When the polls open in Florida at 7 AM, there will be moderate rainfall from Tallahassee to the I-75/I-10 interchange. This rain will leave the Tallahassee area quickly. This should only affect only the earliest of voting in the 2nd Congressional District an might be a small, early factor against Al Lawson. But with the rain being so early, it should not impact the vote. The panhandle should be clear of rain the rest of the day.
Around 10 AM, isolated thunderstorms will start to appear between the I-10 and the I-4 Corridor. None of these will be very severe and will actually dump little rain in the Central Florida region. Still, the thunder and lightning, as well as the constant rain, might keep some voters indoors. These storms will more than likely linger until 5 PM along the Atlantic coast while only affecting the Gulf coast until 2 PM. If these storms impact the election at all, it would be from Orlando to Jacksonville. Some of the state races in Orlando might feel a little pinch from this, as well as the 8th Senate District.
Winds will remain light throughout the day with some areas gusting around 10 knots at the most. This will mostly be in Central and South Florida.
Palm Beach County will have very few isolated thunderstorms around the 3 PM to 5 PM hours. Otherwise the temperature will be in the mid 70s. Overall, the weather should play very little impact in the south Florida races (good news for Democrats).
Throughout the state, temperatures will be pleasant. Most of the temperatures around the state will be above 60 degrees with south Florida getting as high as the low 80s during the midday.
So, with all that said and done, how could the weather affect the election? One of the biggest threats to voter turnout would be along the I-95 Corridor between Melbourne and Jacksonville, where isolated thunderstorms and constant rain will persist throughout the day. Places that might experience long waits at the polls will be most affected by this weather. While this is good news for President Obama and Bill Nelson, it is bad news for local candidates like Frank Bruno, Heather Beaven and Millisa Holland, who will require high turnout for their elections. The drawback for Obama and Nelson is that African-American voters in Jacksonville might not stay in line and wait in the rain.
Another big threat might be in Orange County, where there will be storms throughout the day. Still, the bulk of the storms will hit between 1 PM and 3 PM. Even so, rain will still persist between 9 AM and 5 PM. The weather might keep some people from voting, and late voting usually helps Republicans. This is not a good sign for any Democratic candidate.
The bright spot for Democrats will be south Florida. While Palm Beach County will have some afternoon storms, Broward County shouldn’t see any rain. Therefore, voters in Broward County shouldn’t worry about the weather, which might lead to high turnout for Democrats. This should definitely benefit Maria Sachs and Patrick Murphy. The same can be said for Miami-Dade County as well.
The Tampa Bay area will experience some isolated storms between the time the polls open to about 2 PM. The rest of the day might have slight precipitation.
Overall, weather could be a wash in this election regarding the presidential and the US Senate race. But in the places that will see the longest lines, mostly in south Florida, Democrats should be optimistic. I don’t expect the weather to be a major game changer today. If it does change the dynamics of the race, it will be at the local level. Democrats could see a slight pinch in Central Florida. As for the lack of rain from Ft. Lauderdale and southward, turnout should remain high. Boca Raton will only see slight rain, if that, as chances for rain in the afternoon are currently at 30%.