The Heat Is Online

Tropical Storm Drops 26 Inches on parts of Florida and Gulf Coast in Two Days

Debby's deluge: Fla. highway cut; 26 inches of rain in county

2012 sets record for most named storms so early in Atlantic season

msnbc.com, June 26, 2012

Florida's major east-west interstate was among the roads cut off Tuesday by flooding from Tropical Storm Debby, while one county had already seen more than 26 inches of rain -- topping the official forecast calling for up to 25 inches in a few areas by the time Debby moves out Thursday.

Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of northern Florida and southern Georgia as Debby crawled eastward at just 3 mph.
"This thing is going nowhere fast," said TODAY show meteorologist Al Roker, noting that Debby had no steering currents to guide it. "There's nothing really to kick this thing out."

Parts of Interstate 10 in north Florida were closed due to flooding on a 50-mile stretch between Jacksonville and Tallahassee. The Florida Highway Patrol warned motorists to use extreme caution on other parts of the highway.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been impacted, many having to leave flooded homes in Florida's Panhandle on Monday and others losing power or having property hit by twisters.

Wakulla County, Fla., has seen 26.2 inches of rain, weather.com said in a Twitter alert.. Authorities there advised people to stay in their homes due to washed out and flooded roads.

In Tampa Bay, a mother manatee was found dead in the water Tuesday off Bayshore Boulevard. Her two calves, which were still alive and later rescued, washed ashore along the flooded road.

Tropical-storm warnings remained in effect for 450 miles of coastline from the Panhandle's Mexico Beach to Englewood, south of Sarasota. Debby is expected to make landfall on Wednesday.

On Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a statewide emergency as Debby dumped five inches of rain hourly in some areas.
President Barack Obama called Scott on Tuesday and the federal government stands "ready to provide additional assistance if necessary," the White House said.

St. Marks, Fla., saw 21 inches in a two-day period while other areas got around 20 inches, weather.com  noted.
Parts of Live Oak, Fla., were evacuated Tuesday due to flooding, it added.

Some areas of northern Florida and southeast Georgia could see up to 15 inches of rain Tuesday through Thursday, weather.com stated.

The National Hurrican Center predicted parts of northern Florida could see 25 inches of rain by the time Debby crosses Florida and exits into the Atlantic. That should happen by early Friday, Roker said.

Weather.com noted that 2012 broke the record for the most named storms so early in the Atlantic season. Debby makes four so far, "leapfrogging Dennis from July 5, 2005.

"In an average year, the fourth named storm would have occurred by August 23," it added. "In terms of named storm counts, we're roughly two months ahead of the pace. That said, there is no correlation between a fast start to the season and the degree of activity of the rest of the season."

Debby was also the first tropical storm of the season to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

Debby earlier left tens of thousands of people without power and forced the closure of key highways and bridges in the Tampa Bay area.

Debby has also spawned some 20 twisters, including one on Sunday that killed a woman, injured her daughter and tore through homes in central Florida's rural Highlands County.

WFLA-TV reported Heather Town died when her home was lifted off its foundation and she and her 3-year-old were thrown into nearby woods. The mother was found clutching the child, who survived.

In Starke, Fla., five dogs drowned early Monday when a swollen creek flooded an animal shelter, the Florida Times-Union reported.
Pinellas County saw flooding and at least 20 homes damaged during a tornado-like storm on Sunday.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47958727/ns/weather/#.T-n5qfVSQrU

 

Debby dumps on Florida, Georgia: 20 inches in some areas

Debby is earliest-in-the-season 4th named Atlantic storm, 2 months ahead of schedule

By weather.com and msnbc.com staff, June 26, 2012

Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of Florida and Georgia early Tuesday, as rain from Tropical Storm Debby continued to lash the southeast coast.

In Wakulla County, Fla., authorities advised people to stay in their homes and off the roads due to the risk of flooding.

Weather.com's severe weather expert Greg Forbes said Debby could create a number of isolated tornadoes in Florida.

Heavy rain and flooding would affect much of Florida and southeast Georgia for the next few days, the website said.

The storm has already dumped five inches of rain hourly in some Florida locations, and more than 20 inches of rain were measured in a two-day period as flooding alerts were reported from the eastern Panhandle to the northern part of the peninsula.

Weather forecasters predicted some isolated areas could see up to 25 inches of rain from Debby.

Weather.com published a video showing a family and their two dogs being rescued from Dog Island, Florida.

"Portions of northern Florida and southeast Georgia could see another 2 to 6 inches of rain (locally heavier in persistent rainbands),” the website said.

Storms arrive early

Weather.com also said storm surge flooding was a "significant threat along the Florida Panhandle coast and the western coast of Florida," Weather.com added.

"Incidentally, Debby has become the record earliest-in-season 4th named Atlantic storm, leapfrogging Dennis from July 5, 2005," the website said. "In an average year, the 4th named storm would have occurred by August 23. So, in terms of named storm counts, we're roughly two months ahead of the pace. That said, there is no correlation between a fast start to the season and the degree of activity of the rest of the season."

Florida governor Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency.

The National Weather Service forwarded a civil emergency message from Wakulla County Emergency Management early Tuesday.

"Flooding continues across much of Wakulla County early this morning with water over roads and road washouts," it said.
"Therefore the Wakulla County Emergency Management requests that people stay at home and off the roads today. Travel is strongly discouraged and could still be dangerous across parts of the area," it added.

The message said anyone whose home was flooded should call 850-745-7100 for help.

There were also flash flood for Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, Northern Nassau, Lafayetta, and Eastern Taylor counties in Florida and Charlton and Camden counties in southeast Georgia.

