The U.S. Drought Monitor has identified 33 percent of Palm Beach County as an area of abnormal dryness in its weekly report released today.
Coastal areas, which are down more than 5 inches of rain since June 1, are the primary concern.
The category “abnormally dry” is the lowest on a five-tier scale of drought, but it’s the first time in a year that Palm Beach County has appeared in the drought monitor report.
James Thomas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, said there’s nothing to worry about yet.
About 17 percent of Florida is considered abnormally dry, with areas concentrated along the coast and northeast Panhandle. No areas are listed as being in drought.
The report doesn’t include rain received this week, including more than 5 inches that fell at Miami International Airport on Tuesday. That’s more rain than the airport had all of July.
While dry weather – influenced by Saharan dust – is expected today and Friday, there should be a return to a more summer like pattern Saturday, Thomas said.
“Southerly winds will lead to relatively normal conditions with scattered showers and thunderstorms over interior and western portions of South Florida,” he said.
Friday’s forecast is calling for a high of 91 degrees in West Palm Beach with a 20 percent chance of rain.
Saturday is expected to reach 90 degrees with a 30 percent chance of rain, which will increase to 50 percent Sunday.
Light southeast winds that are expected to remain at 10 mph or below through the weekend mean rip current concerns are also low.
Thomas said people should be aware that heat index temperatures will be 100 to 105 through at least early next week.