Cooler, pleasant Florida weather is calm before storm, forecasters say

Drier, slightly cooler air worked into South Florida from the Bahamas on Sunday, bringing a brief respite to the heat and humidity as May begins to wind down.

West Palm Beach temperatures bottomed out at 71 Monday morning, and dew points slipped into the mid-60s late Sunday night. Dew points in Miami and Fort Lauderdale also dipped into the mid- to upper-60s.

For a change, no record-setting weather occurred around the Florida peninsula Sunday, with the exception of Fort Lauderdale, which tied a record-warm low with 78.

But the pleasant weather was the proverbial calm before the storm, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

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Most of  Florida is at risk for severe weather and heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Storm Prediction Center. (Credit: NOAA/ SPC)

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center is forecasting some rough weather over the peninsula Wednesday night into Thursday, with the possibility of some severe storms and up to 2 inches of rain as a strong cold front sweeps down from the north and stalls over South Florida. The frontal boundary is expected to wash out on Friday with drier air moving into most of the peninsula in time for the holiday weekend.

“The GFS shows general 1 inch rainfall amounts for the Tuesday-Thursday period, while the ECMWF [European Model] has about twice that much, so right now 1-2 inches is what we are hoping for,” forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Melbourne said Monday.

The SPC put northern areas of South Florida at “slight” risk for severe storms, with “marginal” risk elsewhere. The line between slight and marginal runs on an angle roughly from Everglades City south of Naples to just north of West Palm Beach on the East Coast.

There’s a chance for damaging winds, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes from late Wednesday into Thursday morning, forecasters say.

The Memorial Day weekend forecast looks better, with a 20-30 percent chance of rain Friday through Sunday in South Florida and along the East Coast, but clear and dry weather on the West Coast.

Will this week’s rain event be enough to kick-start the South Florida wet season? Stay tuned. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting normal precipitation levels in Florida from late May into early June.

Note that June is the wettest month in many South Florida locations, exceeded in some areas by September.

Mid-week severe weather

Here’s a close-up look at threats for severe weather in South Florida for mid-week. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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