Fox News Weather Center

Downpours to alleviate drought, brush fire danger in Florida at midweek


Beneficial rain will help ease the brush fire danger across Florida at midweek and bring an end to a prolonged stretch of dry weather.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate drought is being reported from near Tampa southward to Naples and eastward to West Palm Beach. The remainder of the Florida Peninsula has been abnormally dry, but has not reached drought criteria.

Rainfall deficits will be cut this week as a storm with plenty of moisture will push across the Sunshine State from Tuesday night through Wednesday.

“Rain amounts in most locations will range from a half to 1 inch with some local amounts up to 2 inches,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

FL needed rain

Drenching rain will advance eastward over the Florida Panhandle through Tuesday night, before sinking southward across the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday.

Tampa, Orlando, Daytona Beach and Miami are among the cities that will get a thorough soaking.

“The rain will help to moisten the dry ground and limit any new fire threats in the short term,” Rathbun said.

The beneficial rain will not come free of hazards.

While the threat for flooding will be very isolated, there can be pooling of water on side streets and lands.

Motorists along interstates 4, 75 and 95 will contend with reduced visibility and ponding of water on roadways. Slick spots will be possible at the onset of rain due to oil buildup from the recent dryness.

Thunderstorms embedded within the drenching rain can turn robust.

Locally damaging winds that can cause minor tree damage and sporadic power outages will be the primary threat.

“Another prolonged period of drier weather will follow in the wake of Wednesday’s rain and may continue into the beginning of March,” Rathbun said.

FL drought

Since the beginning of the year, rainfall has been hard to come by across the Florida Peninsula with most areas receiving less than half of their normal precipitation.

The extreme dryness has led to numerous brush fires, several of which continue to burn.

It has been a different story across the Florida Panhandle. Pensacola and Tallahassee are both running well above average in terms of rainfall so far this year, and will continue to add their surpluses with the rain this week.