Thursday, June 8, 2017

Flooding downpour threat, drought relief to continue in Florida as rainy season begins

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 8,2017, 11:01:00AM,EDT
 While the heaviest and steadiest rain will taper off in Florida late this week, the arrival of the rainy season will continue to ease drought and brush fire problems in the Sunshine State.
Florida's rainy season typically runs from late May to the middle of October and results in about two-thirds of the annual rainfall for the state. The dry season was much drier than average, and the rainy season got off to a later start than usual in some cases.
While late, the rainy season got off to a soaking start.
On Tuesday, over 10 inches of rain drenched Marco Island in a 24-hour time period.
The skies also opened up in Tallahassee around noon on Tuesday as a heavy thunderstorm dropped over 3.5 inches of rain on the city in under two hours.
Residents in the southern portion of the Florida Peninsula also witnessed torrential downpours. Nearly 1.5 inches of rain fell in Miami late Tuesday evening in just over an hour.
A weak tornado was reported near Saint Johns, Florida, on Tuesday and caused minor damage throughout the community.
From Wednesday through Wednesday night alone, a widespread 1 to 3 inches of rain fell throughout the state. Localized areas in northern and southern Florida received 8 to 10 inches of rain.
Static Florida Rainfall June 1 to 6

Even though the system responsible for sparking the heaviest storms will exit the region on Thursday, tropical moisture will remain behind, which is typical for the summertime and the rainy season in Florida.
Sunshine and daytime heating will cause towering clouds and sporadic showers and thunderstorms from the latter part of this week through this weekend and into next week.
While frequent downpours and the threat of severe weather will hinder vacation plans, rounds of golf and a day at the beach in the short term, downpours will become sparse enough to allow these activities to resume quickly after each downpour ends.
As of the end of May, 72 percent of Florida (with approximately 13 million residents) was considered to be in moderate drought with 15 percent in extreme drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor.
Weekend downpours Florida static

"With the rainy season now underway and the anticipated weather pattern this summer, Florida should soon be over the hump as far as this drought is concerned," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteoorlogist Paul Pastelok.
"We will have to watch the Gulf of Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean Sea for possible tropical development and direct impact on Florida moving forward in June and July," Pastelok said.
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The heavy rain and sporadic downpours to follow this week are likely to cause the areal coverage of drought conditions to shrink and the severity of the drought to ease. The downpours and high humidity will help to extinguish existing fires and hinder the ignition of new fires.
The wet, humid weather should also assist with drought and wildfire relief in southeastern Georgia and the coastal areas of South Carolina.
Despite the beginning of the rainy season, people should continue to conserve water and exercise caution with power equipment until restrictions and burn bans are lifted by officials.

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