Florida Storm Marks Beginning of Hurricane Season

A Florida storm that led to flash floods, submerged roads, mass flight cancellations, stalled cars, and power outages on Wednesday is just the beginning of an active hurricane season, meteorologists said.

Torrential rains hit South Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting officials to warn the public of “life-threatening flooding” in some areas, NBC News reported. The storm marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season—the latest start to the season since 2014, when the first storm did not hit until July 1, according to AccuWeather.

Despite this year’s late start, AccuWeather meteorologists predicted that 2024 would be a “super-charged year for tropical systems,” and expected “multiple threats” to the U.S., the Caribbean, and Central America.

In Florida, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Miami received reports of flash flooding from Fort Lauderdale to downtown Miami. The storm has dumped more than 10 inches of rain in some regions, The New York Times reported. AccuWeather estimated that the total rainfall in some parts of southwestern Florida could reach between 18 and 24 inches.

The NWS in Miami posted on X that many regions were “inundated with water” and stalled cars, and that even more rain was on the way.

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In Hollywood, near Fort Lauderdale, drivers became trapped in their cars after driving on the flooded roads, NBC South Florida reported. Photos and videos of the flooding went viral on social media, with some footage showing cars nearly fully submerged underwater.

The NWS in Miami told the Times that it had not received any reports of injuries or deaths.

The storm also caused power outages, with Florida Power & Light reporting almost 300 outages in the area near Fort Lauderdale and Miami as of Wednesday evening. Both the Miami International Airport and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said that many flights were either delayed or canceled because of the storm.

Forecasters at the Weather Prediction Center told the Times that more flash flooding may continue to occur late Thursday morning and into the afternoon.

AccuWeather meteorologists warned that the storm in Florida could be just the beginning. Meteorologists said they were watching several areas—including off the southern Atlantic coast, through the Gulf of Mexico, and into the eastern Pacific—through the rest of the month for potential tropical storms. AccuWeather said that there are “currently no systems on the verge of developing,” but added that weather conditions could change over the next week.

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