With the season’s first tropical rainstorm moving away from the Florida coastline, live storm coverage has concluded. Thank you for staying up to date with the storm on AccuWeather.com. For continuing coverage of the storm and its impacts, along with forecasts and other weather news, watch the AccuWeather TV Network, check the AccuWeather mobile app for the latest forecasts, alerts and real-time conditions, and stream AccuWeather NOW anytime on our website for continuing forecasts and additional coverage of the tropical rainstorm, which is expected to develop into Tropical Storm Alex, as it impacts beaches on the East Coast and potentially brushes Bermuda.
A tropical rainstorm that never organized enough to become the first name of the Atlantic hurricane season while impacting South Florida caused flooded roadways to impede drivers in Miami overnight Friday and into early Saturday. The waist-deep water left many fleeing from their vehicles to get to safety. Vehicles became stranded and by Saturday afternoon, the City of Miami towed the vehicles away from flooded areas. Miami is telling those whose vehicles were removed to call the Miami Police Department and inform them of the make and model of their vehicle and where it was left.
Dozens of cars and trucks have been towed away after a tropical rainstorm left streets submerged in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood on June 4.
Heavy rainfall is scheduled to continue today throughout southern Florida, creating tropical storm-like conditions for millions of residents through Saturday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center’s latest update for the storm states “considerable flash and urban flooding” is expected to continue across southern Florida, with more flash and urban flooding possible across the Florida Keys and the northwestern Bahamas. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the NHC’s warning area, which includes the Miami metropolitan area. The conditions are also expected to take place in the northwestern Bahamas, mainly in squalls. In the past 72 hours, Miami has been hit with over 10 inches of rainfall. As of 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, maximum sustained winds for the area remain at 40 mph.
Residents of Naples, Florida, located along Florida’s southern Gulf Coast, woke up on Saturday morning to heavy rain and temperatures in the 70s F as the tropical rainstorm swept across Florida. After the rain shut off around 9 a.m. EDT, sunshine started to break through the clouds, causing temperatures to spike. As of 1:15 p.m. EDT, the temperature in Naples was 86 F with an AccuWeather RealFeel® temperature of 101 F. People outside cleaning up in the wake of the flooding rain should make sure to drink plenty of water and to take breaks in the shade amid the heat and humidity.
This satellite image of the southeastern U.S. shows breaks in the clouds across most of Florida as the tropical rainstorm heads out to sea. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)
With a tropical rainstorm currently blasting the southern Florida coastline, there are also continued international concerns as a result of the storm.
On top of the already-drenched Cuba, a new locale has been warned of the storm’s effects, as the island of Bermuda has been issued a Tropical Storm Watch on Saturday morning. A 48-hour forecast of the storm’s path has Bermuda in the crosshairs, specifically forecasted for Monday morning hours. At 8 a.m. EDT Monday, maximum winds on the island are pegged for 50 mph, with wind gusts expected to go up to 65 mph. AccuWeather forecasts state that the tropical rainstorm will affect the island from Monday morning into late Monday night.
Flooding from this week’s tropical rainstorm in Cuba continues to take its toll on the country, leaving a myriad of issues in its wake. The heavy rains have been the cause of two deaths in Havana, as well as a man reported missing in the Pinar del Río province. The Cuban Weather Office reported that western and central regions of Cuba have had rainfall accumulations of over 8 inches, leading to issues such as massive power outages.
Volunteers push a boat through a street flooded by heavy rains, to go and rescue a neighbor who is unable to leave his home on his own, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Flights in the United States have been plagued by the tropical rainstorm in southern Florida, with 100s of delays and cancellations in the state Saturday. According to FlightAware, Fort Lauderdale International Airport has reported 33 cancellations and 44 delays of flights originating at the location, while Miami International Airport has 23 cancellations and 114 delays. A total of 52 flights with a destination in Fort Lauderdale or Miami have been cancelled, and 143 have been delayed. Over the past 72 hours, Fort Lauderdale has had 9.65 inches of rainfall, while Miami has had 10.07 reported inches of rainfall.
