The historic rain in the Fort Lauderdale area was described to CNN as a “1 in 1,000 year event, or more,” according to meteorologist Ana Torres-Vázquez of the National Weather Service’s forecast office in Miami.
Rainfall of 20 to 25 inches is similar to what the area can receive with a high-level hurricane over the course of more than a day, Torres-Vázquez explained.
“This amount of rain in a 24-hour period is incredibly rare in South Florida,” said Torres-Vázquez.
Between 355 and 508 mm of rain fell from noon on Wednesday until early Thursday morning, according to the Meteorological Service. Some automatic rain gauges reported more than 508 mm of rain, the accuracy of which will be reviewed.
“State climatologists will be on site today to examine the rainfall data and determine if any records have been broken for the state of Florida,” Miami Weather Service Meteorologist Luke Culver told CNN.
The 24-hour rainfall record for the state of Florida is 591mm at Key Bone set in 1980.