Volusia County Flooding
May 18-23, 2009
May 24, 2009 (Lake George Boating Tragedy)

A cold front brought deep moisture to the northern peninsula on Monday, May 18th, and a swath of locally heavy rain accompanied the front with rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches recorded across Volusia county by Tuesday morning. Persistent onshore flow behind the front strengthened Tuesday (19th) as low pressure began to form over the Florida Straits, keeping periods of heavy rainfall across much of East Central Florida. Gale conditions (see marine summary below) occurred over the coastal waters Tuesday night.  The low pressure center on Wednesday morning (20th) moved to offshore the Florida southwest coast and the wind flow decreased, but strong small craft advisory conditions continued over the coastal waters.  Deep moisture and onshore flow allowed showers and thunderstorms to develop and drop more heavy rainfall across coastal areas and northern portions of East Central Florida.  This moist pattern with locally heavy rain persisted through Friday (22nd) as the low pressure center moved slowly west to northwest in the Gulf of Mexico.  

Scattered showers and storms continued over the weekend.  Sunday (24th) dawned with sunshine for the first time in about a week.  Boaters were anxious to get out on the water.  Sadly, the day ended in tragedy as an afternoon thunderstorm dropped southward down Lake George and caught an unexpecting group of boaters by surprise.  Three children drowned as their boat was capsized (they were wearing life jackets but got trapped under water in the boat's cabin).

For the week of May 17th through 23rd, Daytona Beach International Airport reported 20.63 inches of rainfall. A CoCoRahs rainfall observer in Ormond Beach measured even more rainfall -- 27.06 inches during this same week. The Daytona Beach rainfall of 22.33 inches set a May rainfall record by a wide margin (12.66 inches in May 1976 was the previous monthly record for May). The persistent rainfall across Volusia county caused extensive flooding of some neighborhoods across Northeast Volusia county including Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach.

Daily Weather Review with incremental rainfall estimates 
May Rainfall Summary for Florida

Daily Rainfall May 2009
  Date Rainfall Old record
Daytona Beach 5/18 4.08 4.20 in 1932
  5/19 5.28* 1.81 in 1969
  5/20

6.37*

1.10 in 1931
  5/22 2.56* 1.59 in 1976
Orlando 5/18 .60* .53 in 1972
  5/19 3.85* .92 in 1969
  5/20 2.11* 1.33 in 1959
  5/22 3.21* 1.89 in 2003
Melbourne 5/18 2.75* .65 in 1959
  5/19 3.36* .74 in 2002
Vero Beach 5/19 2.82* 1.24 in 2002
  5/22 2.08* .98 in 1982
* new record rainfall for the date  
   
Other 24 hour heavy rain reports  
Ormond Beach 3.5 SE 5/19 8.39 24 hr total ending at 7am 5/19
Ormond Beach 3.5 SE 5/21 9.88 24 hr total ending at 7 am 5/21
Daytona Beach 9.1 WSW 5/19 8.47 24 hr total ending at 7 am 5/19

 

