South Florida hit with flooding, high winds; National Hurricane Center tracking low-pressure system off coast

by | Nov 16, 2023

  • South Florida, including Miami-Dade and Broward counties, faced severe weather with high winds and flash floods, leading to school closures, power outages, and significant rainfall — up to 9 inches in Miami-Dade and 8 inches in Broward.
  • Fort Lauderdale’s flood watch expired, but high water levels continue to cause issues, with crews working to lower water levels in areas with up to a foot of water; the city experienced its highest tide of the year, exacerbating flooding.
  • A low-pressure system off the coast poses risks of high winds and heavy rainfall to Florida’s east coast and the Bahamas, though it is not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone.
  • Power restoration efforts are ongoing in the tri-county region, with the most outages consolidated in Miami-Dade County.

South Florida counties grappled with high winds and flashfloods overnight and into Thursday, resulting in school closures and widespread power outages. Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking a low-pressure system off the region’s coast, though the agency reports a minimal chance of a storm formation.

On Wednesday, flood watches were in effect for more than seven million individuals while high-speed winds along the coast produced gusts hitting 74 mph in Miami and 63 mph near Fort Lauderdale. In terms of rainfall, Miami-Dade County recorded a peak of 9 inches, while areas of Broward County saw a foot of rainfall.

As of noon on Thursday, the City of Fort Lauderdale announced that its flood watch had expired, but high water levels continue to cause issues throughout the city. Crews are reportedly working to lower water levels, particularly in areas that experienced peak flooding. According to the city, the morning’s high tide, the highest of the year, worsened the flooding.

“The City experienced the highest tide of the year this morning, which is exacerbating flooding issues. With the rain subsiding and groundwater level decreasing, conditions are expected to improve throughout the day,” the city said in an update. “However, it will take time for all the water to drain.”

Power outages have been reported in South Florida’s tri-county region as of Thursday afternoon. Miami-Dade County has experienced the most, with 32,241 outages, followed by Palm Beach County and Broward County with 14,853 and 11,870 outages, respectively, though restoration efforts are underway.

“We are currently working safely and as quickly as possible to restore power to customers following severe weather that impacted parts of South Florida,” said Florida Power and Light in a statement.

A low-pressure weather system is active in the waters southeast of Miami, located between southern Florida and the northwestern Bahamas linked to a frontal boundary, though it is not forecasted by the NHC to escalate into a tropical cyclone.

Nonetheless, it poses a risk of bringing high winds and heavy rainfall to areas along the east coast of Florida and the Bahamas, with conditions expected to materialize within the next two days as the system travels northeastward across the southwestern Atlantic.

“A non-tropical area of low pressure located between southern Florida and the northwestern Bahamas is associated with a frontal boundary,” said the NHC in its afternoon update. “Development of this system into a tropical cyclone is not expected. However, gusty winds and heavy rains are still possible across portions of the east coast of Florida and the Bahamas during the next day or so while the low moves northeastward over the southwestern Atlantic.”


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