Several inches of rain fell this week across Florida, effectively ending a short-term drought in some areas and prompting flood warnings for others. A drier pattern arrives Sunday, but more moisture is on the move next week.
Only a few weeks ago, large sections of South Florida were considered to be in a "moderate drought" according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. This has effectively been erased by several days of repeating rains over the same areas.
Farther north, too much rain has fallen in the past seven days, prompting flood warnings along the Santa Fe and St. Mary's rivers. More than six inches of water has accumulated during the week of June 20-26 across much of North Florida, near Florida's Big Bend, and along the Forgotten Coast.
Rainfall estimates have been in the 2- to 6-inch range across more than 80 percent of the state since last Sunday, with isolated totals topping six inches observed across inland areas of the peninsula near Orlando and east of Tampa. Lighter rainfall amounts were noted across rural sections of South Florida in the past seven days, where a 30-day rainfall surplus in those locations has aided in the eradication of the recent drought.
A pocket of drier air aloft is expected to move across Florida starting Sunday, offering a one or two-day break to the seemingly relentless rains. The typical brief afternoon "Florida" showers will still be possible along the sea breezes, but widespread and long-lasting activity will be on hold across most of the state through at least Monday. Thereafter, a shift in the wind pattern to be more southerly is expected to allow tropical moisture back into the atmosphere, and a rainier pattern is likely to ensue by the middle or end of the upcoming week.
The added moisture that approaches Florida later this week can be traced to a tropical wave that is moving through the Caribbean. Two other tropical waves of interest were recently noted by the National Hurricane Center for potential development, but neither are expected to be a significant or imminent threat to Florida.