Heavy rain in Florida could impact election week as a tropical system heads into the US


It’s the last month of the hurricane season and there are two tropical disturbances in the Atlantic, one of which could bring unsettling weather to Florida on Election Day.

The system that could affect Florida is currently bubbling over the southwest Atlantic, north of Puerto Rico, where a flood watch is in effect until Monday afternoon. The tropical disturbance has brought more than 5 inches of rain to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since Saturday, and an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain is forecast for the region on Sunday.

“Although drier air is expected to move in (later Sunday), soils are very saturated and rivers remain higher than normal,” the National Weather Service in San Juan said. “Therefore, a heavy rainfall can quickly cause flooding of cities and rivers.”

With tropical disturbances now moving north and away from Puerto Rico, the weather and ocean conditions are more favorable for further development and strengthening. That is why the National Hurricane Center has given this system a high chance of developing in the next 48 hours. “At the beginning of this week, a subtropical or tropical depression will form,” he added.

Some forecast models suggest the system could become a tropical storm before it approaches Florida and the Bahamas this week, although some uncertainty remains in the longer-range forecast.

The system that remains west of the Bahamas is expected to strengthen on Monday, but a high pressure system will also build over the eastern US at the same time.

“This high pressure building will tend to send an area of ​​low pressure westward into the Florida peninsula, although exactly what this system will look like is not yet well understood,” the weather service office in Miami said early Sunday.

Regardless of when and how much this disturbance strengthens, impacts across Florida will be felt as early as Tuesday.

“High seas, coastal flooding, beach erosion and life-threatening rip currents are some of the most likely impacts of this system,” the Miami weather service said. “At this point the land impacts are more obscure, as they are more dependent on the specific type of system that will spread towards the peninsula.”

The type of system matters. If the system remains subtropical, the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall could affect a larger area, further away from the center. If the system is a tropical cyclone (depression, storm, or hurricane) the strongest winds and heaviest precipitation may have a greater impact but may be located closer to the center of where the storm is moving.

“At least heavy rain will be expected Tuesday through Thursday, although (weather) model solutions differ on the timing and intensity of this system,” the Miami weather service added.

These weather forecast models are showing at least 3 to 6 inches of precipitation on the Florida peninsula through Thursday, with isolated higher amounts.

weather rain florida sunday through thursday

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On Election Day specifically, the current forecast for the Sunshine State calls for windy and blustery conditions across much of the Florida peninsula with increasing rain chances throughout the day in central and eastern cities such as Miami north to Daytona Beach and inland to Orlando and Okeechobee. .

If you plan to vote in person on Tuesday, you may want to pack a windbreaker and umbrella in case you have to be outside.

There is also a second system in the Atlantic that should be mentioned because it could affect the name given to the system above if it strengthens enough to reach tropical storm status.

This tropical disturbance is located over the open Atlantic and is not expected to affect land in the next few days.

However, “a short-lived tropical depression or storm may develop later today as the system slowly drifts out of the mid-Atlantic,” the hurricane center said.

There were two big chances for tropical development across the Atlantic on Sunday.

If a system is named this week, the first one will be named Nicole, followed by Owen. Potentially the 14th and 15th named storms of the year.

The average Atlantic hurricane season consists of 14 storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. So far this season 13 named storms, seven hurricanes and two major hurricanes (Fiona and Ian) have been recorded.

If 14 storms are named in a year, the average formation date would be November 19th, however, if two storms are named this month that would be unusual, as November storms are not particularly common.

On average, a named storm occurs in November only once every 2 to 3 years, according to the National Center for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last year there were no named storms in November, but in 2020 there were three: Eta, Theta and Iota. And the hurricane hit Florida last November when it made two landfalls with tropical storm force. Since the satellite era – which began in 1960 – only five tropical systems have made landfall in the Sunshine State – Eta, Mitch, Gordon, Keith and Kate.