The tropical rainstorm continuing to pound the southern Florida coastline stands out compared to the western coast. As of 12 p.m. EDT Saturday, a 48-hour rainfall total of 8.07 inches was recorded at Miami International Airport, with more rainfall possible before the storm’s end. The totals are in stark contrast to the Southern California coastline, as the rainfall total for San Diego in all of 2021 was 7.85 inches. San Diego International Airport recorded just 0.02 of an inch of rain in April 2022, continuing the dry spell for the city and the Southern California region. Currently, over 59% of California falls under extreme drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. Other rainfall totals in southern Florida, over a 72-hour period, include 11.61 inches in Biscayne Park and 10.49 inches in Palmetto Bay.
As of midday Saturday, rain was still falling across parts of Florida, but the bulk of the precipitation had shifted off of Florida's east coast. (AccuWeather)
A tropical rainstorm brought heavy rain and gusty winds to Miami, Florida, overnight Friday and into the early morning hours on Saturday. AccuWeather’s Bill Wadell reported roadways were flooded with “waist-deep” water at one point. People struggled to get out of their cars, which resulted in many climbing through their sunroofs to escape from their cars. Miami’s fire and rescue team was begging people to stay off the roads as they were out in their high water vehicles answering calls for help from standard drivers. Mario Robleto, a Miami resident who was working an overnight shift came out to see his car submerged in water. “I just came to mine and I just see the whole water inside my car and I didn’t turn it on because I knew it wasn’t going to work,” Robleto said.
A drone shot from Saturday morning showed the roadways still covered in water and cars scattered along the roads. But by 10 a.m. EDT, Wadell reported the conditions in downtown Miami had improved significantly, but there was still a good amount of work to be done. In efforts to remove the remaining water from the roadways, Wadell reported one local was clearing the storm drains with their own hands since they were covered with leaves, debris and even trash.
Photos captured from the heart of Miami highlight the severity of flooding in the area, including intense rainfall plaguing local roadways.
Stills from the Brickell neighborhood of Miami, taken by AccuWeather’s Bill Wadell, show a tow truck attempting to make its way through flooded streets, carrying an SUV past other water-drenched vehicles. Drone footage from Miami further illustrates the severity of the situation, as one neighborhood has vehicles nearly submerged in floodwaters. Rainfall in Miami from the tropical storm has now surpassed 10 inches over the past 72 hours, with a two-day total of 7.75 inches.
The center of the Tropical Rainstorm is still offshore as of 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, while all of the rain is off to the east of the lopsided storm.
As the tropical rainstorm approaches Saturday morning landfall on Florida's southwest coast, the storm’s worst rainfall is already moving off the southeast coast. What gives?
"The tropical rainstorm is battling against strong southwesterly winds high in the atmosphere," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff stated." This is contributing to the storm being lopsided in nature, with most of the downpours being pushed to the eastern side of the center. This is not unusual for a weak tropical cyclone."
Rainfall totals are approaching one foot in the Miami area, while the highest reports out of Naples are closer to 8.5 inches.
The rain is ending Saturday morning in southwest Florida but flooding continues in some areas. Reporting near the beach in Naples, AccuWeather's Kim Leoffler showed roads that were still under water. Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann stated that crews were out before the storm trying to clear storm drains to prevent further flooding.
AccuWeather's Kim Leoffler reports from Naples, Florida, where there is severe flooding along the coast on June 4.
Leoffler also reported that Naples police said at 9 a.m. EDT that portions of Gulf Shore Boulevard drain into the Gulf of Mexico, a situation that is worsening the flooding because of high tide.
A soaked southern Florida continued to be pounded with rainfall into Saturday morning. After nearly a foot of rain, a very dangerous situation has unfolded with cars submerged and stranded underwater, exactly the type of major flooding AccuWeather had warned about days in advance. Video from Brandon Clement early Saturday showed 1 to 2 feet of water surrounding cars.
Flooding from nearly a foot of rain submerges streets and cars early on the morning of June 4, 2022 in Miami, after the mayor of Naples struggled with heavy rain June 3.
