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: 375 - 325

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

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:
Quoting conchygirl:
Ah, the ants are back - must be a hurricane coming!


Good afternoon. Here in SE TX where ants are always a nightmare, they came marching in the house last year as we were marching out to evac from Gustav. Gustav missed. But then again, a couple weeks later we got Ike. So tough call. LOL.

Hi Storm. hope you have time to do a quick update this afternoon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Hope the weather changes! I would love to be on the water!!!!


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:
Hope the weather changes! I would love to be on the water!!!!
Quoting 69Viking:


I won't be anywhere near Pensacola Beach this weekend if that's what you're hinting at! I'll be in the boat at Crab Island!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting conchygirl:
Ah, the ants are back - must be a hurricane coming!


It's funny you say that. I have a blue and gold macaw and when Fay was spinning around last year on her way to a direct hit to us, he was huddled in the back corner of his cage for three days in advance of the storm. He also stopped talking for the most part during that time.

Normally, he's extremely talkative and always out of his cage either on his play top stand or with us. He knew that storm was coming (or something was coming). After the Fay hit he returned to his normal self.

Also, here on the island we have swarms of dragonflys flying all over the place in advance of Fay. Before the storm and after the storm I have yet to see another dragonfly here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GotSand:
Viking, enjoy yourself on the beach this weekend


I won't be anywhere near Pensacola Beach this weekend if that's what you're hinting at! I'll be in the boat at Crab Island!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Off shore probably has some serious swells... and I would not want to be boating in this wind!
Quoting 69Viking:


Kind of sucks for the surfers, the Weather Channel is reporting 9-10 foot waves offshore and a small craft advisory is in affect!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:
There are quit a few of us from the Northern gulf Coast in here today...... I gess we all want this thing not to mess up our Holiday Weekend....

Taco :0)


Yeah I have plans to take the boat out to Crab Island in Destin Saturday and Sunday. I'm hoping this thing will stay far enough South and West until after the weekend. At it's current pace we could luck out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Viking, enjoy yourself on the beach this weekend
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Viking - problem is the center could go towards Tx/La - but all the main convection is well north and east of the center. That is what I am concerned about. Actually, if the storm moves really slow, it may be next Mon-Tues-Wed before we see the heaviest rains.

Anyways, I have beach plans - so I really don't want this thing near me!!


You going to Penasacola Beach on Memorial Day Weekend???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow, all the rain is going right around us here in Punta Gorda. This has been the same situation for the past couple days. We have had less than 1/2" of rain in the past few days unlike many of you. It would be nice to see at least an inch more so quit hogging it!!! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Beachfoxx:
Viking... When the wind blows from the North the water on the beaches is flattened. Go out a couple hundred yards and you can start seeing little white caps, beyond that its going to be rough! LOL



Kind of sucks for the surfers, the Weather Channel is reporting 9-10 foot waves offshore and a small craft advisory is in affect!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There are quit a few of us from the Northern gulf Coast in here today...... I gess we all want this thing not to mess up our Holiday Weekend....

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting conchygirl:
Ah, the ants are back - must be a hurricane coming!



OR GLOBAL WARMING!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow - a lot of water coming down... any flooding yet?
Quoting MahFL:
13 miles SW of Jacksonville.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 69Viking:


What is your local area if you don't mind me asking? I'm in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin areas of NW Florida.


I too am more of a lurker but am from Pass Christian, MS....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 69Viking:


Cool, we have quite a few from our region on here. It's always good to have locals to compare notes with during the Hurricane Season.


Gulf Breeze here, but I'm more of a lurker :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MahFl - you are definitely right in the heaviest convection area. I was wondering how much rain was dropping there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Viking - problem is the center could go towards Tx/La - but all the main convection is well north and east of the center. That is what I am concerned about. Actually, if the storm moves really slow, it may be next Mon-Tues-Wed before we see the heaviest rains.

Anyways, I have beach plans - so I really don't want this thing near me!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
354. IKE
Quoting 69Viking:


Think positive now, maybe it will continue West into TX and LA or fizzle over the cooler waters as it moves West. Like what Tropical Storm was it last year that moved West to East along the FL Panhandle only to fizzle once it reached the FWB and Pensacola area?


That was Faye.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
353. MahFL
13 miles SW of Jacksonville.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MahFL:
10.6 inches of rain so far in Orange Park, we only got 11 inches in TS Fay, so this looks to be worse, as it's not looking like it's going to stop raining anytime soon.


Yuck! Where exactly is orange park?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Be Back Later

Tropical Update

That system is one for the books.


