Florida forecasters see signs that rainy season is around the corner

The National Weather Service notes that Florida’s rainy season is supposed to start on Saturday — will Nature get the memo?

Rain chances in Central and South Florida are expected to ramp up as the week ends, but NWS forecasters are hedging their bets as to whether this will mark the start of the 2017 wet season.

Precipitation probabilities bounce up to 40 percent in some East Coast areas by Friday night, as moisture surges into the peninsula from the east. Strong easterly winds will be the result of the developing Bermuda high — a sure sign that summer is around the corner.

“While this flow pattern resembles a more typical summertime, wet season pattern, it is still too early to tell if we are indeed transitioning to the wet season, which typically occurs on average around May 20,” NWS forecasters said in their Tuesday discussion.

In Melbourne, forecasters said: “The overall trend is for increasing late week rain chances through at least Saturday.” Higher rain chances may return early next week.

7 day rainfall
Rainfall projections through May 23. (Credit: NOAA/ WPC)

For a change, seven-day rainfall projections from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center look fairly robust for southeastern Florida, with 3.2 inches forecast through next Tuesday near Key largo and significant totals up the East Coast toward Palm Beach.

Rainfall could be enhanced by an approaching frontal boundary early next week, forecasters said.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a wet third week of May in Florida and most of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River.

As of Tuesday, Miami was about an inch behind on May rainfall while Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach were around a half-inch short. Naples had a slight precipitation surplus.

The Keys have a rainfall deficit of around a half-inch but some locations in East-Central Florida are racking up precipitation overages, including Vero Beach, which is 1.52 inches ahead of the game.

Deficits on the West Coast range from around a quarter-inch in Tampa to almost an inch in Sarasota.

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statewidetavgrank-201701-201704

Florida and most of the southeastern U.S. had the warmest January-April period on record. (Credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

EARLY SEASON HEAT: Florida had its warmest January-April period on record, as did 13 other states in the Southeastern U.S. along with Texas and New Mexico, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reports.

All states in the contiguous 48 had an above-normal January-April period except for Washington, which had below normal temperatures and Oregon, which was around normal.

Nationwide, it was the second-warmest January-April period.

Nine states had their warmest April on record — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Several states had their second-warmest April, including Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina.

Florida had its tenth-warmest April.

Eighteen states had record warm minimum temperatures in April.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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