Gulf Low to Bring Heavy Rain Mother’s Day Weekend
It’s a soggy Mother’s Day in southern parts of the Sunshine State. An area of a low pressure will develop in the Western Gulf of Mexico this weekend, which could bring some minor flooding and thunderstorms Sunday as it moves east.
As of Sunday morning, here’s a look at some rain reports from the Florida keys, the area expected to be hardest hit by this storm system:
A cold front attached to a strong low moving through New England has settled in and stalled across the Gulf of Mexico. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Marginal Risk of severe storms for the Florida Keys on Saturday, and again on Sunday for a similar area.
The low will develop on the tail end of the front, taping into an area of high vorticity (spin in the atmosphere) which will gradually move it to the east-northeast across the Gulf and Florida through Monday. This will drag deep sub-tropical moisture along with it. The low is not expected to become well organized, instead waves of heavy rain and storms will develop around the broad area of circulation. Showers and storms are expected to be focused across the Western Gulf for much of the day Saturday before storms begin to reach Florida late Saturday, with the bulk of the heavy rain and thunderstorm activity moving across the Keys and South Florida on Sunday.
Flooding is possible across South Florida on Sunday, particularly in low lying areas during high tide. The Weather Prediction Center has issued a marginal risk for excessive rainfall on Sunday for much of Southeastern Florida, including the Keys.
Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected tonight into Sunday across #FloridaKeys & coastal waters.
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) May 9, 2020
Several inches of rain could accumulate in Florida, with some totals possibly topping 4 inches where thunderstorms are able to train over the same location. The WPC’s 7 day accumulation forecast shows a widespread area more than 2 inches falling south of Lake Okeechobee.
While this weekend’s rain may fall in a shorter period than desired, leading to flooding concerns, much of the state could use the precipitation. Over 80 percent of Florida is experiencing “dry” conditions and more than 40 percent is in a moderate drought, while about 7 percent is experiencing severe drought conditions. However, the medium range outlook may be promising for drought relief. Most of the sunshine state is expected to see wetter than average conditions in the CPC’s 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks.
Better timing and details for this event will be available as hi-resolution models come into range. Check back here for the latest updates.