evolution over the next week or so,” forecasters said in their latest analysis.
Thunderstorms are also possible in South Florida on Sunday, they said, with an earlier front that will again (slightly) cool things down for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday.
But it will take quite a soaking to make up for the dry February around Florida so far. Miami has had no rain at all this month, leaving a deficit of 1.22 inches. Fort Lauderdale’s deficit stands at 1.6 inches; West Palm Beach has a 1.41-inch shortfall and Naples checks in with a deficit of 1.05 inches.
Other February precipitation deficits around the state: Key West, 0.61; Marathon, 1.16; Fort Myers, 1.02; Tampa, 0.82; Fort Pierce, 1.31; Vero Beach, 0.78; Orlando, 0.88; Melbourne, 0.39; Daytona Beach, 0.98; Jacksonville, 1.13; and Gainesville, 1.44.
Temperatures continue to run between 3-5 degrees above normal in Central Florida, South Florida and the Keys, and almost 6 degrees above average in North Florida.