Rain, storms ahead for Mother’s Day; drought relief in Southwest Florida

Published: May 7, 2020 6:02 PM EDT
Updated: May 7, 2020 6:05 PM EDT

Southwest Florida needs rain as we continue to battle a moderate to even severe drought as of May 7. But rejoice, help is on the way by Mother’s Day this weekend!

Rain and storms associated with a disturbance in the Gulf will be moving in Sunday. Heavy rain and the potential for flooding will be our biggest local threat. The forecast, however, is still tricky. It’s largely dependent on the track of the system as it pushes across the southern half of the state.

The more north it goes, we would see more rain across Southwest Florida. The more south it goes, we would see less rain. Collier County has the best chance to see the greatest amounts and possible flooding due to its closer proximity to the disturbance, as the forecast currently stands. Computer model estimates range from 0.50″ to 1″ in DeSoto County to 2″ to 4″ (isolated higher) in Collier County. This is subject to change as we get closer to the event. Here’s the kicker: many areas in Southwest Florida still need between 3″ to 6″ of rain to eliminate our drought and get back to average.

The Weather Authority has had a few ask about potential tropical development. As it stands, weak tropical development near Florida is unlikely and this disturbance will serve primarily as a rainmaker. This is largely due to higher wind shear across the Gulf of Mexico.

Bottom line: if you’re looking to spend some time outdoors this weekend, we recommend Saturday! It’ll be hotter, but we’ll have a much lower chance of rain. Mother’s Day is expected to be cloudy and rain-cooled with highs only in the upper 70s to near 80. Make sure any activities with Mom are inside!