A trough of low pressure carrying loads of moisture moved ever so slowly over Manatee and Sarasota on Monday, producing the wettest Aug. 23 in history along with a slew of traffic accidents.
The offending trough has not yet made its way out of the area and will continue to dump rain throughout most of today before the region returns to a normal end of summer weather pattern of sunny morning skies and scattered afternoon showers beginning Wednesday, said Logan Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.
“The rain chances for Tuesday are almost as high as they were on Monday,” Johnson said.
The rain gauge at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport recorded 4.61 inches of rain on Monday, making it the wettest August 23 in the recorded history of Manatee and Sarasota counties, Johnson said.
The precipitation amount eclipsed the old mark for an Aug. 23 of 4.14, set in 1977.
Manatee County had recorded only 4.62 inches of rain on the first 22 days of August, so Monday’s low pressure event doubled the county’s rainfall for the month, putting it at 9.23 inches.
The normal total rainfall for August is 7.60 inches.The amount of rain this month is well below the 1981 record of 24.42.
The steady rain, which came on the first day of school, contributed to many traffic accidents.
In Manatee alone, Florida Highway Patrol troopers responding to the following incidents, which is just a portion of a double digit accident day:
n A crash with injuries at 15th Street East and 34th Avenue East, Bradenton.
n A hit-and-run crash with injuries at 30th Avenue East and U.S. 41., Bradenton.
n A hit-and-run crash on State Road 64 at 66th Street Court East, East Manatee.
n A crash on State Road 70 at Caruso Road, East Manatee.
n A crash on northbound Interstate 75 at mile marker 222 in Bradenton.
n A crash on northbound Interstate 75 at mile marker 228 in Palmetto.
n A crash on southbound Interstate 75 at mile marker 226 in Bradenton.
n A crash on U.S. 41 at Bayshore Road, Palmetto.
n A crash in the 2800 block of 31st Avenue East, Bradenton.
The trough that has caused all the rain has been approaching from the northwest and hit Monday morning.
“It’s actually moved very little,” Johnson said. “That’s why showers and storms are continuing across our area.”
Although there was a lot of rain, there were not many flooding incidents, said Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.