Rain is on the way thanks to a frontal system approaching the state, forecasters said. (Credit: NOAA/ WPC)
Significant rainfall is headed for the Florida peninsula early next week, which will bring some relief from the searing heat experienced around the state during the last week of July.
The trigger will be and “unseasonably robust surface front” that pushes into Florida early next week, possibly sliding south as far as Lake Okeechobee, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami.
August may start out on a wet note, with almost 5 inches of rain forecast through the middle of next week for the Big Bend area, more than 4 inches from Jacksonville down to Daytona Beach, and more than 2 inches around the Treasure Coast and into the Palm Beaches.
In fact, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal precipitation for the first week of August all the way from Florida west through the Gulf States and into the Desert Southwest.
Stifling heat index readings around the state began backing off a bit on Wednesday, but not much. More relief is due over the weekend thanks to lower dew points, forecasters said.
Notable (actual) highs around the state Wednesday: Punta Gorda, 97; Crestview, 96; Winter Haven, 96; Fort Myers, 95; and Pensacola, 95. Actual highs around South Florida and Central Florida were generally in the low 90s, but high dew points drove heat index values to very uncomfortable levels.
Peak heat index readings: Melbourne, 109; Punta Gorda, 107; Venice, 107; Kissimmee, 107; Naples, 106; West Palm Beach, 105; Fort Lauderdale, 103; Orlando, 102; Okeechobee, 102; Miami, 101; and Fort Pierce, 100. .
Precipitation chances rise to 30-40 percent over the weekend and then up to 60 percent early next week for much of the peninsula, forecasters said.
RECORD WATCH: Five East Coast cities logged record warm lows on Wednesday. Miami’s low of 82 matched the mark set in 2011; the 83-degree low in Fort Lauderdale tied the mark set in 2006; the low of 77 in Vero Beach tied the record set in 2011; Melbourne’s 80-degree low broke the record of 79 set in 2001; and the low of 77 in Daytona Beach broke the previous record of 76 set in 2011.
Forecasters are watching a tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic. (Credit: NHC)
TROPICS WATCH: Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami upped chances of development for the Tropical Wave in the eastern Atlantic to 30 percent by early next week. The disturbance has model support from the European (ECMWF) and the Canadian (CMC), but the GFS has been running hot and cold on development.