More than two inches of rain fell in parts of Palm Beach County on Sunday ahead of a late-season cold front that is expected to plunge temperatures into the 50s this morning.
The fleeting squall line that raced through South Florida after sunset brought wind gusts as high as 40 mph in Jupiter, and rainfall amounts that included 2.13 inches in southwest Palm Beach County, 1.35 inches in Lake Worth, and 1.56 inches in Royal Palm Beach.
Palm Beach International Airport measured 1.22 inches in the 24 hours that ended 7 a.m. Monday.
Despite the blustery conditions, no severe damage reports were made to the National Weather Service in Miami, said meteorologist Larry Kelly.
“It was mainly much-needed rainfall,” Kelly said. “We had one thunderstorm warning in Palm Beach County, but no severe weather.”
The same couldn’t be said for the Upper Keys, where an EF-1 tornado with winds between 86 mph and 110 mph was confirmed after a damage investigation Monday.
The tornado touched down about 9 p.m. Sunday, according to a preliminary storm report that said witnesses saw an uprooted tree and doors ripped off hinges. The damage was generally located between Islamorada and Tavernier.
Sean Daida, an NWS meteorologist in Key West, said one of the first clues forecasters look for when evaluating whether a tornado touched down is tree damage. Hurricane Irma made the task more difficult.
“You can’t measure from the trees right now because they are still pretty thinned out from Irma,” Daida said. “The sense we’re getting is that there was not major damage.”
The cold front behind the storms is bringing cooler temperatures through at least Wednesday. Today’s low temperature in West Palm Beach is forecast to dip to 57 degrees — nine degrees below what’s normal for mid-April.
The record low temperature at Palm Beach International Airport for April 17 is 45 degrees set in 1913.
Areas more inland, including Royal Palm Beach and Wellington could see morning temperatures in the low 50s, while areas west of Lake Okeechobee may dip into the 40s.
Daytime highs should reach only into the mid 70s today, before creeping into the mid 80s Friday. The normal daytime high for this time of year is 82.
“There’s really no chance of rain until next weekend,” Kelly said. “Looks like a dry, sunny week.”
24-hour rain totals
through 8 a.m. Monday
Jupiter, 0.16 inches
North Palm Beach, 0.83 inches
Lake Worth, 1.35 inches
Boynton Beach, 1.15 inches
Delray Beach, 1.24 inches
Boca Raton, 0.71 inches
Belle Glade, 0.80 inches
Source: South Florida Water Management District