The National Weather Service in Miami extended its flash flood warning for central Miami-Dade County through 9:30 a.m. EDT, stating that an additional 1-3 inches of rain is expected through that time. AccuWeather reports that in the past 72 hours, 9.73 inches of rainfall has landed in Miami, almost totaling the average June rainfall amount in the city of 10.51 inches. The latest 3-day rainfall totals indicate 11.61 inches at Biscayne Park, Florida, with 11 inches at Key Largo.
The City of Miami posted video of flooded streets on its Twitter account, stating that road conditions remain a hazard, and that residents should “stay home” amid the heavy rains. Although rain has lessened as of 8 a.m. ET, it's not over yet and flooding will continue this morning. Stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network and app for updated information.
Heavy rain continues to worsen ongoing flooding in South Florida, with the Interstate 95 corridor, in particular, seeing some of the heaviest rainfall. Many roadways, especially underpasses, are impassable and have closed due to the rising water. Rainfall totals vary substantially across the region, however, a general 5 to 10 inches of rain has fallen across the highly urbanized corridor.
Radar imagery depicting intense rainfall near Miami Saturday morning. With rain moving toward the north and northeast, a break in the heaviest rainfall is possible during the late morning hours.
Some relief may be in sight later this morning. One more round of intense rainfall will move through the Miami area over the next hour or two, and the National Weather Service has continued Flash Flood Warnings until 7 a.m. for Miami and Fort Lauderdale to cover for this batch of rain. To the south of this, however, radar imagery suggests that rain will start to taper off through late morning. While additional rounds of heavier rain may still develop through the day on Saturday, any break will begin to allow floodwaters to recede.
While the disturbance bringing flooding rain to South Florida may not become Tropical Storm Alex before reaching the Sunshine State, it will be the first system in a season that AccuWeather forecasters predict to be above average for the year.
AccuWeather meteorologists forecast 16 to 20 named storms for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, of which 4 to 6 would directly impact the United States. Six to 8 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes, are also predicted.
According to veteran meteorologist and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski, the above-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, combined with a persisting La Niña, will increase the likelihood of yet another active season. With that in mind, the threat for dangerous tropical weather will continue through the summer and early fall months. Forecasters urge residents in areas prone to hurricanes to make preparations well ahead of time, especially those who are new to coastal communities.
Reports of street flooding have increased overnight across Miami-Dade County, where upwards of 5 inches of rain is estimated to have fallen in some areas. In and near downtown Miami, the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning as very heavy rainfall streams into the area. Based on radar estimates, more than 1 inch of rain may fall per hour in some areas, leading to worsening flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Those who encounter flooded roads should never attempt to drive through the floodwaters, which may be much deeper than expected.
AccuWeather forecasters anticipate 8 to 12 inches of total rainfall across southeast Florida, in cities such as Homestead, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. However, localized areas where the heaviest rain falls may receive much higher amounts, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 20 inches.
While the tropical disturbance to the west of Florida remains nameless, gusty winds and flooding rainfall will threaten Florida through Saturday regardless. Already, 3 to 6 inches of rain has been reported in parts of South Florida, and much more is still to come before the system moves out of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, gusty winds have already begun at times in the Florida Keys, where a 48 mph gust was reported in Key West. Regardless of whether the system develops into a named tropical storm by tomorrow or not, strong winds and flooding rain will ramp up in the Sunshine State.
How does forecasting the Atlantic basin hurricane season begin? AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Lead Hurricane Forecaster Dan Kottlowski says it all starts with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), or a routine climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean fluctuate. “Two variables that we really try to hone in on as we go through the spring and during the early part of the season is the state of whether we’re going to have an El Niño or La Niña,” Kottlowski said. This can impact the wind shear that enters the tropics during the hurricane season.
He and his team then study weather maps and long-range computer forecasts to assess how the weather will play out from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa. “When all that information is put together and each individual submits their ideas, then we come up with a consensus as to what the upcoming season’s going to look like,” Kottlowski said. The team then revises the forecast based on new information that comes in every day.
