Home Weather Forecast Rainy mornings, dry afternoons in the forecast for Southwest Florida

Rainy mornings, dry afternoons in the forecast for Southwest Florida

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Get ready for an odd weather pattern that will deliver rains in the morning and clear conditions in the afternoon, the exact opposite of typical Southwest Florida conditions for this time of year. 

“Currently, we are having an atypical start to June,” said Dan Noah, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. “The high pressure ridge axis is to our south, which creates onshore flow in the morning. So we’ll get showers in the morning and it will be dry in the afternoon, and that’s sort of reverse of what we get in the summer time.”

The rainy season started on May 15 with a deluge that was followed by rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto, both of which added up to the rainiest May on record. 

More than 12.7 inches of rain fell in Fort Myers, according to Noah. That’s several inches above the previous rainfall record of 7.75 inches of rain for the month of May (1989). 

Just under 9 inches of rain, on average, fell across Lee and Collier counties for May, according to the South Florida Water Management District. 

An average June produces just under 10 inches of rainfall. 

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More: May rains bring nutrients that could fuel red tide in SWFL

June is also the start of hurricane season, which runs through November. 

Noah said the current weather pattern could produce some interesting features. 

“The early morning showers and isolated thunderstorms increases our water spout risk, but then it dries up for the afternoon,” Noah said. “The first 10 days of June will be nice and slow for the start of hurricane season.”

Lake Okeechobee levels are starting to rise again, with the surface of the lake now more than 14 feet above sea level. 

More: Restoration work north of Lake Okeechobee will help Fort Myers area

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday it will begin lake releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers in order to lower lake levels in preparation for the hurricane season. 

“The water that we’ve received has had an impact on the lake and we need to make sure we’re prepared to take additional water from tropical systems,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, with the Army Corps office in Jacksonville. 

Flows to the Caloosahatchee River will be 4,000 cubic feet per second as measured at a lock in Moore Haven. 

The Corps historically measured flow rates at the Franklin Lock and Dam in Alva because it takes into account stormwater running into the freshwater portion of the river. 

Rainfall chances over the next week vary from 20 to 80 percent, according to various weather forecasting outlets. 

More: Florida moving forward with plan to protect estuaries, some groups wary

The record rainfall has saturated much of the state, but water managers say the region is ready for more rain. 

“We’ve continued to move water out to the oceans and that’s been going on even before the subtropical system because we had rain before that,” said Randy Smith, water management district spokesman. 

Sunday and Monday are expected to be relatively dry and mostly sunny. 

“A few days of dry weather, that’s good for the flood control system because it lets us continue to lower the canals without being bombarded with additional stormwater,” Smith said. 

The odd weather pattern is expected to stay in place over the next 10 days or so. 

“Late next week we’ll get more into a normal pattern where the showers start on the east coast and we get a lot more activity in the evening,” Noah said. “That’s not this weekend but next weekend.”

Connect with this reporter: Chad Gillis on Twitter. 

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2018-06-03 17:18:10

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