More heavy rain in Florida forecast — no let-up in sight

Fish Eating Creek water levels

National Weather Service meteorologists from Miami visited Fisheating Creek west of Lake Okeechobee, in Palmdale, Florida to check out water levels. They found them significantly lower than normal. Will this week’s rainfall be the start of a recovery? (Credit: NWS-Miami)

Wet weekend weather across Central and South Florida was just a preview of coming attractions, forecasters say, with a week-long period of potentially heavy rain on the way that may require a flood watch for some locations.

June is usually the wettest month in most of South Florida, and Nature apparently got the memo.

The seven-day precipitation forecast from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has the Florida peninsula awash in red, with very heavy rainfall amounts forecast from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale, and north as far as Tampa and the Treasure Coast.

“Tuesday looks to be a rainy day with plenty of moisture to create concerns for heavy rainfall, particularly along the Gulf coast,” National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said in their Monday analysis.

Monday’s WPC forecast calls for up to 6 inches of rain on top of what has already fallen over the weekend.

Miami has racked up more than 6 inches of rain through Sunday, due in large part to the 5.19-inch deluge at Miami International Airport on Friday. But even Sunday’s on-and-off showers dumped another 0.66 of an inch in Miami.

Fort Lauderdale measured 0.79 of an inch through Sunday, with 0.54 of an inch in West Palm Beach, and those totals are actually around a half-inch short of normal for the first four days of June. However, precipitation totals for this event have been hyper-localized, so not too much should be read in to the official totals just because major airports were missed.

For example, for the 24-hour period from 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, the Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach area picked up between 2.59-3.43 inches, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. And areas west of the airport in Fort Lauderdale received more than 2 inches.

Hefty totals popped up here and there across both Central and South Florida with no apparent pattern. An observer in LaBelle in Hendry County reported 3.58 inches through Sunday morning, while another CoCoRaHS observer just to the east and south of State Road 80 measured 0.27 of an inch for the same period.

Early Monday morning, another band of very heavy rain was moving in from the Gulf into Southwest Florida.

Fortunately, it looks like tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico is off the table for now, as the National Hurricane Center has taken down its yellow marker north of the Bay of Campeche for potential redevelopment of the Pacific’s ex-Tropical Storm Beatriz.

However, the National Weather Service in Miami says a mid-level trough pushing across the lower Mississippi Valley could trigger a surface low to develop before its accompanying rainfall moves into the Florida peninsula.

And the system has staying power, since precipitation chances in South Florida range between 50-70 percent all the way through Sunday, June 11.

The GFS shows a low pressure system developing off the coast of Louisiana and then scooting across the northern Gulf coast on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is also supported by the European (ECMWF).

To top it off, the heavy rain retreats to the south on Friday, forecast models show, before moving back north again on Saturday and Sunday.

The Canadian forecast model (CMC) adds icing to the cake the following week with a tropical storm popping off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and running up toward the Florida panhandle.

This model has a reputation of being overly aggressive when it comes to tropical development, so no need for anyone to batten down the hatches just yet. We’ll have to wait and see if any other models hop on board this idea, or whether this is just another CMC overreach.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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