Senior meteorologist and lead hurricane forecaster Dan Kottlowski talks about what goes into developing AccuWeather’s annual Hurricane Season Forecast.
It's never too early to start planning for a hurricane, even if none are forecast in your area yet. There are many ways to prepare for a hurricane in advance, such as making sure you have flashlights and extra batteries in the event of a power outage. Making sure your food supply is still good is another important way to prepare. It is also key to know where your crucial documents are so you can easily move them if they are in danger of flooding or debris. Other preparations include buying and knowing where a first aid kit is stored and having plenty of blankets and clothing nearby. Here are more tips on how to prepare for a hurricane in advance.
Florida mortgage broker Kristen Ecklund has seen an increase in the number of people moving to Florida since the beginning of the pandemic, searching for nicer weather and a coastal lifestyle. However, with a life by the Florida coast also comes the risk of tropical systems. In an interview with AccuWeather National Reporter Jillian Angeline, Ecklund shares some simple yet essential ways someone can prepare for tropical threats. “When you get to your house and you’re all moved in, take a video of everything,” she said. “From the inside to the outside, that’s for insurance purposes. Just in case the wind does something.” She added that hiding valuables, such as insurance and tax records, in the dishwasher may safeguard them during a storm.
As the still-nameless tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico approaches Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis warned residents at a press conference on Friday evening to not underestimate the severity of the storm, regardless of its status. “Our word to the community is: Stay safe, be safe and be wise,” Trantalis said. “This may not be the full hurricane that oftentimes comes to our shores, but it is a wakeup call to those in our community to get ready, be prepared, prepare for the worst and make sure you have an escape route in mind in [the] case where you need to leave the low-lying areas.” He added that those who are experiencing a hurricane season for the first time should introduce themselves to their neighbors and find out what the area might normally experience.
As a tropical system moves closer to the Florida coast, strong wind gusts have been reported in the Florida Keys. One of the highest wind gusts of the day came from Sand Key, Florida, which reported a wind gust of 58 mph. Key West recorded a wind gust of 48 mph and Sombrero Key had a wind gust just over 40 mph. These wind gusts are forecast to strengthen in the keys and the Florida coast as the potential cyclone closes in on landfall Saturday morning.
As hurricane season begins in the North Atlantic, many living in hurricane-prone areas should learn ways to protect their homes from these disasters. One way to prepare your house is to put storm shutters over your windows or board them up with wood, this will help prevent debris and strong winds from breaching the home. Using sandbags around your property can also help protect your home from flooding caused by a tropical system. Another way to keep your home safe is to ensure rain gutters are cleared regularly to prevent them from overflowing with water. Here are more ways you can keep your property safe this hurricane season.
The Sunshine State is poised to see the sunlight break through the clouds Sunday following the landfall of what could be the first-named tropical system for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. With landfall currently forecast for southwestern Florida on Saturday morning, the center of the storm will be back over the Atlantic Ocean by Sunday, AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Curtis said. “Much of the state should see some sunshine throughout the day, but a few stray thunderstorms can still be expected in spots.” He added that the chances for lingering showers or thunderstorms will be a little higher across South Florida on Sunday, though some clearing is still expected and sunshine will mix with clouds throughout the day. Strong rip currents will still be a concern at beaches along the southern East Coast on Sunday, especially along Florida’s eastern coastline.
Drought conditions have dramatically improved in the Sunshine State since the start of March, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and rain from this tropical system could help areas in South Florida eliminate almost all the drought. Despite the need for rain, flooding is still a major concern due to intense rainfall rates. AccuWeather meteorologists are forecasting a general band of 8-12 inches of rain with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 20 inches from the Florida Keys, across the Everglades and into the Miami area. Since the majority of the rain is expected to fall within a short time frame, it could be enough to trigger flooding in urban and low-lying areas. Streets and highways with poor drainage could become flooded. Motorists and pedestrians should be prepared to take alternative routes in locations that are prone to flooding.
