FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County experienced its rainiest June on record, according to the National Weather Service.
NWS Mobile meteorologist Ryan Rogers said rainfall totals for the area in the month of June capped at 15.85 inches, well over the previous June record of 11.75 inches that fell in June 2003.
Rogers said it was the wettest June since the NWS began keeping records in 1998.
“It’s in first place, and by quite a bit,” Rogers said.
The record rainfall was boosted in part by Tropical Storm Cindy, which caused rain to fall for two straight days and spawned a tornado that tore through parts of Fort Walton Beach.
“Even though we weren’t close to its circulation center, the way that that particular storm was set up, it had a mix between a regular low pressure system and a tropical low pressure system,” Rogers said. “The moisture feed with that was just phenomenal.”
Even without the assistance of Tropical Storm Cindy, Rogers said the month of June was still wetter than normal. During June 2016, the area saw just 4.86 inches of rain, and the average June precipitation is 4.64 inches – making this month’s total a 300 percent increase from average.
Rogers said it would be difficult to predict whether or not the record rainfall would continue into July, given the unpredictability of tropical systems and the overall humidity of the Gulf Coast. Still, he noted that 2017 has so far been a much rainier year than last.
“I think we could argue for average to slightly above average for the rest of the year. This year has definitely been wetter than last year,” Rogers said. “Across the board we’ve been above average and I would feel comfortable saying the rest of the summer could be above average.”