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Expanding Heat Wave; Heavy Rainfall Across the Upper Midwest and Gulf Coast; Snow for the Northern Rockies; Critical Fire Weather for Southwest

Diverse pattern across the country with accumulating heavy wet snow across the northern Rockies into the new week. Meanwhile, deep tropical moisture is expected to move ashore across the Gulf Coast States with the threat of heavy rainfall. This threat extends into the upper Midwest where flash flooding and a few severe storms. In addition, a heat wave is building from the Plains into Northeast. Read More >

Historic Palm Beach Flooding January 9-10 2014


Photo:  Kenneth Kraus

During the night of Thursday January 9, 2014, several mesoscale meteorological factors combined to produce torrential rainfall across portions of coastal Palm Beach county over a rather short period of time.  From roughly 8pm until midnight, several locations received over 12 inches of rain in just those few hours Thursday evening with one mesonet site just west-southwest of Hypoluxo receiving an astonishing 22.21 inches during the same time frame (Table 1).  Steady rain rates were on the order of 3-5 inches per hour.        

      Table 1:  Storm Total Rainfall Palm Beach County                      Figure 1:  24 hour rainfall map ending 7am January 10th

These staggering rain rates led to severe flooding overnight and through Friday January 10th well after the rain had stopped.  This prompted the South Florida Water Management District to hold an impromptu weather briefing Friday afternoon to discuss the safest and most efficient ways of moving water out of low lying areas and into the regional flood control system.  The most severely affected communities were Delray Beach, Boynton beach, and Lantana.  Severe flooding of neighborhoods led to the closing of numerous roadways, including all lanes of Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach.  Several lakes and canals overflowed their banks.  Flood waters entered a number of homes and businesses, but no major structural flooding was noted.  All Palm Beach county schools were also closed due to the flooding.  Tragically, two people perished as a result of this historic event.  A 56 year old woman drowned in Delray Beach after she drove her car off of a flooded roadway and into a lake.  Also in Delray Beach, a 90 year old man drowned after slipping into a canal while walking down a street.  Rainfall totals of 8 to 10 inches were also experienced as far west as the Florida Turnpike in Palm Beach county (Figure 1).