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 Significant Inland Flooding Likely Over Parts of West Central and Northwest Florida

(Note: information contained within this Blue Water Alert contains general insight into Tropical Storm Issac.  For official track, intensity, warning, and forecast information, refer to NWS products)

Tropical Storm Issac is forecast to move along the west coast early next week.  This is a classic track for inland flooding along Central Florida rivers, in and near the Tampa area.  It could also impact parts of the Suwannee river basin which was impacted by T.S. Debby earlier this season.  Let’s take a look at several important factors that might impact runoff and potential flooding.

Soil Moisture:

T.S. Debby in June produced extensive rain over North Flordia.  While many of the impacts have subsided, soil moisture remains above normal.  If heavy rain would move over parts of central and north Florida, runoff could be higher than normal.

Current Stream Flow:

It is important to note that many rivers near Tampa, and also within the Suwanne River basin, remain well-above-normal, or even above flood stage.  Main stem river flooding would occur very quickly due to the current high flows along these rivers.  The Manatee, Little Manatee, St. Marks, Santa Fe, and St. Marys rivers, and Cypress Creek are currently near flood stage or in minor flood.

Meteorological Factors:

A number of critical meteorological factors could either enhance or reduce the potential for main stem flooding.  These include a slow or erratic movement or an interaction with a pre-existing frontal boundary.  There are no signs that Issac will slow or stall through at least the middle of next week.  There are also no signs of an existing boundary which would enhance rainfall.

However, in addition to the storm intensity alone, there is another factor which would enhance rainfall.  Tropical moisture will be ample due to local feeds of either Gulf of Atlantic moisture. 

Additional insight into Issac will be issued daily, or more often, through next week. If you find this information of use – please pass it along to others who might find it interesting.