More than 4 inches of rain soak parts of Florida peninsula; Don races toward islands

Decent rains soaked parts of the Florida peninsula Monday, but totals ranged widely from more than 4 inches in southern Broward County to just a splattering at Miami International Airport.

More than 3 inches fell east of Fort Myers while only a few hundredths of an inch were measured in the Tampa area.

Up to 3 inches was reported south of Orlando and up to 2 inches in North Florida.

West Palm Beach picked up 0.67 of an inch Monday; while Fort Lauderdale reported 0.11 of an inch and Miami had 0.02 of an inch. Naples posted goose eggs.

Rain chances remain in the 50 percent range through Friday when some drier air may move into the peninsula. However, National Weather Service forecasters in Miami were watching runs of the GFS model that pushes a cut-off low into northern parts of the peninsula over the weekend.

But the GFS is alone in that prediction, so forecasters are taking a wait-and-see approach to the weekend forecast before raising precipitation chances.


Tropical Storm Don had strengthened to 50 mph Tuesday morning. (Credit: NHC)

East of the Windward Islands, Tropical Storm Don powered up to a 50 mph system Tuesday morning as it charged westward at a brisk 18 mph. The main question with the system is how strong it could get before hitting the islands, since Don is currently in an environment of low wind shear and water temperatures that are about a degree above normal.

After Don reaches the Caribbean, wind shear is expected to pick up, and the storm’s proximity to the coast of South America may also take a toll.

The low to Don’s east was designated 96L by the National Hurricane Center, and was given a 40 percent chance of becoming a depression, or Tropical Storm Emily, by Sunday. It’s too early to say whether this system could impact the U.S. East Coastbut early forecast models suggest that it could approach the Bahamas if it stays together.

At Weather Underground, hurricane expert Jeff Masters noted: Don is likely to be the second tropical storm to affect the Lesser Antilles Islands this year. According to NOAA’s Historical Hurricanes site, this would be the first year on record for the islands to see two tropical storms before August 1.

“There were two other years that came close: in 2005, Hurricane Emily passed though the islands on July 14, and the tropical depression that would become Hurricane Dennis passed through on July 4. In 1933, a tropical depression passed though the islands on July 14, and a tropical storm hit on July 25

“It should give no one comfort that these were the two busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record!”


Early model runs for Invest 96L suggest a movement toward the northwest followed by a possible turn more toward the west-northwest late in the forecast period. (Credit: SFWMD)


Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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