Florida Flood Threat into Tonight; Shifts North Monday

October 9, 2011; 8:25 AM ET
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A developing low pressure system over the Florida Straits will continue to bring flooding downpours, gusty winds and high surf to the Southeast the next few days.

Flash flooding has already hit the state of Florida hard this weekend with some areas picking up greater than 10 inches of rainfall since Friday.

Vero Beach, Fla., has been one of the hardest-hit areas, picking up 11.28 inches of rain since 1 a.m. Friday. Orlando International Airport has received nearly 7 inches of rain in the same time frame.

Parts of major route U.S. 1 south were closed Saturday evening in the vicinity of Vero Beach.

An estimated 1 foot of water accumulated on roads near the Regency Industrial Park in southern Orlando Sunday morning closing several roads.

Florida Flood Threat Through Tonight

This developing low pressure system will continue to produce flooding downpours across mainly central and northern Florida through tonight.

A plume of Atlantic moisture will take aim at cities such as Melbourne, Orlando, Daytona Beach and eventually Jacksonville.

Additional rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches of rain are possible across east-central Florida through tonight with slightly lower amounts the farther inland you go.

At any rate, additional downpours on top of what has fallen since Friday will cause slow travel along the I-4, I-75 and I-95 corridors. Many closures of secondary roads are likely across this zone due to flooding. Motorists are urged to avoid roadways with water over them.

Along with the flooding, gusty northeasterly winds will buffet much of Florida, especially at the coast. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts of 40 mph will be the rule from West Palm Beach through Jacksonville, including points farther inland.

As Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski pointed out "Gusty winds will actually plague all Southern beaches that line the Atlantic into early this week, resulting in rough seas and rip currents."

Seas of 8-10 feet or greater will occur up and down the Florida coast into Monday with a dangerous rip current threat ensuing.

While this low pressure system could organize further into a tropical entity, the biggest threat will be the heavy rains, coastal flooding and high surf.

Though it is certainly possible that a tropical or subtropical depression forms early this week. The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center will continue to monitor this feature for additional development the next few days.

Flood Threat Shifting Northward This Week

As a large area of high pressure over the mid-Atlantic states weakens and shifts northeastward early this week, the aforementioned low pressure system will shift north as well.

The associated flood threat will shift from Florida into parts of Georgia and South Carolina on Monday.

Cities such as Savannah, Charleston and Augusta could receive upwards of 2-4 inches of rainfall Monday into Monday night, which is enough to cause localized flooding.

However, the rainfall across these areas will be welcome with open arms as much of Georgia and South Carolina are suffering from severe to extreme drought conditions.

Flooding rains will shift into the remainder of the Carolinas Monday night into Tuesday before threatening the mid-Atlantic and Northeast by midweek.

A renewed threat for flooding rains is "is the last thing residents of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast want to hear." According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Only a month has passed since torrential rain from once-Tropical Storm Lee caused devastating flooding along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and New York.

"Several cities in the Northeast have either already surpassed their annual rainfall records or are getting close," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Cory Mottice.

As an example, Mottice continued, "Philadelphia is within four inches of surpassing its all-time wettest year on record."

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