At least two people were reported dead and one person was reported missing following heavy rainfall from the tropical system impacting western and central Cuba, according to Cuban authorities. The two deaths in Havana, the capital of Cuba located on the northern coast, were attributed to a landslide and what officials referred to as an “accident,” respectively, amid heavy rainfall from the tropical system in the Gulf tracking past the island nation. Another person was reported missing in Pinar del Río, a city in western Cuba. To the northeast, authorities in Consolación del Sur, a town in the Pinar del Rio province, reported 11.8 inches of rainfall on Friday following 28 hours of nearly continuous rain; south of Pinar del Río, the city of San Juan y Martínez received nearly 7 inches of rainfall within three hours Friday morning, according to La Prensa Latina.
As Hurricane season increases demand for groceries, generators and other emergency goods, some may find these supplies harder to find than usual. Batteries Plus Chief Business Officer Jon Sica told AccuWeather that while their stores plan months in advance for stocking up for Hurricane season, supplies could still be limited due to a range of supply and shipping delays. Sics said supply chain constraints, trucking delays and shipping delays are all problems they are facing this year. Despite the delays, Sica said they have shipments planned for when landfall is imminent in a certain area.
Turbulent weather is leading to flight delays and cancellations across Florida, and more are likely as the tropical rainstorm bears down on the state. According to FlightAware, nearly 20% of all outbound flights at Miami International Airport have been delayed today, but only 3% have been canceled. Key West International Airport, which has experienced some of the worst of the weather so far, has canceled 39% of all outbound flights and 55% of all inbound flights. More delays and cancelations are likely through Saturday due to the storm before the return of settled weather on Sunday.
Carrie Slaughter moved to Florida from Illinois and now is preparing for her first hurricane season.
After moving to Florida from Illinois for work and warmer weather, Carrie Slaughter is getting ready for her first hurricane season. Slaughter currently lives in a rental house in Port Charlotte, Florida, while her house is being built about five miles away in Punta Gorda. Slaughter has never experienced a hurricane or tropical storm before. “We were from Illinois, so we didn’t have hurricanes but we had tornadoes,” Slaughter told AccuWeather National Reporter Jillian Angeline.
At her rental house, Slaughter has a generator to run the fridge and travel trailer if the power does go out. But just the thought of a hurricane hitting nearby made Slaughter tell the person building her new house that she would just leave when a hurricane comes. Her builder assured her he was building a “hurricane-proof home.” The brick home with a whole house generator will allow her to “flip a switch” and stay safe without having to deal with the “madhouse” that is Interstate 75. I-75 is a major highway in Florida that serves as an evacuation route for residents in Florida. In 2017, the largest evacuation in U.S. history sent 7 million people out of their homes, which resulted in I-75 being clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Improvements have been made to I-75 since then, but some Floridians might still be reluctant to evacuate.
Regardless of the system’s classification, AccuWeather meteorologists are stressing that people in the warned areas should prepare for flash flooding, especially around cities. “We are growing increasingly concerned that if these excessive rainfall rates occur over major urban areas like Fort Lauderdale to Miami, which have many impervious surfaces such as concrete and pavement, a very serious and life-threatening major flooding situation can quickly develop,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter warned.
The rain rates from this system may peak at 4 inches per hour, he added. The risk for major flash flooding increases “substantially” when the rate of rainfall exceeds 2-3 inches per hour, which South Florida may experience Friday evening into the overnight. Porter warned that, if possible, people in the areas at risk should stay off the roads into Saturday morning to avoid the risk of flash flooding. The system will also bring the chance for brief tornadoes, adding to the threats that people in South Florida should stay on alert for throughout the night into Saturday morning.
Wind flow in the Gulf of Mexico from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 3.
Rain has been falling across South Florida throughout the day, and now winds are picking up across the region. The weather station at Key West International Airport clocked a wind gust of 40 mph at 1:44 p.m. EDT, with other weather stations in the Keys reporting gusts nearly up to 50 mph. While the gusts are above the 39-mph threshold to be considered tropical storm-force, sustained winds have remained below 39 mph. Winds across the region will continue to increase into Saturday as the worst of the tropical rainstorm approaches.