PNSMLB FLZ041-044>047-053-054-058-059-064-141-144-147-2300-  PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL 1030 AM EDT SUN MAY 24 2009  RECORD RAINFALL AND FLOODING OCCURRED ACROSS THE CENTRAL FLORIDA PENINSULA OVER THE PAST WEEK. MOST INTENSE RAINFALL FELL OVER NORTHERN SECTIONS OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA, MAINLY OVER VOLUSIA, SEMINOLE AND PARTS OF ORANGE COUNTIES. OVER THE PAST WEEK, A COCORAHS REPORT FROM ORMOND BEACH SHOWED AN ACCUMULATED RAINFALL TOTAL OF 27.92 INCHES. AT DAYTONA BEACH, THE MONTH OF MAY 2009 IS BY FAR THE WETTEST MAY ON RECORD SINCE 1923. AS OF TODAY THE ASOS REPORTING SITE AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SHOWS 21.67 INCHES, WITH 20.63 INCHES RECEIVED OVER THE PAST 7 DAYS. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 12.33 INCHES SET IN MAY OF 1976. MAY 2009 IS ALSO SECOND WETTEST MONTH ON RECORD AT DAYTONA BEACH. THE WETTEST ALL TIME WAS 24.82 INCHES WHICH WAS SET IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER IN 1924.  AIRPORT LOCATIONS       TOTAL 5/17 - 5/23 DAYTONA  BEACH ASOS     20.63 LEESBURG ASOS           12.06 SANFORD ASOS            14.59 MELBOURNE ASOS           7.85 ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL   10.58 ORLANDO EXCECUTIVE       8.83 VERO BEACH ASOS          6.58 FORT PIERCE ASOS         5.33   COOP REPORTS          TOTAL 5/17 - 5/24  CLERMONT               10.75 DELAND                 13.72 FOREVER FLORIDA         8.15 FT PIERCE ARC           5.11 FT PIERCE WP            5.35 KENANSVILLE             6.45 KISSIMMEE               9.71 LISBON                  8.41 MELBOURNE WFO          10.39 NETTLES ISLAND          4.80 ORLANDO EAST           13.75 WINDERMERE             12.69 OKEECHOBEE              1.64 PALM BAY                6.67 PLYMOUTH               12.42 PONCE INLET            15.77 PORT SALERNO            5.12 SANFORD                14.36 SCOTTSMOOR             13.28 STUART                  3.75 TITUSVILLE              8.97 VERO BEACH              6.74  COCORAHS REPORTS       TOTAL 5/17 - 5/24 VOLUSIA NEW SMYRNA BEACH 1.5 E FLVL1    19.43 EDGEWATER 3.3 SE FLVL2           8.32 DELAND 4.5 NW FLVL3             12.44 DELEON SPRINGS 0.4 SE FLVL4     15.97 ORMOND BEACH 3.5 SE FLVL5       27.92 EDGEWATER 2.4 N FLVL6           19.30 DELTONA 2.9 SE FLVL7            13.43 DELAND 5.7 NW FLVL9             12.29 DAYTONA BEACH 9.1WSW FLVL12     12.11  LAKE EUSTIS 1.2 SE FLLK2             13.44 GROVELAND 1.7 E FLLK3            5.67 BASSVILLE PARK 1.0 NE FLLK4     10.96 MOUNT PLYMOUTH 0.2 WSW FLLK5    13.64 LADY LAKE 1.2 W FLLK6           12.19  SEMINOLE SANFORD 0.4 ENEFLSM4           13.11 LONGWOOD 2.3 WNW FLSM5          13.32 CHULUOTA 0.9 N FLSM8            10.33  ORANGE WINDERMERE 1.3 NW FLOR2          9.79 WINTER PARK 2.3 ESE FLOR4        8.22 OCOEE 0.5 SSW FLOR6             12.95 WINTER PARK 2.1 ESE FLOR9        3.12  BREVARD PALM BAY 2.6 SSE FLBV1           5.80 PALM SHORES 1.4 W FLBV2         12.07 MIMS 7.5 NNW FLBV3              13.28 MELBOURNE 1.1 N FLBV6            9.24 MICCO 4.5 NW FLBV7               5.06 MALABAR 2.9 NNW FLBV9            4.28 MELBOURNE BEACH 3.9 SSEFLBV11   1.51 CAPE CANAVERAL 0.6 ESE FLBV12    9.17 PALM SHORES 2.9 NW FLBV16       10.12 PALM SHORES 4.3 NNW FLBV20       7.68 MELBOURNE 7.0 NW FLBV22         12.16 COCOA 2.6 WNW FLBV23             5.95 INDIALANTIC 0.8 N FLBV24         7.66 MELBOURNE 8.2 NW FLBV25         12.19 COCOA 0.6 WSW FLBV26             6.05 MICCO 1.3 NW FLBV28              1.30 MERRITT ISLAND 4.1 NE FLBV32     5.92  OSCEOLA POINCIANA PLACE 2.6 NNWFLOS1   10.97 ST. CLOUD 1.7 SSW FLOS15         8.59 ST. CLOUD 0.1 WNW FL016          8.89  INDIAN RIVER VERO BEACH S 10.0 W FLIR2        4.65 SEBASTIAN 1.1 NE FLIR4           5.47 VERO BEACH 2.4 W FLIR6           6.18 VERO BEACH 3.1 ESE FLIR7         4.91 VERO BEACH 11.4 NW FLIR8         5.69 VERO BEACH 4.3 SE FLIR9          5.37 VERO BEACH 3.5 SW FLIR11         2.95 VERO BEACH 2.1 ENE FLIR13        6.81 VERO BEACH 1.5 WSW FLIR15        7.09 SEBASTIAN 1.0 NW FLIR18          5.20 SEBASTIAN 2.0 SSW FLIR19         6.67 SEBASTIAN 1.7 SSE FLIR22         7.27  SAINT LUCIE PORT ST. LUCIE 1.7 WSW FLSL3     3.41 LAKEWOOD PARK 0.5 SW FLSL4       3.75 FORT PIERCE 2.8 SSE FLSL5        3.71 PORT ST. LUCIE 2.5 SW FLSL9      1.64 PORT ST. LUCIE 1.6 WSW FLSL10    1.53 FORT PIERCE 2.8 SSE FLSL11       4.35 PORT ST. LUCIE 5.6 W FLSL17      0.02 PORT ST. LUCIE 4.0 NE FLSL19     3.69 PORT ST. LUCIE 5.0 ESE FLSL20    2.65  MARTIN PALM CITY 4.0 SW FLMT1           3.73 STUART 3.7 SW FLMT7              3.46 STUART 5.0 SE FLMT11             5.55 OKEECHOBEE 16.4 ESE FLMT13       5.18  NOTE: COCORAHS PRECIPITATION REPORTS ARE CONSIDERED SUPPLEMENTAL AND UNOFFICIAL AND SOME DAYS MAY BE MISSING IN EVENT TOTALS. COCORAHS AND COOP REPORTS ARE THROUGH 7 AM.  $$

Summary of Marine Conditions at Buoy 41009 (20nm offshore Cape Canaveral)
0450Z on 5/19Seas 7 feet
1320Z on 5/19Small Craft Advisory (20 knots)
2350Z on 5/19Gale (frequent gusts to 34 knots or greater)
0020Z on 5/20Seas 10 feet
0320Z on 5/20Peak sustained wind 35 knots
0320Z on 5/20Peak gust 41 knots
0420Z on 5/20Seas 15 feet
0650Z on 5/20Winds subsided below Gale force (34 knots)
0650Z on 5/20Peak wave height 18.2 feet
0920Z on 5/20Seas fell below 15 feet
1420Z on 5/21Winds fell below Small Craft Advisory (20 knots)
1650Z on 5/21Seas fell below 10 feet
1650z on 5/23Seas fell below 7 feet
 

Surface Maps Depicting Evolution of Front and Surface Low Pressure Center:
Surface map showing frontal boundary moving through north Florida
May 19, 2009 surface map at 12Z
 
May 20, 2009 surface map at 12Z
 
May 22, 2009 surface map at 12Z
May23, 2009 surface map at 12Z
 May 24, 2009 surface map at 12Z

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