Heavy rainfall continues to pose a significant concern across areas extending from Melbourne northward, as reported accumulations of 1-3 inches were observed on Thursday. The greatest risk of intense rainfall is expected along the coast, particularly from the Space Coast northward. In this region, training bands could yield 2-4 inches of rainfall, with localized amounts potentially exceeding 6 inches. Due to this potential threat, the Flood Watch has been extended until 4 a.m. on Friday, encompassing all coastal counties. Low-lying and poor drainage flooding are among the potential impacts that should be taken into consideration.
It is crucial to note that discerning flooding during daylight hours may prove challenging, and it becomes virtually impossible at night. Therefore, exercising caution becomes paramount, and it is strongly advised not to attempt to cross flooded areas. Furthermore, in addition to the heavy rainfall, isolated lightning storms may occur, potentially intensifying the prevailing strong wind gusts of up to 50-55 mph.
The timing of the departure of the low-pressure system remains uncertain and varies depending on the model used for forecasting. The GFS model suggests a slower progression, keeping the low off the Florida east coast until Friday afternoon. On the other hand, the EURO model predicts a faster movement, while the NAM model falls somewhere in between. Despite these disparities, there is a consensus among the models that winds will shift to a northerly direction, decrease in intensity, and that rain chances will diminish throughout the day. As a result, there is even optimism for glimpses of sunshine in the afternoon.
Although Friday morning will still bring breezy conditions, the probability of rain decreases to 20% through early afternoon, with a slight chance of showers lingering into the late afternoon. As cloud cover decreases, temperatures will slightly warm, reaching the upper 70s to lower 80s.
In conclusion, the threat of heavy rainfall persists in the Melbourne and northward areas, particularly along the coast. The extension of the Flood Watch until early Friday morning emphasizes the potential risks associated with low-lying and poor drainage flooding. It is essential to exercise caution and avoid crossing flooded areas, as assessing the extent of flooding becomes increasingly difficult during both daylight and nighttime hours. Additionally, isolated lightning storms may further intensify the already strong wind gusts. However, there is hope for improvement as models indicate a shift in winds, a decrease in intensity, and a gradual reduction in rain chances throughout the day, potentially allowing for the emergence of sunshine in the afternoon.