Sunday, June 4, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Tropical Moisture Brings Heavy Rain Threat to the South, Including Drought-Suffering Florida

Chris Dolce
Published: June 4,2017

Tropical moisture surging north from the Gulf of Mexico will continue to result in heavy downpours across parts of the South, Gulf Coast and into drought-stricken Florida early this week.
Some of the moisture in the Gulf of Mexico is associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Beatriz, which hit the Pacific coast of Mexico late last week.
(MORE: Beatriz Causes Deadly Flooding in Mexico)
We do not expect a tropical depression or storm to develop in the Gulf of Mexico, however, as upper-level winds are too strong. The National Hurricane Center said the area of low pressure associated with Beatriz's remnants had a near-zero-percent chance of development as of Sunday afternoon.

Heavy Rain, Flash Flood Threat This Week

There's a host of ingredients in play to raise the flash flood threat early this week in the South.
1) A deep flow of tropical moisture pushing toward the Gulf Coast
2) A slow-moving upper-level low moving from Texas through the Deep South adding instability to the atmosphere
3) An arriving frontal boundary, providing a focus to lift the warm, humid air
4) A sharp jet stream plunge into the East, which may induce an area of low pressure to form along the front, further focusing heavy rain
The ingredients in play this week for heavy rain along the Gulf Coast and Florida.
Repeated rounds of locally heavy rainfall are possible through midweek from the upper Texas coast to the Florida Peninsula.
With the ground already saturated over much of the northern Gulf Coast, the threat of flash flooding there is high.

Current Radar, Watches and Warnings
(MORE: Flooding Nearly Three Times Deadlier in 2015-2016)
Some spots in Florida had already seen 3 to 6 inches of rainfall through Friday, including the Orlando and Miami areas. Additional rounds of rain and thunderstorms are expected through midweek, adding to the rainfall totals.
The chance of additional showers and thunderstorms will continue through late week in the Florida Peninsula as a frontal boundary stalls over the state. The rest of the South will begin to dry out.

Rainfall Potential Through Friday
This setup will bring the potential for significant rainfall, especially along the west coast of Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast, into midweek. A widespread area of more than 3 inches of additional rain is likely in central and southern Florida through this week, with locally more than 6 inches. Isolated areas along the Gulf Coast will also see high rainfall totals early this week.
Tampa, Florida, could see its heaviest rain since before Labor Day 2016.
(MORE: Why Florida Has Wet & Dry Seasons)
While some flooding is possible in the Florida Peninsula and southern Georgia this week, this rain is also desperately needed, given the current severe to extreme drought and recent wildfires.
(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Daily Forecast | 48-Hour Rainfall Forecast)
MORE: Atlantic Basin's Retired Hurricane and Tropical Storm Names

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