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Tropical Downpours To Make a Comeback This Weekend

July 6, 2019

Widespread summer-like downpours are on track to return to the Sunshine State this weekend.

A strong area of high pressure has suppressed thunderstorms across the state over the past two weeks. Data from rain gauges and Doppler radar indicate that nearly the entire state of Florida has experienced below average rain between June 21 and June 28. In some cases, there has been no rain at all near Gainesville, Ocala, Lakeland, and along the east coast in parts of Brevard and Indian River counties. Parts of Collier and mainland Monroe counties in Southwest Florida and Wakulla County in the Big Bend have been some of the few areas to deviate from the otherwise dry period.

Moisture is on the move, thanks to a TUTT?

Higher rain chances are returning to the Sunshine State this weekend. A meteorological feature called a “TUTT” (which stands for tropical upper tropospheric trough) is moving westward from the Bahamas and on track to reach the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday . After the “TUTT” passes Florida, southerly winds will transport copious tropical moisture northward from the Caribbean into Florida.

Heaviest rain is likely to fall across the peninsula.

The greatest effects from the passage of the “TUTT” are expected over the Florida Peninsula. NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center forecasts widespread 1 to 3“ rainfall totals between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Scattered thunderstorms are also forecast for the Big Bend and Panhandle, where rainfall totals of one-quarter to one-half inch are expected. As is often the case, localized heavier downpours may drop more rain in a few neighborhoods.

Hot and drier weather returns next week.

The weather pattern across Florida is forecast to change again early next week. The “TUTT” is expected to move westward into Texas. In its place, another strong area of high pressure is forecast to strengthen in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Florida. If this pattern develops as forecast, the number of thunderstorms over the state will decrease again headed around the 4th of July holiday and temperatures will once again trend above average.

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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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