It’s been a rainier than usual week for the Attractions. The first clue of the high humidity was early morning fog that reduced visibility around Central Florida for parts of the morning Tuesday. And then the rains came. Wednesday, in particular, was especially soggy with a large storm sitting over Orange County just east of the Attractions; in some instances, more than four inches of rain were recorded. The radar-generated Storm Total Precipitation estimate (above) shows the extent of the rainfall. Yellows represent 3″ of rainfall, oranges 4″, and reds 5″.
Here’s the same product, but from the Tampa radar site, which gives a more-accurate picture for Busch Gardens and Legoland Florida.
Precipitable Water values, which show roughly how much rain is possible given the atmospheric conditions, are still rather high… up to two-and-a-half inches. So the National Weather Service says there’s still a 60-70% chance we’ll see more rain Thursday 8/15. One saving grace is that an approaching frontal boundary will at least push the storms through a little faster, so they won’t be quite as likely to just sit and rain themselves out over one unlucky spot. On the other hand, if they start to train one behind another, the net effect is the same.
The Tampa Bay office of the NWS is continuing its flood watch for the area through Friday, including Legoland and Busch Gardens. The remainder of the Attractions area is not included.
Flood Watch National Weather Service Tampa Bay Area - Ruskin FL 311 AM EDT Thu Aug 15 2019 ...FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... .Soils remain very saturated across West Central and Southwest Florida from above average rainfall accumulations within the last several weeks. Persistent west to southwest flow is expected to continue into the weekend. This pattern along with very high atmospheric moisture will maintain a heavy rain threat. Given the antecedent ground conditions, a flooding threat will persist. ...FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... The Flood Watch is now in effect for * Portions of central Florida, northern Florida, south central Florida, southwest Florida, and west central Florida, including the following areas, in central Florida, Hardee, Polk, and Sumter. In northern Florida, Coastal Levy and Inland Levy. In south central Florida, DeSoto and Highlands. In southwest Florida, Coastal Charlotte, Coastal Lee, Inland Charlotte, and Inland Lee. In west central Florida, Coastal Citrus, Coastal Hernando, Coastal Hillsborough, Coastal Manatee, Coastal Pasco, Coastal Sarasota, Inland Citrus, Inland Hernando, Inland Hillsborough, Inland Manatee, Inland Pasco, Inland Sarasota, and Pinellas. * Through Friday evening * Persistent heavy rain pattern along with favorable antecedent ground conditions will continue the threat for flooding across West Central and Southwest Florida. * The heavy rainfall will have the potential to cause flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas. Flooding will also affect roadways, rivers, creeks, and smaller streams. Remember to not drive across flooded roadways. Turn around. Don`t drown. Residents living in flood prone areas as well as along rivers and faster flowing streams should keep alert to any rapid rises in water levels and be ready to move to higher ground if flooding is observed. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.