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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dry early, means storm later as the old saying goes here in SE TX
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Quoting Patrap:
-- EMC Cyclogenesis Tracking Page --

Model Cycle: 2009052012



CMC


GFS


Looks like you will need to dig out the galoshes in the closet as we have Pat :)
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Quoting Ossqss:


Keeper, did anyone find more up to date SST links for the Gulf ? Things should have cooled off a bunch out there. TIA


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-wv.html
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It's not bad yet here, but it's getting dry and getting dry extremely fast here, heading into summer months not looking good.
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471. IKE
18Z NAM driving the rain into the northern GOM coast.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Even though this low isn't tropical, it has a healthy gradient and could bring some nasty conditions to areas of the N. GOM. I was hoping to spend Memorial Day weekend on Dauphin Island but I may have to cancel because it doesn't take much of a storm to overwash that west end these days.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
462. reedzone

Dry air indeed.
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Yes 19 inches in Bunnell, Florida and the local weather people are saying some places in Flager County have gotten as much as 2ft of rain.
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I just post um,..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
466. DDR
Quoting RevInFL:


I don't mean any disrespect but I consider 19 inches of rain in Bunnell, Florida a big deal. We have been so dry here that we are having major flooding issues all around the state. Here in Titusville we have more than 9 inches over the past 2 days.

19 inches for real?
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Patrap you just rubbed it in with those maps showing me on the dry side
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-- EMC Cyclogenesis Tracking Page --

Model Cycle: 2009052012



CMC


GFS
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Yep go figure, here in SE TX were going to stare into the face of subsidence and bone dry weather, wont get a drop if it goes to Louisiana.
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Quoting FatPenguin:
I'm thinking we get a warm core TS out of this by Friday. Shear is high, but this system looks like it has the energy to fight that off just enough to form as a TS before making landfall around LA.


Water temps are too low for anything purely tropical out of this but a Subtropical Storm is possible.. Shear is not high, it's actually currently favorable for development. It's dry air and cooler waters is inhibiting any real intensification.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
LATEST UPPER LEVEL WIND INFO


Keeper, did anyone find more up to date SST links for the Gulf ? Things should have cooled off a bunch out there. TIA
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Blog Update

AOI #1

AOI #2



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Quoting ChrisDcane:

none taken i'm just saying that ppl are getting to excited over a upper/mid level low I understand u got 19 inches of rain.
Thank You and stay safe


We can only hope you get your share of the much needed rain. You stay safe too.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Yuk... serious wet.


Where did you find that forecasr map?
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I'm thinking we get a warm core TS out of this by Friday. Shear is high, but this system looks like it has the energy to fight that off just enough to form as a TS before making landfall around LA.
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Quoting reedzone:
The IR is interesting.. I see convection wrapping around the center now.. maybe an Invest tonight or tomorrow.. Anybody see this?


I do,
If this continues it would be Sub-Tropical sooner than we think.It already has a Shallow Warm Core.
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Quoting reedzone:
The IR is interesting.. I see convection wrapping around the center now.. maybe an Invest tonight or tomorrow.. Anybody see this?

Are you talking about the area at about 26N 84W? What exactly are they calling the center on this thing?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Quoting stillwaiting:
looks like tonight is swfl's turn,lots of storms moving this way!!!!!expect 2-4 inches widespread ending around midnight,localized flooding in poor drainage areas.....


Happy to hand it off to you from NE FL - I know we need the rain, but 3 days of getting drenched every time I went out to my car was getting old!! Umbrellas don't help when it is raining horizontally.
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LATEST UPPER LEVEL WIND INFO
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
Quoting RevInFL:


I don't mean any disrespect but I consider 19 inches of rain in Bunnell, Florida a big deal. We have been so dry here that we are having major flooding issues all around the state. Here in Titusville we have more than 9 inches over the past 2 days.

none taken i'm just saying that ppl are getting to excited over a upper/mid level low I understand u got 19 inches of rain.
Thank You and stay safe
LATEST LOW LEVEL WIND INFO
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
450. IKE
Buoy 262 NM south of Panama City,FL...

