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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Disturbance never organizes, but flooding rains move in as forecast

The tropical disturbance we have been tracking in the Gulf has been unable organize itself. In fact, strong upper-level winds have pushed dry air into the system completely gumming up its works from a tropical-development standpoint.

The system is still technically called Potential Tropical Cyclone One, and it still might develop into Tropical Storm Alex. But that wouldn’t happen until the it’s well east of Florida and moving out to sea.

A band of torrential rain caused widespread flooding up to waste deep in the Miami area overnight with other areas nearby were also affected. The National Weather Service radar in Miami shows that a north-south swath of intense thunderstorms dumped 6 to over 12 inches of rain from Hallandale Beach, which is just south of Fort Lauderdale, down I-95 through Miami to the Upper Florida Keys. Three to 5 inches came all at once.

Another north-south band of rain covered Southwest Florida including Fort Myers and Naples, but the heaviest part of that band stayed offshore.

Winds are still estimated to be as high as 40 mph in some of the bands, but over the water. There is no significant wind threat over land, although the winds will still be gusty in exposed areas, on elevated roadways, and around high-rise buildings.

The band of extremely heavy rain in Southwest Florida is forecast to move across the state today as the whole system migrates east. Some areas on the southeast coast will get a break for a while, but more heavy rain will likely move through later. By this evening, the significant weather should be past the state. It will take until tomorrow to clear the Bahamas.

Some gusty winds and perhaps a few embedded tornadoes are possible with this last intense band of thunderstorms.

A rule of tropical-weather forecasting is, forecasts for disorganized, just developing, or slow-moving systems are subject to large errors and are likely to change. This disturbance was proof of that rule.

In the end, the weather forecast was quite good, but the structure of the system never came together. If it had, the flooding could have been worse.


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