Forecasters predict record holiday heat; rain may move into Florida

Max heat index

RED HOT HOLIDAY FORECAST: Here’s an interesting look at projected heat index values for the holiday on Wednesday.  Note that there are a few areas in Tennessee and southern Illinois where the heat index may be over 110 degrees. In Florida, meanwhile, it looks like we’ll be enjoying our usual 100-degree heat indices — minus any rainstorms that barrel in and cool things down. (Image credit: NOAA/ WPC)

A Saharan Air Layer (SAL) noses into Florida Saturday, but its effects — hazy skies and dry weather — will be most pronounced on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

But while the Eastern U.S. sizzles over the Fourth of July holiday, the SAL will exit the peninsula on Tuesday and a new batch of moisture may move into Florida from the Atlantic, forecasters said in their Saturday morning weather discussion.

“It appears an upper low and associated surface inflection may move west toward Florida for the latter half of the week. This could lead to increased rain chances if the right setup evolves.”

Farther north into the Central Plains and Deep South, highs are forecast to be up to 20 degrees above average leading up to the holiday, national forecasters said.

“Records are possible across this expansive area. Excessive Heat Warnings and Advisories will be common. Daytime maximum and overnight high-minimum temperature records are in jeopardy and widespread excessive heat warnings/watches and heat advisories are in effect from the Central Plains to the Ohio Valley and parts of the Northeast.”

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FLORIDA RAINFALL REPORT: The Treasure Coast was slammed with more than 2 inches of rain on Friday, and much heavier amounts were reported unofficially. The National Weather Service said the St. Lucie County Airport picked up 2.47 inches, while Melbourne International Airport reported 1.44 inches. Daytona Beach measured 1.02 inches.

Unofficially, an observer for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network reported an incredible 6.45-inch deluge near Cocoa West. Inland, an observer near the Charles H. Bronson State Forest in Seminole County reported 3.59 inches.

Elsewhere, Friday rainfall amounts ranged from just a few hundredths of an inch up to a half-inch. But there were a couple of notable exceptions — an observer on the island of Palm Beach reported 2.54 inches to the National Weather Service in Miami. And the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport measured 2.95 inches while Miami International reported 0.41 of an inch.

Which goes to show that forecasters can be right on target when they give a rainfall forecast and then add: “Isolated heavier amounts are possible.”

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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