After the tropical system that is expected to be named Alex hits Florida, it will move offshore and up the East Coast, creating impacts for beachgoers and those sailing off the coast. Boaters and swimmers from Florida up through the central Delmarva can expect to see rough surf from Sunday through Tuesday as the storm strengthens and moves out to sea. Beachgoers should be on the lookout for dangerous rip currents. While the beach erosion and coastal flooding from this storm should be relatively minor, a slow-moving non-tropical storm devastated parts of the Southeast coast in May, making any additional beach erosion unwelcome in the Outer Banks.
With Miami expected to be drenched with anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of rain, city officials began distributing sandbags to help locals protect properties against floodwaters that are expected to rise this weekend. The city set up two locations where residents could pick up sandbags and posted photos on social media showing cars lined up with people waiting to pick up their share. Miami is one of the areas in South Florida that was under a tropical storm warning in addition to numerous other flood and rip current advisories.
The tropical rainstorm heading for Florida is getting most of the attention, but meteorologists are also keeping a close eye on another system that could become a short-lived tropical depression or tropical storm. The disturbance is very small and is swirling hundreds of miles off the coast of the Carolinas; however, unlike the aforementioned tropical rainstorm, this disturbance has a well-defined center of circulation. Satellite imagery also shows that the disturbance is packing some wind and rain, meaning that there is a small chance it could potentially steal the spotlight and take the name Alex before the tropical rainstorm in the Gulf of Mexico is named. If both of these systems become named storms, the second one to strengthen into a tropical storm would be called Bonnie.
This small feature hundreds of miles off the coast of the Carolinas has a brief window of opportunity to form into a tropical depression or tropical storm. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)
Business owners in southern Florida are battening down the hatches as a tropical rainstorm that is expected to be named Alex by the time it makes landfall draws closer to the coast. Jim VanBuren, the general manager at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, is using the storm and the heavy rainfall it is expected to bring to test out his new inflatable Tiger Dam flood control system, which is used as an alternative to sandbags.
"What makes it different and unique is you buy it once, it has a long lifespan, unlike sandbags,” Cheryl Whitmer, who works at US Flood Control, the maker of Tiger Dam, told AccuWeather National Reporter Bill Wadell. VanBuren’s noted that his property has a lengthy history of flood damage caused by hurricanes and king tides, something they hope to prevent with their new flood prevention system. “[It’s] more often that we’re having the higher high tides, which means we have the lower low tides at the same time, so we have to build up around that,” VanBuren said.
AccuWeather's Kim Leoffler was in Fort Myers, Florida, on June 3, as the area braced for the first tropical impacts of 2022.
As landfall from a tropical system that is set to receive the name Alex draws closer, AccuWeather's Kim Leoffler has set up her home base in Fort Myers, as the region awaits its first tropical impacts of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Leoffler has already seen the rain start to pick up Friday morning, with conditions expected to continue to go downhill later this afternoon into the overnight hours. “We’re already starting to see a couple of areas where we are seeing water start to build up,” Loeffler said, pointing to a few areas of light street flooding already popping up behind her. Up to a foot of rain is possible in and around Fort Myers, with wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour possible.
On the latest episode of AccuWeather’s Weather Insider Podcast, AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno and AccuWeather Broadcast Meteorologist Kristina Shalhoup detail the latest on the tropical system approaching Florida with heavy rain and also discuss when and where the system could make landfall. The duo also chat about what cities could receive the heaviest rainfall in Florida. Shalhoup and Rayno also examine forecasts for other parts of the country this weekend, and early next week. Give the episode a listen below.
Flash flooding is a major concern as an outer band of the tropical rainstorm, dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone One by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), moves over southern Florida. As this band continues to strengthen, rainfall rates of 3 inches an hour are possible along the southwest Florida coast, which could lead to flash flooding through Friday afternoon. For comparison, in one hour, parts of southwest Florida could pick up more rain than Los Angeles, California, has all year. Since Jan. 1, Los Angeles has measured only 1.99 inches of rain. Forecasters warn motorists and pedestrians should seek alternative routes in locations that are prone to flooding during times of heavy rain.
