Rain in Florida’s weekend outlook, but no wash-out; forecast models weigh late-June tropical activity

7 day rainfall totals

Seven-day rainfall totals through Friday morning show near 20 inches of rain have fallen in parts of South Florida. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

SATURDAY UPDATE: With the 1.96 inches of rain that fell at Palm Beach International Airport on Friday, West Palm Beach has already surpassed normal rainfall for the entire month of June at 8.74 inches. The normal for the month is 8.3 inches.

Ditto for Miami, which has had almost 11 inches and Fort Lauderdale, which has logged almost 10 inches. Naples has had 5.41 inches, which is 61 percent of normal rainfall for the whole month.

Central Florida, from Tampa to Sarasota and from Daytona Beach to Fort Pierce, is also enjoying significant precipitation surpluses, as are the Florida Keys.

SATURDAY LOOK AT TROPICS: All of the major forecast models have hopped on to the idea of tropical development next weekend somewhere around the Yucatan Peninsula. The GFS, the Canadian (CMC) and the Navy model (NAVGEM) have the system spinning up in the Caribbean and then moving north into the Gulf of Mexico. The European (ECMWF) shows a weak system in the Bay of Campeche on Tuesday, June 20.

All of the models are forecasting the development of a weak low, with the exception of the CMC, which has a robust system rolling up Florida’s West Coast.

However, National Weather Service forecasters in Houston are skeptical:

“Overall conditions are not favorable for tropical cyclone development in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 7 days,” they said in Saturday morning’s weather analysis.  “Synoptic forecast models are behaving as expected beyond 7 days with the development of a model ‘cane’ of some sort with a tropical wave that moves into the Yucatan the following Sunday/Monday June 18/19 time frame.

“There is no consistency or solid signal in the models to believe these details in the models. These types of model ‘canes’ typically remain in the 7-10 day forecast range with each successive model run and never materialize.”

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ORIGINAL POST: It ain’t over till it’s over, as famous baseball forecaster once said, and although things appear to have dried out a bit over South and Central Florida late this week, more rain may be on the way.

Another shot of precipitation looks to be in the cards for Saturday as a pool of moisture in the Caribbean and over the Bahamas gets pushed back over the Florida peninsula, the National Weather Service says. It’s expected to meet up with an old frontal boundary and juice it, bringing showers and a few storms.

“It does not currently look like another widespread heavy rain threat, but locally heavy activity will be possible,” forecasters said in their Friday morning analysis from Miami.

Longer term into next week, the peninsula is finally in an established summer rainfall pattern, with convection most likely in the interior and West Coast areas as Atlantic sea breezes kick up.

RECORD WATCH: Key West logged a rainfall record on Wednesday that had been standing for 141 years. The 4.39 inches of rain obliterated the old mark of 1.62 inches set on June 7, 1876, two weeks before the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

The low in Naples Thursday was 80, breaking the record warm minimum temperature of 79 set in 1957.

The high in Gainesville Thursday was 73, busting the record for coolest high temperature — 79, set in 2012.

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TROPICS WATCH: The GFS continues to toss around the idea of a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico the week of June 18. It has alternately shown the system going into Florida, the northern Gulf Coast, and the South Texas coast.

The Canadian model (CMC) supports the idea and Friday’s run has the system rolling up the West Coast of Florida. The European (ECMWF) suggests something may be afoot around that time near the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Navy forecast model (NAVGEM) suggests that something may spin up in the Caribbean, south of Cuba, by next Friday.

Nothing is on the Atlantic forecast map at the National Hurricane Center, but forecasters say a low pressure system may form in the Pacific south of Mexico — around the same place Tropical Beatriz formed — by around mid-week. It has been given a 20 percent chance of development into a tropical depression, or Tropical Storm Calvin, over the next five days.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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