Heavy rain is rolling into South Florida as afternoon rush hour begins — and forecasters say the worst is yet to come Wednesday afternoon through the evening.
Dozens of crashes have been reported in Broward County through the day on slick roads and highways with ponding water.
After-school activities at Broward schools have been canceled because of the rain. As of 4 p.m., Broward College also canceled its classes.
If the downpours intensify, Fort Lauderdale can expect to see flooded roadways and stalled cars, much as the area experienced on Tuesday night. The region could see up to 10 inches of rain by the end of the night, forecasters say.
Wednesday’s rains are linked to a low pressure system that could cause flooding in South Florida through Thursday mid-morning, the National Weather Service in Miami said Wednesday afternoon.
The system’s rain bands coming from the Gulf of Mexico are forecast to bring 4 to 6 inches of rain across Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Boca Raton. About an inch had already fallen during the morning and early afternoon, but no major flooding had been reported in the area early Wednesday, weather service meteorologist Ana Torres-Vazquez told Miami Herald.
On Tuesday night, storms followed by major street flooding stalled cars in Broward County. “The worst hasn’t come yet,” Torres-Vazquez said.
What else should South Floridians expect? Here’s the latest update:
WHEN IS THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL EXPECTED?
The heaviest rainfall is expected Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said.
“Shower activity continues to increase across South Florida early this afternoon with the greatest concern for flooding occurring later this afternoon into the evening hours,” the weather agency said Wednesday on X, formerly Twitter.
WHERE WILL IT RAIN THE MOST?
There’s uncertainty on exact totals and timing of the heaviest rainfall, the weather agency said, but it’s expected to rain the most in the east coast metro areas.
The approximate times for high tide in metro South Florida are 10 p.m. Wednesday and, and 11 a.m. Thursday, meteorologist John Morales said on X.
“The ability for rain runoff to drain out to sea and/or be stored underground will be diminished in the hour leading up to those times, hastening floods,” Morales said.
HOW MUCH RAIN IS FORECAST?
Forecast rainfall amounts in some areas could reach 10 inches in a worst-case scenario, Torres-Vazquez said.
“There’s is a one in 10 chance that will happen,” Torres-Vazquez said. The weather agency said on X: “Very heavy rainfall could lead to highly impactful urban flash flooding.”
ARE THERE ANY FLOOD WATCHES OR WARNINGS?
A flood watch remains in effect for the coastal and metro areas of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties through Thursday morning, around 10 a.m. A flood watch is also in effect for the Florida Keys during the same time period.
“Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop,” the National Weather Service in Key West said Wednesday.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WEATHER?
A wind advisory is in effect for all coastal Atlantic areas for easterly winds of 20 to 30 mph, with possible gusts up to 40 mph until 1 p.m. Thursday. A small craft advisory is in effect for Biscayne Bay until 4 p.m. Wednesday. A gale warning is in effect though 4 p.m. Thursday from Jupiter Inlet to Deerfield Beach. A small craft advisory was also in effect for the coastal waters of the Florida Keys on Wednesday afternoon