As a tropical rainstorm, which the National Weather Service has dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone One, draws ever closer to the southern Florida Gulf Coast, here is what people in Fort Myers and Miami can expect. In Fort Myers, wind gusts will peak between 40 to 60 miles per hour, and conditions will be the worst Friday afternoon into the overnight hours. About a foot of rain could fall, with a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet along the coast.
In Miami, conditions are expected to go downhill a little later, with the worst of the storm likely to linger into Saturday morning. Up to a foot of rain is expected in Miami, with wind gusts topping out at 50 mph and a storm surge of 1 to 2 feet.
The tropical rainstorm, which the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone One, formed in the Gulf of Mexico from what was left of Hurricane Agatha, which was a named storm in the Pacific Ocean basin. It is forecast to track northeast towards the southwest part of the Florida Peninsula. This area of Florida was last hit in September 2017, when Hurricane Irma made landfall. Previously, it was also hit in 2008 by Tropical Storm Fay and again in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma. While Irma and Fay both crossed into the Gulf of Mexico first before making landfall in southwest Florida, Wilma was the last storm to form in the western Caribbean and swing northeast towards Florida’s southwest peninsula, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
On Friday morning, Hurricane Hunters flying through the Gulf of Mexico found maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, above the criteria needed for a system to be considered a tropical storm. So why hasn’t the National Hurricane Center (NHC) named the system Tropical Storm Alex?
To be considered a tropical storm, a system needs more than intense winds. One of the key characteristics of any organized tropical system is a well-defined center -- something that this system still does not have. When tropical storms strengthen into hurricanes, this center evolves into what is known as the eye of the storm. However, forecasters say that it is only a matter of time before this system becomes better organized and is given the name Alex. “The system is expected to develop a well-defined center and become a tropical storm later today,” the NHC said.
A view of the tropical rainstorm approaching Florida on Friday, June 2, 2022. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)
Landfall is not expected until Saturday, but downpours from the strengthening tropical system have already arrived in Florida. As of Friday morning, the rain was mainly limited to areas near and south of Lake Okeechobee with the heaviest rain focused on the Keys. Rainfall totals in this region could approach a foot by the end of the weekend.
Millions of people across southern Florida, in the Bahamas and western Cuba are waking up on Friday to tropical storm warnings. Miami, Key West and Fort Myers are a few of the larger cities under the warning, as well as areas just south of Orlando. Anyone in this area should make final preparations for the tropical system with tropical-storm-force winds, storm surge and flooding possible throughout the next 36 hours.
While astronomical summer does not start until June 21, meteorologists consider the start of summer to be June 1, which also happens to be the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. For residents of southern Florida and tourists looking to visit theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, the first weekend of meteorological summer is set to be a very wet one.
A tropical rainstorm is on the move towards the Sunshine State, setting the stage for a wet and windy weekend from the Florida Keys up toward Orlando. AccuWeather meteorologists expect the tropical rainstorm to become a tropical depression over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Friday, before reaching the Florida Keys and the southern part of the Florida Peninsula on Friday night and Saturday. The system is likely to become a tropical storm, which would be given the name Alex, while crossing Florida or perhaps just east of Florida. Up to 12 inches of rain is expected in far southern Florida, including in Miami and its famous beaches. If 12 inches of rain falls in Miami, it would exceed the 10.51 inches of rain the city averages in the month of June.
The last time the name Alex was used in the Atlantic Basin was for what the National Hurricane Center described as an “unusual” January hurricane in 2016. Due to a weak warm core and its collation with an upper-level low, the storm was first designated as a “subtropical” storm by the National Hurricane Center on Jan. 12 as it was positioned about 1,000 nautical miles west-southwest of the Canary Islands. However, as it moved northeastward, convection increased and Alex moved out from the upper-level low. By Jan. 14, it had gained hurricane status, its maximum sustained winds roughly at 86.3 mph as it tracked a few hundred nautical miles south-southwest of the Azores. It would soon begin to weaken, however, its maximum sustained winds falling to about 63 mph, and it lost its hurricane status before making landfall on Terceira, an island in the Azores, on Jan. 15. There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with the storm.
