MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Based on the last week or so of unsettled weather, most believe that rainy season has started and it turns out they are correct.

The National Weather Service announced Tuesday rainy season officially started last Tuesday, May 8th. The beginning of rainy season this year is the earliest since 2003 and about two weeks earlier than the yearly average of May 20th.

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According to the National Weather Service, “The rainy season start date is determined as the date when showers and thunderstorms increase in coverage and intensity over much of the South Florida peninsula and continue to develop on a daily basis thereafter, only interrupted by short episodes of dry weather lasting no more than a few days.”

The daily occurrence of showers and thunderstorms is due to an increase in atmospheric moisture and instability. This year’s rainy season start was aided by a trough in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere which added to the instability in the atmosphere during the past week.

This week the storm chance will remain high in the afternoon and evening hours due to plenty of tropical moisture being pumped into the area from the Gulf of Mexico due to a Southwesterly steering flow aloft and a frontal boundary draped across the Panhandle.

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Yesterday, western Broward County was slammed with strong storms. Today, there could be some strong to severe storms developing again with the potential for heavy downpours, localized flooding, frequent lightning, gusty winds up to 60 mph and the slight chance of small hail.

Boaters should be aware that Tuesday there is a high risk of waterspouts developing across the Atlantic waters and Biscayne Bay.

Since the atmosphere will remain moist and unstable the next few days as the front slides down the state, South Florida will likely see storms through Thursday with highs in the upper 80s.

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It will continue to feel summery with the warmth, humidity and the afternoon storms. Rain chance will decrease this weekend as high pressure builds in and we may just see a few showers on the breeze Saturday and Sunday.

Lissette Gonzalez