Wednesday’s heavy rainfall was just what the weather doctor ordered for a parched February that has left a big part of Florida dealing with drought conditions.
Fort Lauderdale set a rainfall record for the date with 1.40 inches, breaking the previous mark of 1.08 inches set in 1967.
Miami measured 1.30 inches, West Palm Beach reported 1.70 inches and Naples checked in with 1.03 inches.
The hefty West Palm Beach total was well off the record of 2.88 inches set in 1966. The record in Miami was 2.19 inches set in 1936. The Naples record is 2.23 inches in 1967.
Big Pine Key and Ramrod Key reported more than 3 inches of rain by mid-afternoon Wednesday. (Credit: NWS-Key West)
Other totals around South Florida: Kendall, 1.25 inches; Pembroke Pines, 0.88 of an inch; Pompano Beach, 0.95; and Boynton Beach, 2.71. At 8 a.m. Thursday, an observer in Jupiter just east of I-95 and south of Indiantown Road reported an unofficial 24-hour total of 6.67 inches.
Central Florida: Melbourne, 2.50 inches; Vero Beach, 0.61; Fort Pierce, 0.44; Daytona Beach, 1.23; and Orlando, 0.28.
West Coast: Tampa, 1.09 inches; Fort Myers, 0.62; and St. Petersburg-Clearwater, 0.15.
Keys: Key West, 1.91 inches and Marathon, 0.62.
Wednesday’s rain event put Key West into positive territory for its monthly precipitation, but left Miami — which had not had any rain previously in February — still 0.45 of an inch short.
West Palm Beach remains down 0.40 of an inch, and Fort Lauderdale’s February shortage stands at 0.86 of an inch.
Will Wednesday’s rain have a big impact on Florida’s drought? This was the situation as of Tuesday. (Credit: U.S. Drought Monitor)
Much of the southern peninsula remained in Moderate Drought this week, with drought conditions stretching from around Naples northeast to Jupiter and from around Tampa east to southern Brevard County.
The rest of Palm Beach, Broward and Mainland Monroe counties are Abnormally Dry except for extreme southeastern Miami-Dade County and Broward County. The drought analysis was released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday but is based on measurements taken Tuesday, before Wednesday’s heavy rainfall.