A city on Florida’s west coast was hit by a record-breaking 8 inches of rain in just three hours on Tuesday evening, bringing flash floods to the area, hindering drivers and delaying hundreds of flights across the state.

So rare was Tuesday’s rain between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Sarasota that it should only be expected every 500 to 1,000 years. The Tampa Bay area can normally expect 7.3 inches in the entire month of June.

The 3.93 inches of rain that fell at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport airport in one hour is also a record.


The NWS office in Tampa Bay said coastal areas in Sarasota County saw up to 10 inches of rain on Tuesday alone, and the same could happen Wednesday and throughout the week.

Video uploaded to social media showed a fire truck and lanes of traffic driving badly flooded roads in Sarasota. Across the region cars became stranded after attempting to drive through deep water, including in Siesta Key to the west of Sarasota.

According to Jeff Berardelli, chief meteorologist at NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa, the weather system was caused by deep tropical moisture from a disturbance called 90-L by the National Hurricane Center, a small area of low pressure on Florida’s west coast, and “a very slow-moving stubborn convergent band.”

More rain is expected throughout this week across the state. The National Weather Service warned residents to expect more than 7 inches of rain in “a prolonged heavy to excessive rainfall event across southern Florida for the next several days,” in a forecast early

The rain comes after parts of Florida have spent many months in a drought. Sarasota has received 25 inches less rain than it normally would since the start of 2023, which was its driest on record.



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