Florida's soaking continues; 5th warmest April for the globe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:51 PM GMT on May 20, 2009

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The large extratropical storm that has been drenching Florida over the past few days continues to pour rain on the state as it treks slowly westward over the Gulf of Mexico. Rainfall amounts as high as 13.3 inches have been measured in Northern Florida in Flagler County over the past three days, with another 2 - 4 inches expected from the storm. The storm is bringing beach erosion, 7 - 10 foot waves, and tides 2 - 3 feet above normal to the Northeast Florida coast, along with damaging thunderstorm winds. While the storm's center is located just offshore Southwest Florida, a large band of precipitation arcs to the north and east, extending over northern Florida. This type of structure is typical of subtropical storms, though the storm does not have enough heavy thunderstorm activity or warm core air to qualify as a subtropical storm. The storm is under about 30 knots of wind shear, and shows no signs of developing more tropical characteristics. The computer models generally predict the storm should weaken this week as it moves towards Louisiana or Texas. As the center moves farther north over the next few days, it will be moving into a region of lower wind shear, and I still give the storm a 20% chance of becoming a subtropical depression 2 - 7 days from now.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico storm.

Fifth warmest April on record
The globe recorded its 5th warmest April on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The period January - April was tied for the sixth warmest such period on record. April marked the first time since October 2008 that the planet has recorded a monthly temperature anomaly in the top five warmest months. The warming may be due to the fact that a La Niña event ended in the Eastern Pacific in April. Global temperature records go back to 1880.

A cool, wet April for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., April temperatures were the 36th coolest in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The month was also quite wet, ranking as the 35th wettest April. The warmest state was New Hampshire, which recorded its 8th warmest April. The coldest state was South Dakota, which wad its 25th coldest April. Through April, U.S. tornado activity was very close to the mean observed during the past five years, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. However, there were just 15 tornado deaths through April, compared to 70 deaths through April of 2008, and the 3-year average of 60 deaths.

On May 12, 2009, 17% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is a drop from the 19% figure observed at the beginning of the year. However, The amount of the U.S. in the highest levels of drought, extreme to exceptional, had increased from 1.2% at the beginning of the year to 2.6% by May 12. These extreme drought regions were in South Texas and South Florida.

La Niña officially over
The La Niña event of September 2008 - March 2009 is officially over, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. They define La Niña conditions as occurring when the 1-month mean temperature anomaly in the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region") cools below -0.5°C and is expected to persist for three consecutive months. Temperatures warmed significantly in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific during April, and are now near average in the Niña 3.4 region. Most of the model forecasts for the Niño 3.4 region predict neutral conditions for the August - October peak of hurricane season. Three out of 16 El Niño models are predicting an El Niño event for hurricane season. Columbia University's International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is predicting a 30% chance of an El Niño event during the coming hurricane season. The number of Atlantic hurricanes is typically reduced in an El Niño year, due to increased wind shear from strong high-level winds.

Sea ice in the Arctic below average, but not greatly so
April 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 10th lowest since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record April low was set in 2007. The rate of ice decline in April was the third slowest on record, thanks to cooler than usual temperatures over the Arctic. Nevertheless, the Arctic remains vulnerable to near-record melting this summer if much warmer than average temperatures return to the region. Strong winter winds pushed a considerable amount of multi-year-old ice out of the Arctic this year, leaving the Arctic with the lowest amount of old sea ice on record in March. The amount of ice more than two years old fell below 10% for the first time since satellites began observing the ice in 1979.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting txalwaysprepared:
I am so not ready for this season. My head, my heart, my stomach... heck just my nerves. I am so not prepared for another season. I have never been this hesitant at the start of hurricane season.

:(


I understand girl... Must of us along the coast from Freeport to over here in Orange aren't really looking forward to another storm hitting here.
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624. IKE
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Subtropical Storm Andrea's formation:



Almost identical looking.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
623. IKE
Nice comparison 456.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
I am so not ready for this season. My head, my heart, my stomach... heck just my nerves. I am so not prepared for another season. I have never been this hesitant at the start of hurricane season.

:(
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Subtropical Storm Andrea's formation:



Notice the dry air intrusion during genesis. The dry air intrude then eventually wrapped around a region of moisture to become Andrea.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Subtropical Storm Andrea's formation:



Image from Wikipedia.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Look how small Andrea was compared to this one, looks like this has potential to be like her then.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9689
Very good comparison ,for sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The wandering buoy 41008 was here as of last hour--it may get down to the St. Mary's inlet and get sucked in after midnight when the tide rises.

Link


It may end up on the south tip of Cumberland. That'll be a lot of fun picking that up. Maybe one of the subs at King's Bay can snag it from underneath!

I think it may be stuck on Stafford Shoals right now.
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There has been alot of talk of dry air with the system. Subtropical systems tend have of a region of dry air that envelopes a region of moist air at the center of the assoicated upper low. In the tropics, there is no such thing as 100% certainity and thus it incorporates all possibilities. There is a small possibility that this system may aquire a structure similar to Andrea in 2007.