"Wind Direction (WDIR): NE ( 50 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 7.8 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 11.7 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 7.5 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 10 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.7 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): NNE ( 16 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.74 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.03 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 75.9 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.8 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 74.1 °F"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Those of you who are in Orange Park can you tell me what its like around Fleming Island? My 83 year old mom-in-law lives there and we are concerned as she lives by herself and feels like she is superwoman in her scooter. Her pool flooded yesterday. Any info would be much appreciated.
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Do you think this blob has any potential

I saw Vortex answered you, but I wanted to add my observations to his response. There is no low or vorticity associated with the storm near Hispaniola. Also is it getting hit with about 50 knots of shear and shear is expected to increase. Steering should have it moving N to NE over the island and into the Atlantic.
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
The IR is interesting.. I see convection wrapping around the center now.. maybe an Invest tonight or tomorrow.. Anybody see this?
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Quoting obsessedwweather:
Lots of flooding going in in Orange Park/Clay County. Some roads are closed. School buses had to take different routes today due to flooded roads. Closer to the beach, there's been more damage from the wind too, not to mention beach erosion. JAX Beach pier is closed due to damage. Trees down there and also in my area, and I am about 40 minutes West of the beach. Power outages also by the beach. Non-stop rain.....needed it, just hope we can get a break soon and share it with other areas of Florida that need it too!!!


Been driving around Jax this afternoon and just got back to PV Beach - there is a lot of road flooding in the low-lying beach areas, and the drainage ponds are almost full to overflowing.

Currently we seem to be in a dry patch per radar and the rain has lightened considerably for the moment - hopefully this will allow some of the water to drain. The grass can't absorb anymore - water is already standing on it.
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Quoting ChrisDcane:
GUYS your making such a big deal about all this ya I know we've had no action for some months but hey come on its and upper/mid level low some rain and alittle wind but hey nothing to worry about. HAPPY WEATHER :)


I don't mean any disrespect but I consider 19 inches of rain in Bunnell, Florida a big deal. We have been so dry here that we are having major flooding issues all around the state. Here in Titusville we have more than 9 inches over the past 2 days.
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90 L was discontinued as a invest
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Any News on little 90L - the invest that won't stop chugging.
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I passed an interesting vehicle on the road today. Quite a ways from home. It was an old. old model bus that I think had been converted to a motorhome. It was very distinctive, but the paint job across the back made it really stand out. It said in huge all cap letters "FSU NOLES". Any one you guys know?

Wow, it looks like the LLC has really tightened up. The circulation isn't so broad. With the shear remaining somewhat favorable for the next few days, this low should be able to get some good convection going if drier air around it doesn't get in the way.
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519

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


GOM IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
436. IKE
Well...they asked for rain....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Link
hurricane tracker its cool
Quoting Vortex95:
somthing tells me Hati is getting Hammered by the disturbance to the south of it.

Do you think this blob has any potential
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Lots of flooding going in in Orange Park/Clay County. Some roads are closed. School buses had to take different routes today due to flooded roads. Closer to the beach, there's been more damage from the wind too, not to mention beach erosion. JAX Beach pier is closed due to damage. Trees down there and also in my area, and I am about 40 minutes West of the beach. Power outages also by the beach. Non-stop rain.....needed it, just hope we can get a break soon and share it with other areas of Florida that need it too!!!
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Sure hope those shear numbers stay up :)

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To my untrained eye, could a ciculation be trying to reform closer to SW Florida coast?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Dry swirl in the Southeastern GOM. Doesn't look to change significantly in structure.


Could make a little more wind associated with rainbands...dry air heavier than moist..downburst sort-of-thing.
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Severe T-Storm Warning issued for Hillsborough coming right at me. Thundering bad.
Typical Florida summer.
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Right now development is very unlikely as wind shear is MUCH too high (except for a small area in the NE GOM). Over the next few days, however, it might find an area of lower shear and that's when we need to watch it for subtropical development.
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GOM IR Loop


NEXRAD Radar
Tampa, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248nm


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630

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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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