Heavy rain, flooding expected; estimates rise for Jupiter, Boca

A pedestrian tries to keep dry on Clematis Street Thursday morning, August 24, 2017. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.: The National Weather Service for Miami-South Florida has increased the amounts of liquid precipitation expected in South Florida through Tuesday. In Palm Beach County, the latest graphic shows increased rainfall estimates for Jupiter and Boca Raton.



Palm Beach County is included in an area of concern for excessive rainfall Sunday through Monday.

The Weather Prediction Center has expanded the region at a marginal risk for heavy rain to include nearly the entire east coast of Florida. That means there is a 5 to 10 percent chance that rain will be heavy enough to cause some flooding as a low pressure system forms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico pulling in tropical moisture.

Marginal risk for excessive rainfall Sunday into Monday.

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami have not issued any watches or warnings, but are monitoring the system closely.

Showers are expected to start late Saturday and persist periodically through at least Monday, and possibly into Tuesday. Because steering winds will be light, showers and thunderstorms could linger over areas, causing some flooding in low-lying regions or those with poor drainage.

“Overall, the air mass will have a tropical feel with deep layered moisture and enough instability to create concerns,” Miami NWS meteorologist Barry Baxter wrote in an afternoon forecast. “Probabilistic rainfall forecast data does show a concerning signal along the east coast metro through Monday.”

Rain totals through Wednesday morning could be as high as 6 inches in some coastal areas of Palm Beach County.

Forecast rain totals Friday through Wednesday morning.

Update 9:30 a.m. The National Weather Service has issued a special briefing for the expected heavy rain this weekend.

An area of low pressure is forecast to develop over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, sending a surge of tropical moisture into the region.

The rain is expected to start late Saturday and continue through the early part of next week. Periods of heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms are possible with rain amounts into Monday morning of 1 to 3 inches. Locally heavier amounts are possible.

Previous story: A gulp of tropical moisture is forecast to sweep into South Florida this weekend, dousing Mother’s Day and heralding a seasonal shift as punctual as the tides.

The rainy season, a faucet that brings Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties up to 70 percent of their annual rainfall, could make its 2018 debut with widespread showers dumping up to 4 inches of rain Saturday through Tuesday.

While the wettest weather is expected Sunday, the sky may open late Saturday as a slowpoke area of storminess forms in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The system’s counterclockwise spin will pull soggy air into the Peninsula. At the same time, the front that brought rain to South Florida on Sunday will move north from where it’s been stalled in the Florida Straits.

RELATED: 5 ways to treat Mom to a great Mother’s Day in Wellington, Royal Palm.

“No one escapes this one. Everybody is going to get wet,” said Kevin Scharfenberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “The question will be where the heaviest pockets of rain will be, but we are looking at an average between late Saturday to Tuesday of 2 to 4 inches.”

CHECK The Palm Beach Post live radar map.

That means anyone with outdoor plans for Mother’s Day may want a contingency.

Ashley Koecheler, a manager at the popular Guanabanas waterfront restaurant and bar in Jupiter, said they’ve been watching the forecast expecting a crush of customers Sunday. The restaurant has some covered seating, but is largely open.

“We’re pretty used to the weather in South Florida and dealing with the rain,” she said. “It would put a damper on the day, but we would work around it to make sure everyone was covered.”

RELATED: Best brunch places for Mother’s Day

The Weather Prediction Center has the far reaches of southeast Florida under a marginal threat…READ what to expect and when in the full forecast at MyPalmBeachPost.com. 

Author: Kimberly Miller

Kimberly grew up outside Washington D.C. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995. Her beats have included K-12 education, universities and colleges, real estate, and general assignment.

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