© 2012 msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47958727/ns/weather/#.T-m5bvVSQrU

Debby dumps on Florida, Georgia: 20 inches in some areas

Debby is earliest-in-the-season 4th named Atlantic storm, 2 months ahead of schedule

By weather.com and msnbc.com staff, June 26, 2012

Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of Florida and Georgia early Tuesday, as rain from Tropical Storm Debby continued to lash the southeast coast.

In Wakulla County, Fla., authorities advised people to stay in their homes and off the roads due to the risk of flooding.

Weather.com's severe weather expert Greg Forbes said Debby could create a number of isolated tornadoes in Florida.

Heavy rain and flooding would affect much of Florida and southeast Georgia for the next few days, the website said.

The storm has already dumped five inches of rain hourly in some Florida locations, and more than 20 inches of rain were measured in a two-day period as flooding alerts were reported from the eastern Panhandle to the northern part of the peninsula.

Weather forecasters predicted some isolated areas could see up to 25 inches of rain from Debby.

Weather.com published a video showing a family and their two dogs being rescued from Dog Island, Florida.

"Portions of northern Florida and southeast Georgia could see another 2 to 6 inches of rain (locally heavier in persistent rainbands),” the website said.

Storms arrive early

Weather.com also said storm surge flooding was a "significant threat along the Florida Panhandle coast and the western coast of Florida," Weather.com added.

"Incidentally, Debby has become the record earliest-in-season 4th named Atlantic storm, leapfrogging Dennis from July 5, 2005," the website said. "In an average year, the 4th named storm would have occurred by August 23. So, in terms of named storm counts, we're roughly two months ahead of the pace. That said, there is no correlation between a fast start to the season and the degree of activity of the rest of the season."

Florida governor Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency.

The National Weather Service forwarded a civil emergency message from Wakulla County Emergency Management early Tuesday.

"Flooding continues across much of Wakulla County early this morning with water over roads and road washouts," it said.
"Therefore the Wakulla County Emergency Management requests that people stay at home and off the roads today. Travel is strongly discouraged and could still be dangerous across parts of the area," it added.

The message said anyone whose home was flooded should call 850-745-7100 for help.

There were also flash flood for Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, Northern Nassau, Lafayetta, and Eastern Taylor counties in Florida and Charlton and Camden counties in southeast Georgia.

© 2012 msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47958727/ns/weather/#.T-m5bvVSQrU

Foot of rain swamps parts of Gulf Coast

'Roads and areas flooded that I've never seen flooded before,' says one rescuer

Weather.com, June 9, 2012

Flash flood emergencies have been declared for parts of the Gulf Coast region as thunderstorms with extremely heavy rainfall have dumped up to 18 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

In addition, Gulf Coast beaches away from the worst flooding are bracing for the risk of dangerous rip currents throughout the weekend.

The first flash flood emergency was declared by the National Weather Service for southern Mobile County, Ala., late Saturday morning.

Radar estimates indicate 12 to 18 inches of rain have fallen near Tillmans Corner, just southwest of Mobile. Reports indicate several water rescues have taken place in this area since late Saturday morning.

 The Mobile airport recorded 5.81 inches by 3 p.m. Central time, establishing a new record for June 9 and becoming the fifth wettest June day in Mobile weather records, with half the day still remaining.

A dam failed on a 14-acre private lake in Mobile County, stranding residents in their homes. Several roads were reported underwater across Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The second flash flood emergency was issued early Saturday afternoon for Escambia County, Fla., including the Pensacola area.  Pensacola International Airport recorded 11.87 inches of rain Saturday as of 2:57 p.m. local time, the second-highest daily total on record for Pensacola.

The last time Pensacola officially received more rain in a single calendar day was Oct. 5, 1934, with 15.29 inches.
By evening, more than 13 inches had fallen.

By early Saturday afternoon, water was entering the first floor of Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. Emergency management officials in Escambia County, Fla., are requesting residents to "stay home and not drive unless necessary."

"We're anticipating several more inches," said Cam Johnson of the Escambia County Emergency Management Agency. "I've lived in this area my whole life and I've seen roads and areas flooded that I've never seen flooded before."

Water was reported entering homes near Perdido Bay. Nearby Pensacola Naval Air Station recorded 11.97 inches of rain between midnight and 2 p.m. Saturday. Radar estimates indicated 14 to 18 inches of rainfall over the Perdido Key area.

The National Weather Service issued a third flash flood emergency to include southern Santa Rosa County, Fla., through 8 p.m. local time.  Some homes in Gulf Breeze were taking on water, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy rainfall is expected to continue through the weekend and early next week.

An area of low pressure is drawing very moist air north from the Gulf of Mexico. This moisture is interacting with a front stalled along the Gulf Coast. The front is serving as a focus for repeated thunderstorm activity across the coastal region.

The rains will expand north and northeastward into interior portions of the Deep South Sunday into Monday, including cities such as Birmingham and Atlanta.

The weather pattern responsible for the thunderstorms is also generating a large field of robust southerly winds across much of the Gulf of Mexico.

Those winds, at times 20 to 30 miles per hour, are blowing perpendicular to the central Gulf Coast, creating a high risk of rip currents.

So if you luck out and catch a break from all the thunderstorms, be cautious at the beach. Inexperienced swimmers are best advised to stay out of the water.

If you do encounter a rip current, do not attempt to swim against the current.  Instead, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the rip current, and then swim back to shore.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47750675/ns/weather-the_weather_channel/#.T9aPecX4K_k