A chance of rain is in the National Weather Service forecast for South Florida through the weekend. (Credit: NWS)
The rain over the past five days has really pulled the plug on Florida’s streak of excessive late-spring/ early summer heat, with major reporting sites reporting below normal temperatures for the first week of the month.
West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale are running about 3 degrees below normal while Miami is about a degree below normal and Naples has been just slightly on the cool side.
In West Palm Beach, Wednesday’s low temperature was 67 while Tuesday’s high was only 77. Normal highs and lows for this time of the year are 88 and 74. They are 89 and 75 in Miami.
In Central Florida, cities are also running a degree or two below normal — from Tampa to Daytona Beach and points south. One notable exception is Fort Pierce, which was a degree above normal for the first week in June despite 4.68 inches of rain.
Look for temperatures to pop back up to near average as the heavy rain threat starts to diminish. The Climate Prediction Center still has Florida painted red through the end of the month, indicating warmer than normal temperatures.
A “dry slot” wrapped around the low pressure system that moved across North Florida Wednesday night, giving South and Central Florida a break in the rain, the National Weather Service said. But a frontal system that stalls over Lake Okeechobee and eventually washes out over the weekend will leave behind plenty of moisture to fuel more afternoon showers and storms, especially along the East Coast, forecasters said.
Rain chances remain elevated, in the 60 percent range, through the weekend.
Next week as high pressure builds again to Florida’s east, the Weather Service predicts shower activity will be focused more on the peninsula’s West Coast.
What has the rain done to Florida’s drought? It’s too early to gauge the full effects, since the U.S. Drought Monitor conducts its assessment on Tuesday and reports on Thursday.
But it’s already has a significant impact, and with the wet season pattern now in full swing, there will hopefully be steady improvement to the water shortage picture.
Extreme Drought (D3) has been washed away in Central Florida, although Moderate to Severe Drought remains in place around most of the peninsula. Southeastern Florida, including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are still drought-free and the Treasure Coast is Abnormally Dry.
TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center is reporting no concerns over the next five days in the Atlantic. The GFS still shows a tropical storm coming off the Yucatan Peninsula around June 20 and heading up into the West-Central Gulf of Mexico, and that is echoed by the Canadian Model (CMC). But there’s no sign of it in runs of the European (ECMWF).