Nearly 80,000 without power as rain, winds pound South Florida. More rain to come Thursday

Nearly 80,000 customers remain without power in South Florida as of 1 p.m. Thursday as a torrential storm from the Gulf of Mexico blew over the state and an area of low pressure off the southern coast brought downpours of heavy, persistent rain and high winds.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for South Florida through 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, warning of east winds from 25 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. That's strong enough to bring down trees and power lines, the NWS said.

A flood watch remains in effect for southeast Florida through Thursday evening, and for most of the eastern coast through early Friday morning as the low-pressure area moves north and drags rain with it. Large breaking waves of 6 to 10 feet in the surf zone are expected from coastal Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade until Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service, with possible coastal flooding through Friday afternoon.

South Florida slammed: High winds pound Palm Beach County with wind gusts of up to 60 mph possible

How many Florida customers are without power?

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, there were 44,044 customers without power in Miami-Dade County, 19,633 in Palm Beach County, and 14,966 in Broward.

How much rain did Florida get Wednesday?

Large areas of South Florida from Miami to Fort Lauderdale saw up to 8 inches of rain Wednesday, according to the NWS. Plantation received 8.3 inches, Naples got 5.18 inches, and Palm Beach County received less than 3 inches. But even in areas with low amounts of rain, rapid buildup can contribute to flooding.

"Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations," the NWS said. "Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris."

What will the weather be like in Florida Thursday?

More rain and possible flash flooding is expected along the east coast into Friday, the NWS said.

"Heavy rain potential will exist again today, especially along the coast and possibly points inland if any rain bands develop and spread into the interior," NWS meteorologist Walter Otto said Thursday. "The greatest threat will exist this afternoon and evening."

Repeated rounds of showers are forecast to produce widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches, Otto said, with local bursts of up to 6 inches and flash flooding possible along the coast. Thunderstorms and isolated thunderstorms are possible Thursday afternoon and evening, mostly south of Cape Canaveral, with squalls up to 50-55 mph.

The Treasure Coast may also see sustained high winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 50 to 60 mph possible Thursday morning, Otto said, with east to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with occasional higher gustsup to 45 mph along the east central coast.

Conditions at the beaches remain dangerous, with fresh onshore flow combined with high astronomical tides producing large breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet, rough surf, and wave runup to the dune line or seawall near times of high tide, leading to minor to moderate beach erosion and coastal flooding. There is a high risk of rip currents at all central Florida Atlantic beaches.

"The Saint Johns River at Astor is forecast to gradually rise while remaining in Minor Flood Stage through this weekend," Otto said.

Where else and when could it flood in Florida

The NWS extended the flood warning for Lake and Volusia counties until further notice. There's a flood watch through 7 p,m. Thursday for inland southern Brevard, a coastal flood statement until 1 p.m. Friday for coastal Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, a flood watch for the east central Florida coast until 4 a.m. Friday, and a coastal flood advisory through 4 a.m. Friday for eastern Putnam, eastern Clay and inland St. Johns counties as well as coastal Duval, Flagler, Nassau and St. Johns counties. The Florida Keys are under a coastal flood statement until 5 a.m. Friday.

A high surf advisory is in effect in South Florida until Thursday evening, in Northeast Florida through early Friday morning, and east Central Florida until 4 p.m. Friday with strong, rough waves between 6 and 9 feet tall in the surf zones in some areas. A high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected on the east central and south coast until early Friday morning, and the northeast coast through early Saturday.

How long will this rain in Florida last?

Most of the rain should leave the state as the low-pressure area in the south moves up the coast, but the beach could remain hazardous for several days with large breaking waves, rough surf, beach erosion, coastal flooding, andlarge choppy seas.

"Fresh easterly winds will produce numerous beach and marine hazards into late week, some of which could persist into the weekend even after winds diminish," Otto said.

Meanwhile, a low-pressure area in the Caribbean is still showing signs of forming into a tropical depression, or possibly a mix of tropical and non-tropical storms, to bring heavy rains up the nation's east coast Friday and Saturday.

Flood warning: Millions in southern Florida face flash flooding risks due to heavy rainfall, forecasters say

Will it rain on Thanksgiving in Florida?

The National Weather Service 6-10 day outlook suggests a chance for above-normal precipitation Thanksgiving week.
The National Weather Service 6-10 day outlook suggests a chance for above-normal precipitation Thanksgiving week.

It's still a little early to predict specific temperatures and conditions, but according to NOAA's latest 6-10 day outlook there's a 33-40% chance of above-normal precipitation next week from roughly the I-4 corridor south, and an 40-50% chance of above-normal precipitation from central Florida up through the Panhandle.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s to low 80s with overnight temps in the 40s in North Florida and the 60s in the South.

What does AccuWeather predict for Thanksgiving weather?

For the holiday, AccuWeather is predicting temperatures in the high 60s and rain for North Florida and the Panhandle, the low 70s for Central Florida, the mid-to-high 70s and rain for Southwest Florida and the high 70s to low 80s for South Florida.

What does the Farmers Almanac predict for Thanksgiving weather in Florida?

The Farmers' Almanac forecasts plenty of snow and rain across most of the U.S. this upcoming winter.
The Farmers' Almanac forecasts plenty of snow and rain across most of the U.S. this upcoming winter.

According to the Almanac, it'll be time to "cuddle up with some hot apple cider!" Conditions for the Southeast, including Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, are expected to be fair but cold. "Cold" being relative for the Sunshine State, of course.

The Almanac has predicted a return to cooler weather in its 2023-2024 winter forecast, with a greater chance of rain for the southeast.

"The Southeast and Florida will see a wetter-than-normal winter, with average winter temperatures overall, but a few frosts may send many shivers to snowbirds trying to avoid the cold and snow back home," the Farmers' Almanac predicted.

The Old Farmers' Almanac, a competitor, predicts warm weather and scattered showers for Nov. 23-30.

What did the Farmers' Almanac predict for Thanksgiving weather around the country?

If you'll be traveling for the holidays, here's what you can expect to run into, according to the Farmers' Almanac:

  • Northeast & New England: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. should see "mostly fair but cold weather."

  • Great Lakes, Ohio Valley & Midwest: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin may see rain and possibly snow beforehand but see a "mostly fair but cold Thanksgiving."

  • North Central: Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana may get hit with light snow in the Rockies before the holiday, followed by a heavy snowfall in the Nebraska and Dakotas area.

  • South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico should see a "clear and cold" holiday, with some stormy weather from the west.

  • Northwest: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho may see "rain and wet snow."

  • Southwest: California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona may be getting a "rainy Thanksgiving," the Almanac said.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: National Weather Service: Florida rains, high winds continue today