• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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

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.

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 morning.

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

Repeated rounds of locally heavy rainfall are possible through midweek from the upper Texas coast to the Florida peninsula.
Current Radar and Alerts
Current Radar and Alerts as 2 PM Sunday June 4, 2017

Some spots in Florida had already seen 3 to 6 inches of rainfall in the Orlando region and in Miami, through Friday. 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
Rainfall Potential Through Friday

This should be interpreted as a broad outlook of where the heaviest rain may fall. Higher amounts may occur where bands or clusters of thunderstorms stall for over a period of a few hours.

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.

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