Florida City could see more than twice as much rainfall in 5 days as in a month

A Florida city could receive more than double its monthly rainfall in just five days as the state is battered by excessive moisture from the Caribbean.

The impending storm arrives as Florida and much of the southern U.S., including Texas, Arizona and Southern California, have struggled with extreme heat over the past week. The heaviest rains are expected Wednesday through Friday. The National Weather Service (NWS) warns that flooding could occur as early as Tuesday and continue into the weekend.

On Monday morning, the NWS office in Tampa Bay, Florida, released a map with precipitation estimates for the next five days. According to the map, several locations could receive at least 6 inches of rain, but some areas could receive significantly more. Fort Myers is forecast to receive 15 to 20 inches of rain. The average monthly rainfall for Fort Myers in June is 96 inches, meaning this week could see more than double the monthly average.

“A cloud of moisture from the Caribbean will move across the state later this week. This will bring us widespread rain, with the highest amounts occurring in southwest Florida,” the NWS office wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “The majority of this rain will fall Wednesday through Friday.”

NWS meteorologist Jennifer Hubbard said Newsweek She doubts Fort Myers will set a monthly rainfall record, although it's possible. The wettest June on record was 1912, when 27.61 inches of rain fell during the month. While that number is outside of forecasts, Hubbard said if the storms persist, they could bring more rain than originally expected.

Flooding could become a problem, Hubbard added, as large parts of South Florida are currently suffering from severe drought, as shown by the U.S. Drought Monitor map. The coming rain could help alleviate drought, especially in areas like Sarasota, where rainfall in 2023 was 25 inches below normal annual rainfall.

According to the map, more than 20 percent of Florida was affected by severe drought. More than 41 percent of the state suffered moderate drought, while more than half of the state was considered abnormally dry.

“If the rain accumulates gradually and doesn't run off very quickly, we should be able to handle a lot,” Hubbard said. “The lakes are well below normal, the ponds are drying out, so there's a lot of area for the rain to run off into without becoming too much of a problem.”

A street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is flooded by Tropical Storm Eta in November 2020. The city of Fort Myers could receive more than double its monthly rainfall in just five days due to excessive rainfall…


However, localized flooding is possible, especially later in the week. Hubbard advised people in the area not to drive through floodwaters. There were no NWS weather advisories in place for Florida as of Monday morning.

The forecast prompted several meteorologists to post warnings on social media.

“WARNING! Significant rain is expected across Florida this week, ending the drought. There will be intermittent storms and possible flooding over the next seven days. Here are my thoughts for Sunday,” Matt Devitt, chief meteorologist at WINK News, posted on X on Sunday afternoon.

“All eyes are on Florida this week. Especially Central and South Florida,” Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Bruin posted while sharing Devitt's post.

“Florida will go from drought to flooding this week as tropical moisture pours into the state,” local news station 10 Tampa Bay reported Sunday night on X. “While dry ground should absorb much of the rain, some locations could see isolated flooding.”