(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)
HOW DRY WE WERE: Florida had its driest September on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported Tuesday. Normally, September is the wettest month of the year — along with June — in South and Central Florida. But dry air enveloped the state from the panhandle to the Keys, causing drought conditions to move into the panhandle and northern tier of counties.
By county, Palm Beach, Collier, Lee, and Hendry counties had their driest September on record, as did all of the counties in the western panhandle. No county in the state had an above average, or even an average, month for rainfall.
In the southeastern U.S., Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia also had their driest September on record.
September was also the third-hottest on record in Florida, a trend that continued into October in the northern parts of the state and the panhandle.
Broward and Indian River had their hottest September.
RAINFALL REPORT: Some decent rains have fallen across the peninsula in the last few days — which should be enough to prevent drought from spreading south from the northern tier of Florida counties. However, dry conditions with abnormally low rainfall is in the new 6-10 day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center.
Wednesday morning 24 hour CoCoRaHS totals: 3.33 inches near Deerfield Beach; 1-1.5 inches Miami-Dade; 2.44 inches northeast of Tampa in Hillsborough County; 3.12 inches west of Orlando; and 3.5 inches near Daytona Beach.
“A weak front, deep moisture and support aloft will produce a high coverage of rain with embedded storms today,” National Weather Service forecasters in Melbourne said. “Bands of heavy rain initially along the Volusia coast this morning will develop south and west during the day. Up to 3 inches of rain possible in a short time. Motorists, slow down in heavy rain to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.”
COOL-DOWN COMING? The weekend of the 18-20, the GFS shows lows edging down into the low 50s in the western panhandle, with upper 60s across the peninsula. It’s not exactly Currier and Ives weather, but we’ll take it.
TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center is continuing to watch three systems in the Atlantic. None of them are a threat to Florida, and development chances have been decreasing. The GFS is still showing longer-range development in the southern Caribbean, but it shoves the systems to the west into Central America.