May 8 2007




May 20 2009

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
For some reason the SST maps are jacked up this year, on local news and newspaper water is just now down to 81 and it was 84-86 before the cold front, so waters are warmer than the color scale on these maps
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9689
614. beell
Howdy,

The Gulf low is just about to be all on its own and truly cut-off. The circulation has handled the dry air well up to now-it never lost the feed of Pacific moisture wrapping into the center. This is coming to an end and the low will have to moisten up the atmosphere all by itself.
Link
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no casualties in here yet?
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Quoting atmoaggie:


In the map blues are below ~17 C! OK, we have some ~22C near river outflows and we have 26C out in the middle, but low teens!?! Nope. Rarely in January...


Agreed, I didn't pay attention that the blues were below 17. Out of here, I'll check back later!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3154
Unless my eyes deceive me I see a whole cluster of convection popping up on the South side of the COC... Don't believe there is any land there
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Quoting 69Viking:


I wouldn't be so sure about that. The buoy 12 miles South of Orange Beach, AL is reading 73.9F or 23C. There was a lot of rain in the Alabama and NW Florida area this spring keeping water temps down with river and stream runoff and lots of cloudy days. I found several buoys reporting 24C and 25C. This low combined with the cold front has helped some water temps drop as much as 5 or 6 degrees in the past week.


In the map blues are below ~17 C! OK, we have some ~22C near river outflows and we have 26C out in the middle, but low teens!?! Nope. Rarely in January...
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I don't think it's anywhere close to 91L status. The thunderstorms you think are wrapping around the center are heating of the day thunderstorms over land pushing offshore in the general direction of the center of the low. I think once the sun goes down those thunderstorms will die off and the center will be just as exposed or even more exposed than it was this morning. I'm about to head to the store so out of here for today, maybe I'll pop in later to see if my theory holds true. Later everyone, been fun!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3154
608. IKE
Buoy 262 NM south of Panama City,FL....(note the pressure is now at 1006mb's).

"Wind Direction (WDIR): ENE ( 70 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 5.8 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 7.8 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 6.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 10 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.5 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): NNE ( 12 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.72 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.04 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 76.6 F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 81.0 F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 72.5 F"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Convection has now reached 50% around the Mean CoC.

We can see how much it grows between now and 8pm CST. 3 hours.

Still ,Latest Viz GOM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
Quickscat clearly shows a low level circulation- Link

Wonder if we'll see 91L.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Global 8-day composited SST. Composited to get as much data coverage around the clouds as possible.

The plot is **HUGE**! 6 MB for a single image.
http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi/l3/T20091292009136.L3m_8D_SST4_4.png?sub=img

color bar:

it is not on the images

8-days with no data for an area east or west of Africa...clouds. No temps below 25 in the GoM, except where surrounding by cloud holes and likely contaminated by them.
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Quoting reedzone:
Starting to see convection wrap around the low, also notice the low is getting better defined, probably Invest 91L by tonight or tomorrow, still has a while to go before "Ana" were to pop in. However, it is better defined this evening.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/rb-l.jpg



I agree... the convection is def trying to wrap the center of the low pressure... also more convection firing... I think we will get an invest within 24hrs
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Spinners?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
Satellite Imagery from the University of Miami
There is no endorsement of NWHHC by the University of Miami. Loops are for informational purposes only. Please refer to local emergency management officials for official information

Latest WV Image



Latest IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
That's not a wishcast, just a statement, that's something I would of said.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9689
Quoting IKE:


I didn't wish that beast on anyone.


Dont mind him.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting atmoaggie:


Nose Joway (No way, Jose.)

Any blue in that map this time of year is nothing but cloud temps contaminating SST values.

It is a pretty picture, but SSTs less than 24 C in the open GoM does not exist in May, even with a few days of clouds and rain.

Maybe if a major TC stirred up a lot of water ya might see a few 23 or 22s...or a river outflow from Florida in about a day.


even then it'd be a stretch I'd think.... I was thinking that sub 22C temps had to be wrong myself. I suspect we'll see a pullback of 2C or so. should recover quickly if winds are light after it exits
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Quoting reedzone:
Starting to see convection wrap around the low, also notice the low is getting better defined, probably Invest 91L by tonight or tomorrow, still has a while to go before "Ana" were to pop in. However, it is better defined this evening.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/rb-l.jpg


Does this qualify as a "wishcast"?
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3154
000
ABPZ20 KNHC 201748
TWOEP
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1100 AM PDT WED MAY 20 2009

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS FORMED ABOUT 600 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
ACAPULCO MEXICO. ASSOCIATED THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY IS NOT WELL
ORGANIZED...AND DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM...IF ANY...WILL BE SLOW
TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS
THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 180 Comments: 56481
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
549 PM EDT WED MAY 20 2009

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTH CENTRAL INDIAN RIVER COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
EAST CENTRAL OKEECHOBEE COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF FORT DRUM...
NORTHERN ST. LUCIE COUNTY IN FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 630 PM EDT.