Alex (2016) was the first hurricane to form in the Atlantic Basin in January since an unnamed hurricane in 1938, as well as the first hurricane to be ongoing in January since Alice in 1955, according to the NHC. Alice initially developed in late December but continued to churn as the calendar turned from 1954 to 1955.
Over a decade earlier, Hurricane Alex tracked through the basin from late July into early August of 2004. At its peak, the tropical cyclone was a Category 2 hurricane. The hurricane's eyewall raked the Outer Banks with sustained Category 1 hurricane-force winds, according to NHC, with its center located about 9 nautical miles southeast of Cape Hatteras at its closest approach to land on Aug. 3.
The Saffir-Simpson scale has been used for years to estimate the strength, but this scale takes only wind speed into account and neglects other factors of tropical systems that can endanger lives and property. In 2019, AccuWeather introduced a new system that conveys a more accurate representation of the impacts that people can expect if they are in the storm’s path. The RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes is a six-point scale that ranges from “less than 1” to “5,” with 5 being reserved for the most extreme landfalling hurricanes. In addition to wind speed, this scale also accounts for storm surge, flooding rain and overall economic damage.
After carefully assessing the forecast for the impending tropical threat on Florida, AccuWeather meteorologists have given the approaching tropical rainstorm the rating of “less than 1.” The primary concern is heavy, flooding rain with a month’s worth of rain possible in under 48 hours across part of southern Florida, including Miami.
The hurricane hunters geared up for their first mission of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday morning. While flying into tropical systems is a dangerous mission, but the information collected by these hurricane hunters is critical for forecasting such powerful storms. Once the aircraft is positioned above the storm, a scientist releases a dropsonde, a weather device specially designed to be dropped out of an aircraft. As it falls through the hurricane, it collects data such as temperatures, humidity and wind direction and velocity. All of the data collected from these flights is sent back to the mainland and is then used to help forecasters make more accurate predictions.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a Tropical Storm Watch for much of Florida on Thursday afternoon as the tropical rainstorm, dubbed Invest 91L by the NHC, moves toward the state. The watch includes the entire west coast of the Florida Peninsula that is south of the middle of Longboat Key, and the entire eastern peninsula that is south of the Volusia and Brevard County line. The entirety of the Florida Keys is included in the watch, including Key West and Key Largo. Other major cities in the state that are in the watch include Miami, Naples, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The tropical rainstorm is expected to organize into a tropical storm and bring torrential rain into South Florida.
The Atlantic hurricane season is underway, and AccuWeather forecasters are predicting yet another above-average Atlantic hurricane season. The last two hurricane seasons brought about an unprecedented period of activity, with the 2020 and 2021 Atlantic hurricane seasons spawning the most and third-most named storms in a single season, respectively. This year, AccuWeather forecasters are predicting 16-20 named storms, a figure that falls above the average number of named storms in a single season, which is 14.
Of the tropical storms that form this season, AccuWeather meteorologists predict that six to eight will strengthen to be hurricanes, that three to five will major hurricane status and that four to six of these tropical systems will directly impact the United States. Those in hurricane-prone areas should continue to prepare for an active hurricane season and the possibility of a devastating storm striking their community.
Each year since 2015, a named tropical storm has formed before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, a trend that has caused the National Hurricane Center to consider moving up the start of hurricane season. However, no storms formed in the preseason this year, meaning future Tropical Storm Alex, which AccuWeather meteorologists expect to become named, will be the first storm with an A-name to form in or after June since Hurricane Arthur in 2014. Arthur did not form until July 1 and became the earliest hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina as a hurricane. The last A-named storm to form in June was Tropical Storm Andrea in 2013.
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