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Tropical downpours continue to drench Florida in wake of Colin

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A plume of tropical downpours will continue to drench areas from the Florida Keys to the southern part of the Florida Peninsula and the northern part of the Bahamas into the weekend.

The swath of tropical moisture has persisted in the wake of Tropical Storm Colin. The region is receiving more downpours in the wake of Colin, compared to when the system passed across the northern part of the peninsula on Monday.

Enough rain can fall in a short period of time to bring urban and low-lying area flooding.

The Florida downpours will focus in the vicinity of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Fort Myers and Naples but can extend as far to the north as Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne and perhaps as far to the south as Key West.

A couple of downpours can occur as far to the east as Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas.

A couple of the strongest storms could bring highly localized severe weather, including strong wind gusts and a waterspout.

As a result, bathers, boaters and commuters should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions into the weekend.

Many portions of southern Florida are in need of rain. A number of locations have a rainfall deficit of 4-6 inches or 40-60 percent of normal since early March.

There is the potential for some locations to wipe out that deficit into Sunday. Rainfall of 3-6 inches could occur in part of the southern half of the Florida Peninsula over the next few days. It is possible that a couple of locations receive the bulk of this rainfall in a single downpour.

In terms of tropical development, the chance of a weak system evolving somewhere along the plume of moisture is low, but not impossible.

It is not uncommon for a tropical system to develop along an old frontal zone early in the season. Waters are warm enough to support another tropical system.

However, there is a major inhibiting factor in place.

"High wind shear extends from the central Gulf of Mexico across Florida to Bermuda and in to the northern Atlantic," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.

The changing of the speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere is wind shear. When this difference is great, it can interfere with tropical storm formation and intensity.

"Any weak system that develops along the front, crosses Florida and moves into the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean will encounter this disruptive, strong wind shear," Smerbeck said.

Elsewhere, conditions are likely to remain quiet in terms of tropical development across the rest of the Atlantic basin through next week and perhaps well into the summer.

North of the tropical downpours, a sweltering heat wave from the Great Plains will build across the interior South, replacing the cool air and low humidity into this weekend.