* AT 548 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
DEVELOPING TORNADO 24 MILES EAST OF FORT DRUM...OR 6 MILES
NORTHWEST OF WHITE CITY...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 25 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
RURAL NORTHERN ST. LUCIE COUNTY AT 600 PM EDT
RURAL NORTHWESTERN ST. LUCIE COUNTY AT 620 PM EDT
RURAL SOUTHERN INDIAN RIVER COUNTY AT 630 PM EDT

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
STURDY SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST
DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A STRONG BUILDING ON
THE LOWEST FLOOR...IN AN INTERIOR ROOM SUCH AS A BATHROOM OR CLOSET.
KEEP AWAY FROM WINDOWS. GET UNDER A WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF
STURDY FURNITURE. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY.

EVACUATE MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO
SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW
SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS. ABANDON YOUR VEHICLE IF THE
TORNADO IS NEARBY.

Vero Beach Radar Shows TVS
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting RitaEvac:
I like "The May Spinner"


That's much Catchier too..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
593. IKE
Quoting RitaEvac:
Ikewishcaster is what he should call himself, because he was wishing it west towards us!


I didn't wish that beast on anyone.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting atmoaggie:


Nose Joway (No way, Jose.)

Any blue in that map this time of year is nothing but cloud temps contaminating SST values.

It is a pretty picture, but SSTs less than 24 C in the open GoM does not exist in May, even with a few days of clouds and rain.

Maybe if a major TC stirred up a lot of water ya might see a few 23 or 22s...or a river outflow from Florida in about a day.


I wouldn't be so sure about that. The buoy 12 miles South of Orange Beach, AL is reading 73.9F or 23C. There was a lot of rain in the Alabama and NW Florida area this spring keeping water temps down with river and stream runoff and lots of cloudy days. I found several buoys reporting 24C and 25C. This low combined with the cold front has helped some water temps drop as much as 5 or 6 degrees in the past week.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3154
Starting to see convection wrap around the low, also notice the low is getting better defined, probably Invest 91L by tonight or tomorrow, still has a while to go before "Ana" were to pop in. However, it is better defined this evening.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/rb-l.jpg
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I like "The May Spinner"
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9689
2009052006 UKM analysis and forecast cyclone phase evolution
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
Looks like we'll go back to dry weather this weekend. Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
We need to name this one,"GOM MAY Tour 09". The Spinner Returns
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
Quoting Patrap:
Latest IR Loop

Latest WV Image. Spookie ,eh?



it reminds me of the firefox icon....
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Quoting sjm45:
I was just looking at SST and I noticed a big black blotch in off the coast of East Africa - south of Yeman. Does this mean the sst is so high it's off the chart? Sorry if it has been asked before I have just logged on and don't fancy going through over 500 messages!

Thanks sjm


Got a link?
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Quoting atmoaggie:


Nose Joway (No way, Jose.)

Any blue in that map this time of year is nothing but cloud temps contaminating SST values.

It is a pretty picture, but SSTs less than 24 C in the open GoM do not exist in May, even with a few days of clouds and rain.

Maybe if a major TC stirred up a lot of water ya might see a few 23 or 22s...


Thanks for the clarification, thats what I was fishing for ! I really liked the Blue better than the Brown :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
Quoting sarasotaman:
My real middle name is Andrew and i am over 40 should I retire my middle name? lol


Well if we have some major hurricane named atmoaggie, I am just retiring. Period. In my 30s.
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Somali pirates hijacked the weather buoys. Demanding a ransom before they let the SST drop back to reasonable values.

Quoting sjm45:
I was just looking at SST and I noticed a big black blotch in off the coast of East Africa - south of Yeman. Does this mean the sst is so high it's off the chart? Sorry if it has been asked before I have just logged on and don't fancy going through over 500 messages!

Thanks sjm
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 686
Patrap...I love your label of the link.
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Visible loop,GOM Spinner

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
The GOM IR Loop of the Thing-of-a-Ma-Bob Hybrid,Green STS,STD,..spinner
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
Quoting Ossqss:
I suspect we will see much more blue in this as exits the gulf over the next several days.



Nose Joway (No way, Jose.)

Any blue in that map this time of year is nothing but cloud temps contaminating SST values.

It is a pretty picture, but SSTs less than 24 C in the open GoM does not exist in May, even with a few days of clouds and rain.

Maybe if a major TC stirred up a lot of water ya might see a few 23 or 22s...or a river outflow from Florida in about a day.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
no problem.

Here's "wishcasting" for a beautiful weekend on Florida's Emerald Coast!

LOL

TTYL


I'll second that, here's to "wishcasting" a beautiful boating weekend on the Emerald Coast!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3154

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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