Tropical moisture surging into Florida means rainy week ahead with flooding potential: officials

A deluge of tropical moisture is forecast to bombard Florida this week, possibly dropping a foot of rain in some cities and leading to potential flooding across the state. 

This week's tropical downpours are brought to you by high- and low-pressure areas working together to funnel moisture over Florida.

"We have this area of low pressure back towards Mexico. We also have this area of high pressure over the Atlantic, the two of which are pretty much going to be stationary through the course of this week, but it also is going to act as a funnel as tropical moisture moves its way off towards the north heading into the Gulf of Mexico," FOX Weather Meteorologist Kiyana Lewis said. "Eventually, with this drop in the jet stream, that's going to support most of that moisture being filtered right over the state of Florida."

The incoming downpours will help cool Florida after a weekend of scorching temperatures and heat indices in the triple-digits.

Temperatures in the 80s returned to South Florida on Sunday, but they will take a few more days to spread throughout the rest of the state. 

On Sunday, most of Florida was still facing heat indices near 100 before the deluge of rain provided some needed relief.

Central Florida's high temperatures will drop back into the upper 80s by Wednesday. However, with relative humidity, the heat index in Orlando will remain in the mid-90s. 

After a forecast high of 100 degrees in Jacksonville on Monday, temperatures in the 80s will be a welcome change by Wednesday. 

Significant rain totals could lead to flooding

According to the FOX Forecast Center, the highest rain totals will happen Tuesday through Thursday this week, bringing the potential for flooding as that rain adds up. 

Florida forecast rain totals throughout the week. (FOX Weather)

For areas including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, afternoon showers on Sunday will kick off the rain event. Both cities could see between 8 and 12 inches of rain throughout the week.

Orlando is poised to get 3-5 inches, with Thursday being the day with the highest rain totals. For North Florida, 1-2 inches is likely from Jacksonville to St. Augustine

Day by day flash flood threat. (FOX Weather)

The flash flood threat remains low but could quickly change for urban areas that regularly flood and as the ground becomes saturated with widespread daily rain. 

"We're watching a low risk for flash flooding from, say, northern and central Florida all the way down through the Keys as we go through the middle of the week," Lewis said. "This moisture, it's rich in nature. So we're going to be watching how that continues to move across the area and really continue to produce those tropical downpours as we go through the latter half of this week."

Drought relief in sight

It's not all doom and gloom. The rain will help Florida with its current drought status. As of Sunday, half of the Sunshine State is facing at least some level of drought after a dry April and May. 

Southwest Florida is currently under Severe Drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and could benefit the most from the rain. Fort Myers and Naples are forecast to see more than a foot of rain, and Tampa could receive between 5 and 8 inches. 

It's not unusual for Florida to experience a drier April and May ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season starting in June. Florida's rainy season begins in mid-May and runs through October.

Historical weather data from the National Weather Service shows that Miami experiences the most rain in June, with an average of 10.51 inches.