Another blitz of wet weather is in South Florida’s near future with water managers bracing for up to 8 inches of rain through early next week.
The region’s reliable summertime thunderstorms, which boil up along afternoon sea breezes, coupled with a potential tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for the rainy forecast.
National Hurricane Center experts are watching a disturbance near the Yucatan Peninsula for possible development. As of Thursday afternoon, there was a 50 percent chance of the burgeoning area of low pressure becoming a tropical system over the next five days as it moves slowly toward the northwest and into the southern Gulf of Mexico.
If the system forms into a tropical storm, it would be named Bret.
“Friday we’ll see the more typical afternoon showers and thunderstorms with the bulk over interior Palm Beach County,” said Ian Lee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “Then late Saturday into Sunday we are tracking some heavier tropical moisture moving into the region and that should overspread the area and bring some locally heavy rainfall.”
An area from North Palm Beach County through Jacksonville is in a marginal risk for severe weather today with a 60 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms.
South Florida Water Management District meteorologists said the heaviest rain could be Sunday and Monday, with the Keys and southwest Florida taking the brunt of the showers.
“These storms come on the heels of a week drenched by heavy rains that dropped as much as 14 inches of rain across the region,” according to a district statement.
Last week’s rains left some communities in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach with flooded roads and pooling water. On Thursday, water managers met with local drainage districts to discuss flood prevention.
Residents are also asked to clear storm drains of debris so water can flow more freely from their neighborhoods.
“Local governments, drainage districts and homeowners associations are directly responsible for moving water away from homes and neighborhoods and into SFWMD canals,” said water management Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “The District is working with these local organizations to make them aware of the situation so they can prepare accordingly.”
The heavy rains did go a long way in alleviating Florida’s drought. A Thursday report from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows just 12 percent of the state is in a “moderate drought.” That’s compared to last week’s report that had 77 percent of Florida in moderate to “severe drought.”