Thanks for the update....The "one huge band" scenario, spanning several hundred miles over Florida and into the Atlantic, is an interesting take on this very huge, but unorganized, circulation...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:
I noticed on here that local vets sure seem to know an awful lot about the weather. Weeeeeeeird.

Has anybody's dog or cat been acting strangely? My dog ran and braced himself in a doorway suddenly yesterday, but no earthquake. Also, all the ants from my yard have come inside. They did this last year, and many were stranded due to congestion. This time I think they used contra-flow.
Ah, the ants are back - must be a hurricane coming!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
So all of us are going to have our memorial day weekend ruined? Thanks to the "system".

:)


Think positive now, maybe it will continue West into TX and LA or fizzle over the cooler waters as it moves West. Like what Tropical Storm was it last year that moved West to East along the FL Panhandle only to fizzle once it reached the FWB and Pensacola area?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Destin/Niceville

Today in Panama City Beach.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
347. MahFL
Tennisgirl, depends on what you want to do Memorial Day....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Viking... When the wind blows from the North the water on the beaches is flattened. Go out a couple hundred yards and you can start seeing little white caps, beyond that its going to be rough! LOL

Quoting 69Viking:


Huh? How do you figure a flat GOM with these winds!? Tell me you're kidding Beach, the buoy of Orange Beach shows 6' waves and the buoy about 80 miles south of Destin is showing 13' waves! I imagine I'll find all kinds of things washed up on the beach Saturday morning during Sea Turtle Patrol!



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Viking... tennis.. I am from the Panama city area... we have a quite a few in this area along the panhandle.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
343. MahFL
10.6 inches of rain so far in Orange Park, we only got 11 inches in TS Fay, so this looks to be worse, as it's not looking like it's going to stop raining anytime soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So all of us are going to have our memorial day weekend ruined? Thanks to the "system".

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
340. IKE
DeFuniak Springs area here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Viking - i'm in the same region - Pensacola area.


Mobile area here and we must have read the same.... LOL you beat me to it though...

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If that area east of Jamaica develops what direction will it go and will it hit Jamaica or impact us
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Viking - i'm in the same region - Pensacola area.


Cool, we have quite a few from our region on here. It's always good to have locals to compare notes with during the Hurricane Season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
question where is all that convection by hati/DR suposed to go?
Viking - i'm in the same region - Pensacola area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


A few 25 knt - 35 knt wind markers
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Latest NHC update states that the low is now 1007mb. The pressure is dropping, but I am not sure how long (or if) it will continue to do so.

Also, per local mets:

"We're continuing to monitor the non-tropical low situated in the southeastern Gulf as it slowly drifts west! While it can't be ruled out that the storm could gain some tropical characteristics, right now the chances look pretty slim! The current conditions also look unfavorable for any sort of transition to sub-tropical status! The latest computer models don't have it moving too fast. Which means, it could possibly stay in the Gulf for about 4 days, so it could organize some. We'll continue to watch the system for you. Keep in mind, pesky showers are expected as we head into your Memorial Day Weekend".


What is your local area if you don't mind me asking? I'm in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin areas of NW Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
kinda slow here on the blogs today...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Be Back Later

Tropical Update

That system is one for the books.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Latest NHC update states that the low is now 1007mb. The pressure is dropping, but I am not sure how long (or if) it will continue to do so.

Also, per local mets:

"We're continuing to monitor the non-tropical low situated in the southeastern Gulf as it slowly drifts west! While it can't be ruled out that the storm could gain some tropical characteristics, right now the chances look pretty slim! The current conditions also look unfavorable for any sort of transition to sub-tropical status! The latest computer models don't have it moving too fast. Which means, it could possibly stay in the Gulf for about 4 days, so it could organize some. We'll continue to watch the system for you. Keep in mind, pesky showers are expected as we head into your Memorial Day Weekend".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Gulf of Mexico 6 FT Wave Probability
I have a feeling I will be seeing some warnings, if that holds true
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pensacola Beach pier link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
326. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
MONSOON WATCH
===================

Southwest monsoon has set in over some parts of south Bay of Bengal and entire Andaman Sea. The northern limit of monsoon passes through 5.0ºN 80.0ºE, 9.0ºN 85.0ºE, 12.0ºN/ 90.0ºE, 14.0ºN 93.0ºE and 17.0ºN 97.0ºE.


Conditions are favourable for further advance of monsoon over some parts of south Arabian Sea, some more parts of south Bay of Bengal and some parts of eastcentral Bay of Bengal during next 48 hours.

Chief Meteorologist Forecast Outlook (1200z 20MAY)
==================================================
A low pressure area is likely to form over central Bay of Bengal around 23rd
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44717
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.

$$
FORECASTER BERG


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10875

Viewing: 375 - 325

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
74 °F
Overcast