Jesse Ferrell

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Debby Plus: As Much as 20 Inches of Rain in Florida

June 25, 2012; 11:24 AM ET

UPDATE: 6/26/12: Upwards of another 20 inches of rain fell in the Florida Panhandle last night! The NWS lists the top amount as 19.53" but the radar indicates over 20 inches in rural areas.

William Schmitz from the SERCC sent these numbers -- almost 30" has fallen in the last five days at St. Marks!

sanborn, fl RAWS St. Marks East West SAMF1 PRWF1 SNDF1 2 5 7 10 days mesowest rainfall

The Sopchoppy River near Sopchoppy rose quickly yesterday from 10 feet at 10 AM to 32.5 feet at 10 PM. The station is no longer reporting due to a gauge malfunction. At that last reading, it was inches away from its highest level on record and the forecast was to spike another 10 feet!

ORIGINAL REPORT:

Tropical Storm Debby has added more than 10 inches of rain to the western panhandle of Florida in the past 24 hours, but some areas had already received heavy rain from storms last week.

Rainfall estimates from NOAA (source 1 / source 2) show 16-18 inches has accumulated in the worst-hit areas. These rainfall estimates aren't perfect because they come from both radar and gauge data. To refine the data, we should look for actual rain gauge reports. There aren't a lot of reporting stations in the northern part of this area; a USGS rain gauge near Old Town, Fla., reported 16 inches for the last week, but (literally while writing this blog) the gauge was marked "equipment malfunction" upon review by the USGS and the data was deleted. The next highest report for weekly rainfall is Booker Creek near Tarpon Springs, Fla., northwest of Tampa, coming in at 14.46 inches for the week.

However, if we look at amateur rainfall reports, the Brookridge CoCoRAHs station also reported 14.48 inches in 24 hours (see map below). Adding up Brookridge's daily precip for the last five days, I get a total of 18.51 inches, so the maps above are not overestimating the precip.

The Anclote River at Elfers has risen from 9 to 24.7 feet and may reach its record flood stage; it is projected to be close but note the increase faster than forecast this morning:

Didn't I just blog about this on Friday? Don't drive into flooded waters; the road may no longer be there!

Some of the more impressive flooding reports via the NWS from Tropical Storm Debby so far follow:

CLEARWATER: WATER OVER SEAWALLS AND INTO GARAGES

TREASURE ISLAND: CARS STRANDED. WATER COVERED BEACHES AND WATER SPLASHING OVER SOME SEA WALLS

HUDSON: 2 FEET OF WATER INSIDE WAL-MART STORE IN HUDSON, ON U.S. 19.

GULFPORT: STREET FLOODING WITH WATER UP TO CAR BUMPERS. NEAR 58TH STREET AND 30TH AV SOUTH.

ALLIGATOR POINT: LARGE PINE TREES SNAPPED ON ALLIGATOR POINT. SOME TREES INTO POWER LINES. 3 FIRES STARTED BY POWER LINES. WATER WAS RUNNING UP TO AND BREAKING OVER SOME COASTAL ROADS

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Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.