Tropical Area in the Gulf Could Bring 18"+ of Rain to Florida

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12 Jun 2024 7:15 PM

Florida has been soaked by tropical-Esq downpours over the last 24 hours, with over 5" of rain falling on the West Coast.. Flash flooding was seen in the Tampa area Tuesday afternoon and FLOOD WATCHES are in effect for all of South Florida where torrential rain is expected to create flash flooding, especially in Miami, already susceptible to flooding during storms.

This is thanks to an area of low pressure in the Gulf, funneling large amounts of saturated air over the Sunshine State, where it has met a stalled front, providing the lift necessary for storms to tap into the tropical moisture. This area of low pressure has caught the attention of the National Hurricane Center which has labeled it "Invest 90L". Regardless of tropical development, the key message is that torrential rain continues in Florida through Thursday.

Forecast rainfall is over a foot in southwest Florida, from Fort Myers through Marco Island along I-75. Florida is used to seeing heavy rain, but the drought mentioned above has made soils across this region hard and dry, unable to soak up the moisture as quickly. Be prepared for flooding as a result. The lines below are known as "Spaghetti models" and they are models that activate when there is an area of interest in the Gulf. They only show the center of a low-pressure system, but tropical impacts extend far beyond the center track.

Our heaviest rain will be during the afternoon and evening hours on Wednesday and Thursday when heat is maximized for storm development. Most of the activity happens south of Orlando, impacting the I-75 and I-95 corridors with torrential rainfall and gusty winds. Most storms will be sub-severe but gusty winds or an isolated waterspout can't be ruled out closer to the coast too. As our area of low pressure finally gets moving on Thursday, showers will too, migrating more into central and northern Florida with a few lingering storms into Friday, but the end of the week is trending with more dry time than wet for all.

The rain is needed! Drought conditions are "severe" for central and southern Florida thanks to an extremely hot May in the Sunshine State. We haven't had a strong start to the wet season and the dry air is allowing for record-setting heat in the state.


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