To fracture a cliché, if you don’t like the weather, wait 30 days.



To fracture a cliché, if you don’t like the weather, wait 30 days.

Remember, oh, back a month or so ago, when Florida was the lone state in the country experiencing drought conditions?

That’s right, not California or Oregon or any of the states in the Southwest or Midwest, but Florida was alone in suffering through what are officially considered drought conditions, with a good portion of the state veering toward severe drought.

Thirty days later, that trend has been doused.

For the year, Gulf County had received, as of Tuesday, over 15 inches of rain, but more than half of that, eight inches, had fallen just in the last 30 days.

In the 24 hours prior to Tuesday alone, an inch of rain fell on the county, according to the WeatherStem system at the Emergency Management Center.

“It’s been nice,” said Emergency Management Director Marshall Nelson.

The approach of “potential Tropical Cyclone 3” (as of Tuesday no name), was forecast to bring another 3-4 inches, with most of it falling Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We are not looking at a lot other than heavy rain,” Nelson said. “Right now the rain is pretty spread out. (To an extent) it depends on how it falls.”

The system is forecast to come through Louisiana before moving north and east, though Nelson noted that current forecasts have the system losing much of its moisture and rain content after arriving over land.

There are effectively two periods of rainfall which could impact the county, and two specific threats of flooding.

The first period of rainfall is that falling immediately from the storm, coming from the west and north out of the system, which could cause a rapid rise Chipola River, though Nelson added the Chipola also typically drops just as quickly.

The second potential rainfall period arrives once the system is north of the region and hinges on how much water the system has left; that could impact the Apalachicola River, but Nelson said current forecasts argue against it.

“I’m watching it, but I am not overly concerned about river flooding,” Nelson said.

More concerning is coastal flooding, he said.

The forecast as the system travels past was for waves rising to 6-8 feet, which could wreak havoc on vulnerable peninsula beaches already due for a restoration project later this year.

Another concern is what is called the “inundation” effect, similar to the concept of storm surge, which was forecast at 2 feet and could cause minor isolated flooding along the shores of St. Joseph Bay, Nelson said.