Miami slammed with 5 inches of rain, more on the way

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The remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Beatriz popped off the coast of Mexico into the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, but the National Hurricane Center gave the system a near zero percent chance of redevelopment due to high wind shear. (Credit: NHC)

The wet season got off to a flying start Friday, with numerous storms soaking most of South and Central Florida — and inundating Miami-Dade County with near-record rainfall.

Miami International Airport reported 5.19 inches, just shy of the record rainfall total for the date of 5.27 inches set on June 2, 1930.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for the county on Friday morning although it was lifted by noon. The Miami Herald has a photo of flooding in the area.

An observer in Hialeah reported a 24-hour total through Saturday morning of 6.61 inches to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, but the heavy amounts were isolated. Broward County generally picked up less than an inch, and Palm Beach County reported about a quarter of an inch to a half-inch.

Northeast Martin County had a thorough soaking though, with numerous reports of totals in excess of 4 inches.

To the northwest in Polk County, an observer east of Haines City checked with 4.03 inches.

Officially, other Friday precipitation totals included 0.20 of an inch in West Palm Beach, and 0.14 of an inch in Naples and Fort Lauderdale.

Rain chances remain high over the next week — in the 50-70 percent range, according to the National Weather Service.

The Gulf of Mexico continues to whip up convection, and ex-Tropical Storm Beatriz should contribute to the moisture. But the National Hurricane Center said there was no chance of Gulf tropical development because wind shear is high. University of Wisconsin maps show wind shear values as high as 50 km/h in the Gulf, and there’s no sign of those hostile conditions easing up.

In an email to media Friday night, the National Weather Service’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Miami, Robert Molleda, said the official start of the South Florida rainy season will likely be May 29.

That’s the date that precipitable water values began rising to around average for this time of the year, and the subtropical ridge became locked into place, which allows sea-breeze driven convection to become the pattern. The process actually began May 18, Molleda said, but Memorial Day weekend was bone dry, with unusually low dew points.

“This pattern is somewhat reminiscent of 2011 when we had a very dry May and a late start of the rainy season in early June,” he said.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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