Flooding Possible Near Nature Coast This Weekend

– Despite recent dry spell, flooding is possible this weekend

– Up to 6” of rain could fall along the Nature Coast

– Heavy rain at times is also possible further inland, north of I-4

 

After weeks of little rainfall, too much water may fall from the sky this weekend near the Nature Coast. Forecast data suggests that up to six inches of rain is possible from Tallahassee to Tampa over the next five days, especially right along the coast. Concern is growing this may become a reality and flooding could occur, especially in low-lying and flood prone areas.

Why So Wet

A change in the upper-level wind pattern has allowed tropical moisture to move into the Gulf of Mexico, somewhat indirectly related to Hurricane Earl’s landfall in Central America Thursday.  A weak area of low pressure is expected to develop over the northeast Gulf of Mexico along a stalled front, essentially funneling that moisture across the northern half of Florida. The daily and nightly differences in temperature between land and water will aid in the development of thunderstorms and heavy rain, and a weak steering pattern will be allow the storms to follow a pattern of repetition for many days.

 

The National Hurricane Center is also watching this area of disturbed weather closely, but says there is only a “low chance” of tropical development in the next five days over the northeast Gulf of Mexico.  For a more technical discussion on this weekend’s weather pattern, I broke it down a bit more in detail.

 

Uncertainty on Exactly Where

 

The interactions between sea breezes, overnight land breezes, and the exact placement of the aforementioned area of low pressure will make pinpointing where the heaviest rain may fall difficult. At this time, however, confidence is reasonably high that at least four inches of rain will likely fall near the coastline from Dixie to Citrus Counties, and up to 15 miles inland. Lesser amounts of two to four inches of rain may accumulate by Monday as far inland as the I-75 corridor north of the Turnpike. Even though there has been a significant deficit of rain in these areas over recent weeks, the intensity of the rainfall over a short amount of time may lead to urban, street, or flash flooding near small creeks and streams.

Residents in flood-prone areas are urged to stay informed and be ready to take action. It is not safe to drive through flooded roadways or to walk through standing water.  As little as six inches of moving water can make you fall and it only takes a foot of water to sweep a small car away.  Remember, turn around, don’t drown.

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