Rain, rain, go away

It’s raining. It’s pouring. It’s flooding. And it’s all El Niño’s fault.

According to the National Weather Service, this December has brought the third most monthly rain on record in Miami since 1905, and we’re less than a week into what’s usually a dry month. So, what’s the deal? El Niño. Winter should be cooler and wetter than usual as warmer-than-usual waters in the Pacific push storms across Florida this year, Accuweather reports.

Source: National Weather Service (as of Sunday, December 6)

Some areas have already seen more rain than ever in December, NWS reports. More than 12.12 inces of rain has been recorded in the Redland, the most since records began in 1946. Miami Executive Airport in Kendall recorded 8.92 inches of rain from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, the highest 24-hour total since record collection began in 1998.

While the end-of-year rainfall is unusual, you may be surprised to know that it’s been an unseasonably dry year here in Miami. This summer, drier-than-usual conditions led to a spate of brush fires that burned hundreds of acres. The past week of late-season showers have pushed us near-even with Miami’s average annual rainfall in just a few days.

Source: WeatherDB, National Weather Service (as of Sunday, December 6)

Let’s take a closer look at how quickly we’ve narrowed a near 8-inch annal rainfall deficit in just one week:

Source: National Weather Service (as of Sunday, December 6)

So much rain in such a brief amount of time overwhelmed drainage systems throughout the county, and flooding reports proliferated, particularly in Southwest Miami-Dade, where streets were nearly impassable in Homestead and Kendall.

Driving in flood waters can be deadly. Almost half of all drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood waters, and just two feet of water can carry away most cars, according to the Florida Department of Emergency Management.

Miami is drying out, but there may be more rain on the way. The National Weather Service forecasts a 60% chance of rain Monday, and this December is on track to be Miami’s wettest ever. Stay dry, and when the holiday party is rained out, just blame El Niño.