Record-breaking storms hit Southern Florida, causing up to 8 inches of rainfall

Last night, Florida experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall, resulting in the entire southern region of the state being placed on a flood watch until Thursday evening.

Yesterday between 5pm and 8pm, Miami and Fort Lauderdale were pounded with the heaviest rainfall of the year while Sarasota received almost 4 inches of rain within a single hour.

On Wednesday, David Parkinson, a senior weather producer at CBS, announced that it was the highest number ever recorded in an hour.

In a span of three hours, the Tampa Bay area was hit with an unprecedented 8 inches of rainfall. It is a rare occurrence for the region, with an estimated frequency of once every 500 to 1,000 years. The heavy downpour and thunderstorms caused flash flooding in various parts of southern Florida, leading to submerged cars and flight cancellations.

According to NBC Miami, the Miami international airport experienced over 450 delays and 50 cancellations. Meanwhile, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport had over 330 delays and a few cancellations.

The US south-west is currently experiencing a severe heatwave, with record-breaking temperatures that are higher than what people are typically accustomed to.

Parts of the region were hit with almost a month’s worth of rainfall in just a short span of time on Tuesday. It is projected that these intense rain events will persist and amplify as the planet continues to warm up.

According to Climate Central, hourly rainfall intensity has increased in every region of the US since 1970. This can be mainly attributed to a warmer atmosphere, which has the ability to hold more moisture, resulting in heavier rainfall.

Flooding in the US is largely caused by extreme precipitation, which has accounted for 37% of inland flood damage since 1988. Urban areas without permeable surfaces or adequate landscape to absorb rainfall are particularly vulnerable to stormwater runoff. Flash floods are a major threat to communities and can overwhelm wastewater management systems, resulting in raw sewage flowing into nearby bodies of water, posing a danger to people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, floodwaters can contain a range of hazardous materials, such as downed power lines, waste from both humans and livestock, and other harmful substances. These waters can also cause a variety of health issues, including infection, rashes, tetanus, and other ailments, making exposure to them highly dangerous.

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