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

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

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 425 - 375

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

GOM IR Loop


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


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
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.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dry swirl in the Southeastern GOM. Doesn't look to change significantly in structure.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29888
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Just because you aren't getting Rain in Miami doesn't mean we can't look forward to it along the Gulf Coast.We have been dry here too ya know.

actualy we got a conciderable amount here about 2 to 3 inches. I never said the N. gulf coast wasn't going to get rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:


Try it again but took it off

thank you again on how to do this LOL


LOL. YW. I think I'm a lil behind on some of those um internet initials??? Must ask my teenager. She'd probly just hit me on the head like in the video. LOL. That was cute.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
Sheesh, looking at the close up visible and AVN, there are more friggin cyclones than I can count whipping around in this Low. One dies, another pops up. Coverage of rain is getting a lot better for the lower portion of FL though.


I know.
Its crazy how many are out there right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:


actually there is a LLC

I unerstand that, ok the NHC hasen't even put up any updates in the two since yesterday morning
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sheesh, looking at the close up visible and AVN, there are more friggin cyclones than I can count whipping around in this Low. One dies, another pops up. Coverage of rain is getting a lot better for the lower portion of FL though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 :)


Just because you aren't getting Rain in Miami doesn't mean we can't look forward to it along the Gulf Coast.We have been dry here too ya know.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very windy here in Saint Petersburg, FL
Gusts easily to 35 mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 :)


actually there is a LLC
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1837
Quoting IKE:


It could...by Friday. Just my opinion.


well in my opinion, your opinion matters! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
411. IKE
Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Ike what do you think about the disturbance under Hispaniola does it have potential to be an event for Jamaica


In that area, shear is 40-50+ knots.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


Try it again but took it off

thank you again on how to do this LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MahFLA

Live in OP also. Have been going to work towards the west every morning and every evening. Not fun to drive in. I was worried because last night my patio/balcony (very small) looked like it was leaking. We just moved into this place so I am not sure how good it is with all this rain. Heard VERY wierd noises last night in between the walls....like leaking.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yuk... serious wet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The south Gulf is warm enough as it is in the first 10 days of June...it can support a TS...
just like Barry 2007 for example.
But if any TS moves north...it goes
extratropical
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That Blob over Hispaniola wont quit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Maximum Potential Hurricane Intensity

The maps display potential minimum pressure and maximum winds, calculated according to a method developed by Dr. Kerry Emanuel. Dissipative heating is handled according to a method described in Bister and Emanuel (1998). The maps are based on data from the 00Z global operational analysis from NCEP for the date shown on the plot. The top panel shows the potential minimum central pressure for a hurricane at any given location (in millibars). Only values less than 1000mb are shaded. Cyan squares indicate grid points where the algorithm failed to converge. Also shown are the sea surface temperatures (°C). The bottom panel shows the potential maximum wind speed expressed in terms of the type and severity of storm they would represent (TD = Tropical Depression, TS = Tropical Storm, H1-H5 = Hurricanes of category 1-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale).


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559

Ike what do you think about the disturbance under Hispaniola does it have potential to be an event for Jamaica
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Okay, so from what I am understanding...the GOM is still not warm enough to support an actual TS at this point. But if it does start to develop t-storm activity, it will be considered subtropical?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
402. IKE
Quoting CaneLover:
Ike...do you think this thing will make ANYTHING of itself?


It could...by Friday. Just my opinion.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Thank you for the link Patrap!
http://metofis.rsmas.miami.edu/~dortt/satellite/Miami/IR/atl_ir1_loop.gif

Structure is certainly looking more defined and the convection is gradually increasing around the center.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like it is trying to wrap some convection around its west side in that IR loop PAT. Also more convection closer in on the East side
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1837
Dam i need to run today.....but this freaking rain is starting to tick me off..i don't mind getting wet but, the ipod and cell may not like that......LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
convection is exploding around Hispaniola
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting taco2me61:


Thank You so much and yes thats what I was trying.... LOL


You are very welcome. Took me forever to figure that out! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ike...do you think this thing will make ANYTHING of itself?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting homelesswanderer:


I think this is what you were trying?

Link

If not I apologize.


Thank You so much and yes thats what I was trying.... LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


GOM IR Loop Shows the Improving Structure,slowly..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting hurricanehanna:


Is it my imagination or do the clouds appear to be more prounounced around the low?


I think I agree with you...
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1837
Things are staying busy in FL.

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting taco2me61:


Trying something that did not work....


I think this is what you were trying?

Link

If not I apologize.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
how much rain do you guys think we will get in the panhandle?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

NEXRAD Radar
Key West, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-rb.html

Thunderstorm activity definitely on the increase, eh?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
387. MahFL
The system has moistened up the GOM nicely. Here the rain is easing a bit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
GOES-12 Atmospheric Animations


IR loop

Latest WV Image


Is it my imagination or do the clouds appear to be more prounounced around the low?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Trying something that did not work....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GOES-12 Atmospheric Animations


IR loop

Latest WV Image
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
As long as it stays weak like that, I think we can handle one ruined weekend. And based on how the setup is right now... I don't think its going to be anything other than a non-event.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GBguy88:


Gulf Breeze here, but I'm more of a lurker :)


Pensacola lurker present as well
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
381. IKE
12Z ECMWF has the low making landfall on Sunday...just in time to ruin the holiday weekend.......

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting DestinJeff:
I have a parrot named WunderBlog, and he keeps saying stuff like "Okay, blogger, that sure is right, sir! I agree! I think S Fl is in line for this one, I hate to say. Don't you think so, bud.....hmmmmmmm?"


ROFLMFTO!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
379. IKE
12Z ECMWF
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
No, stay home! LOL
Quoting MahFL:
I live in just about the highest part of Clay County and I have not really seen any flooding. Right now I am working from home, and I am not really going to drive around looking for floods....lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Would be nice... especially since our economy depends on the tourists!
Quoting 69Viking:


Positive thoughts, positive thoughts! We've had too many holiday weekends in the past messed up by tropical systems. Can we not have one summer where we get though our 3 summer holidays without a tropical system messing them up, geez!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
376. MahFL
I live in just about the highest part of Clay County and I have not really seen any flooding. Right now I am working from home, and I am not really going to drive around looking for floods....lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormW:
Good afternoon!

Today has been sort of a running around, getting things accomplished day... so I'll be out of the office for the most part. If I have the time, I'll try to put out another quickcast this evening sometime.


Hey Storm I have been running around today myself but I will catch up if your update then too....

Thanks for all you do
Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 425 - 375

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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