South Florida flooded, central Florida largely untouched as potential tropical cyclone crosses state – Orlando Sentinel
A not-quite-tropical storm swept through the lower part of the Florida peninsula on Saturday, bringing a foot of rain causing flooding in the Miami area that left cars stuck on the roads.
For much of Central Florida, it was just a typical rainy day.
Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for Osceola and Brevard Counties as well as other areas along the Treasure Coast as Potential Tropical Cyclone One made landfall and storms occurred throughout Friday afternoon.
On Saturday morning, the system that was once expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Alex ultimately failed to do so, and the warning in Osceola County was lifted. Meteorologist David Heckard of Orlando Sentinel’s news partner Spectrum News 13 said Osceola saw only 1 to 2 inches of rain overnight while southern Brevard County had up to 3 inches. .
But that’s typical of storm systems at the start of hurricane season, when Heckard said storms are often too disorganized to turn into something more dangerous.
“What happened [Friday] overnight was the system remained very unbalanced,” Heckard said. “The center is very elongated so the system was never able to really focus on a low-level center, which is what we need to develop a tropical storm.”
Meanwhile, the east coast south of the Volusia-Brevard county line was hammered by rain and gusts of up to 40 mph, according to Melbourne’s National Weather Service.
Although not as strong as it could have been, Heckard said it was important for residents to prepare for future storms “before the season really heats up in August and September.”
“While it was a very disorganized system that didn’t amount to much, it’s not a guarantee as we move forward,” he said. “It’s a great reminder that we live in an area prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, and if you haven’t started thinking about what you would do if a more legitimate system were to impact the area, it’s is the perfect time to do so.”
In South Florida, authorities issued warnings as areas of Miami suffered road flooding, with videos on social media showing cars stuck in the deluge as residents drove through the city in heavy rain and the wind. The city of Miami was towing stranded vehicles on flooded roads.
Downtown Miami saw about 11 inches of rain Saturday morning, according to National Weather Service figures.
“This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Traveling in these conditions is not recommended. It is best to wait. Turn around, don’t drown,” the City of Miami tweeted.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm formerly known as Agatha in the Pacific Ocean is expected to become a tropical storm by Sunday morning and is expected to strengthen through Monday as it moves away from Florida and in the Atlantic Ocean.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said most government services, such as bus lines and trains, plan to operate normally over the weekend. Canal levels in South Florida have been lowered to minimize flooding from heavy rains.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on Tuesday. This is an unusually early start to storm season, but not unprecedented for Florida. An updated hurricane season outlook predicted 20 named storms, 10 hurricanes and five major hurricanes.
It also predicted a 76% chance that the US coastline would be hit by a major hurricane (category 3 or higher). The average for the last century is 52%.