Miami picks up more weekend rain as other parts of peninsula struggle with drought

It’s been a tale of two climates in South Florida this month, with the extreme southeastern corner of the peninsula awash in precipitation while other areas struggle with very dry to outright drought conditions.

Once again on Sunday, Miami picked up 0.18 if an inch of rain — the fourth day in a row with measurable precipitation, bringing the four-day total to 2.01 inches. The March total in Miami of 3.92 inches is 1.48 inches above average for the month.

Homestead picked up a quarter of an inch of rain on Sunday.

Five day forecast
Five-day South Florida forecast. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

Seventy miles up the coast, Palm Beach International Airport is dealing with a 2.33-inch rainfall deficit. Fort Lauderdale has a shortfall of 1.24 inches and Naples has had 0.14 of an inch of rain all month — a 1.77 inch deficit.

East-Central and West-Central Florida locations are also unusually dry.

The National Weather Service is calling for another dry week for the peninsula with a slight increase in precipitation chances on Friday as a front nears. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is suggesting above normal precipitation for the first week in April in all of Florida, and we’ll have to see if that change in patterns actually pans out.

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Forecast tracks for Invest 90L. (Credit: SFWMD)

LOW PRESSURE LOW-DOWN: The surface low east of the Bahamas was designated Invest 90L — the first of 2017 — but chances of it developing into a tropical or subtropical system were close to zero.

Satellite imagery showed a naked swirl with thunderstorms several hundred miles off to the north and east of the center.

Although forecast models support a deepening low that will move east-northeast across the Atlantic, wind shear is in the 60-70 mph range, and sea surface temperatures are actually slightly below normal in the region.

At around 75 degrees, water temperatures are unlikely to support development, according to Weather Underground.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) website showed winds at tropical storm strength associated with 90L on Sunday night, but they were forecast to drop precipitously on Monday and Tuesday, when the system is expected to pass a few hundred miles south of Bermuda.

If 90L had achieved tropical or subtropical status, it would have been only the second system in recorded history to do so on March — the other being a Category 2 hurricane that formed in late March 1908.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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