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Developing Drought Could Persist Much of Summer

The recent hot, dry weather has officially left much of northeast and southeast Florida in a drought, and it could continue or even intensify.  June is normally one of the rainier months across the state, but Meteorologist Bryan Nelson from the National Weather Service says so far, it has been abnormally dry.

"When we look at the period May 15 to June 20 (this year), that's the third driest stretch since rainfall records began in the late 1800's."

The reason for the recent dry spell has been a stubborn ridge of high pressure, often called the "Bermuda High", that is unusually strong and displaced further west, or closer to the state. Higher pressure typically suppresses cloud development and in our case, has led to fewer sea breeze thunderstorms. The long range forecast from NOAA is for the drought to persist or even get worse, but Bryan says some short-term relief could began as early as this week.

"We're hopeful that the ridge of high pressure will press south, and a more southwesterly flow will allow for the sea breezes to merge and produce greater thunderstorm activity."

Evidence of those higher rain chances can already been seen today on radar, and the forecast is for them to increase even more by midweek.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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