South FL, Keys weather forecasts coastal flooding, storm luck

The National Weather Service in Miami wants you to know to expect coastal flooding and a high rip current risk in South Florida this entire Columbus Day weekend.

Coastal flooding is expected to be isolated and minor with some areas prone to flooding at a moderate risk but is still a concern from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach counties — including Atlantic waters and Biscayne Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Okeechobee area — through Sunday evening due to high tides.

Coastal flooding in the Florida Keys could include a mix of corrosive saltwater over low elevation streets and lots is likely, the weather service in Key West said.

Check your storm drains. And if you’re boating know that you may see less clearance under some bridges.

The rip current risk along the east coast runs through Saturday evening.

Regata Annual_CORT_Annual Columbus Day Regatta.jpg
File photo from the LXVI Annual Columbus Day Regatta in Miami in October 2021. Courtesy Columbus Day Regatta

Miami’s annual Columbus Day Regatta is ongoing Saturday and continues at 10 am in waters south of the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Forecasters in Miami predict a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms around the start of Sunday’s regatta, with a high near 84. Expect breezy conditions both days of the regatta, with a northeast wind 10 to 16 mph, with tastes as high as 18 mph .

Safety tips

Don’t drive through flooded roads if you can avoid them — and, by all means, don’t race through the streets. Do you want to hydroplane or risk damaging your car’s computer circuitry from splashed water?

Swim near a lifeguard if going for a beach day.

If you get caught in a rip current, try and relax and float. Don’t swim against the current.

If you’re able to, swim in a direction following the shoreline until you break free of the current. If you can’t, face the shore and call or wave for help.

Weather forecast into the week

The prolonged onshore flow should keep the risk of rip currents elevated into the work week, along with a chance for more coastal flooding along east coast beaches during high tides.

Thunderstorms are expected to fire up Sunday on a 70% chance and can’t be ruled out Monday on the Columbus Day holiday — a 30% storm chance. The chance of showers and storms increases again Wednesday on a 50% chance and 60% Thursday.

Gusty winds around 13 mph, along with lightning, are expected.

This story was originally published October 8, 2022 12:08 PM.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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