Southwest Florida forecasted to get nearly two feet of rain this week

by | Jun 11, 2024

Meteorologists at AccuWeather are monitoring a slow-moving tropical rainstorm over the Gulf of Mexico expected to bring up to 22 inches of rain and flooding to Southwest Florida this week.

Meteorologists at AccuWeather are monitoring a developing tropical rainstorm expected to bring significant rainfall to Florida this week, with projections of more than a foot of rain in some areas.

The slow-moving system over the Gulf of Mexico is anticipated to unleash relentless downpours that could lead to flash flooding, particularly in Southwest Florida.

“The bullseye is on southwest Florida along the Gulf Coast,” said Bernie Rayno, AccuWeather’s Chief On-Air Meteorologist. “Severe weather will be limited. The big threat is going to be flooding. Warm air at the surface and cold air aloft makes for a very unstable atmosphere. With a dip in the jet stream this far south, it’s going to pull a lot of tropical moisture north into Florida.”

Rain is forecasted to arrive in South Florida on Tuesday, with 8 to 12 inches expected across much of Southwest Florida through Sunday. Some areas could see up to 22 inches of rain this week, according to AccuWeather’s Local StormMax.

“We are concerned about a ‘wall of rain’ inundating Florida this week,” said Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather’s Lead Long-Range Forecaster. “While we can’t rule out an organized tropical depression or storm, the impact will be similar due to the rounds of tropical downpours.”

The rainstorm is expected to linger longer than typical tropical systems due to light winds in the upper atmosphere, allowing it to continuously pump tropical moisture into Florida for several days.

This storm pattern comes as a relief to parts of Florida grappling with drought and wildfire concerns. Central and southern Florida are currently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, with some areas receiving only 50 to 70 percent of their average rainfall year-to-date. Fort Myers, for instance, has reported less than 15 inches of rainfall so far this year, which is only 68 percent of the historical average.

“Central and south Florida are currently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. There are portions of central and south Florida that have only received 50 to 70 percent of the rainfall they should, year to date,” noted Alex DaSilva, AccuWeather’s Lead Hurricane Forecaster. “This lack of rainfall has led to the expansion of drought conditions this spring.”

AccuWeather’s 2024 Hurricane Forecast, issued in March, predicted an “explosive” season, with 20 to 25 named storms and 8 to 12 hurricanes. There is a 10 to 15 percent chance of 30 or more named storms, potentially surpassing the record set in 2020. The unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and across much of the Main Development Region have meteorologists concerned about the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes developing and rapidly intensifying near the coast this year.


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