A northward flow of moisture, containing above-normal water content in the atmosphere, will bring rain to Florida by this weekend, some of this rain is expected to be fairly heavy.
As for the remainder of this week, the weather will remain hot and quiet across the Sunshine State. There may be a spotty shower or storm Thursday and Friday afternoon, especially in South Florida, but the state as a whole will be dry. Dryness has been a common theme since the start of the year, as rainfall across most of the state has been below average with the exception being parts of northern Florida. In Apalachicola, rainfall has been 8.2 inches below normal, making this the 14th driest start to the year on record. These widespread rainfall deficits are the reason for the spotty drought in portions of the Florida Panhandle and the widespread drought conditions in South Florida. Cities like Miami and Naples continue to experience a ‘Severe Drought.’
That will begin to change this weekend as rainfall increases, especially on the Florida Peninsula. The deep plume of moisture from the Caribbean Sea will begin to move into extreme-South Florida on Saturday. This will allow for showers and thunderstorms to form in the region, which includes the Florida Keys and areas south of Naples and Fort Lauderdale.
On Sunday, the deeper precipitable water values, or available moisture, will slide further north. Precipitable water is essentially a measure of the total water content in the atmosphere. With this particular event, portions of South Florida, specifically Miami, may experience record high precipitable water on Sunday. According to the Storm Prediction Center database, the record precipitable water for the date is 1.87 inches, and based on the current forecast this value may exceed 2 inches in most of South Florida.
A fairly widespread area of rain and thunderstorms is expected through all of Sunday in central and South Florida. This rain will affect locations from the Florida Keys to just south of Tampa Bay and Orlando, some of it will contain heavier rainfall rates. Localized areas may receive over an inch of rain within just six hours. The rain will also allow for cooler temperatures, down in the low 80s compared to highs in the upper 80s and 90s during the work week.
By Monday, an upper-level disturbance will slowly develop and become organized over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Its counter-clockwise spin will bring the rain further into northern Florida while continuing across central and South Florida. Therefore, rain and thunderstorms are likely across most of the Florida Peninsula, while most of the Panhandle remains dry. There is only a slight chance for a pop-up storm due to the diurnal heating.
On Tuesday, an area of moderate to high precipitable water will expand statewide and into much of the Southeast, while the upper-level low sits off the western Florida coast. Rain with embedded thunder will affect most of Florida while also extending into much of Georgia and South Carolina. Some of this rain may even expand further north and west into Alabama, North Carolina, and the southern Appalachians. This rain will also bring gusty winds with widespread gusts of up to 20-30 mph.
By Wednesday, a trough of low pressure coming in from the west will begin to pick up and absorb this upper-level low over the Gulf of Mexico. It will first bring it into the northeastern Gulf Coast, and will bring in the rounds of rain and some thunderstorms into most of the Southeast and Gulf Coast states. The rain will also persist across much of Florida even though the wet season doesn’t begin until May 15th in Florida, making this rain somewhat unusual.
On Thursday and Friday, the weather activity will become more scattered. The showers and thunderstorms will be the most widespread across the state of Florida, but there will also be some storms across the Southeast.
Our rainfall forecast through Wednesday highlights the heaviest rainfall totals in South Florida. Some parts of the region will likely exceed four inches of rainfall from this multi-day rain event.