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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275. IKE
Quoting scottsvb:
tennisgirl... the system isnt tropical nor close to be subtropical.. its a typical cold core low... until it gets T-Storms..and consolidated amount near the center..then a invest will go up... then when the NHC finds sat images,ship,bouy, other data that suggests this thing might be subtropical with warm air aloft instead of -10 to -15c then they will classify it or send in a plane. probably be a day or 2 before a invest is made..and 2 days @ least before a plane is sent out if they do @ all.


I agree. I would not be surprised to wake up in the morning and see convection firing near the center.
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Looking a the "big" pictures/loops (Thanks Pat) it just looks like one big disorganized mess with a huge circulation and little organization......
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Thanks Pat. I will keep a look out for any flood watches.
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Spiral Bands rotating about the surface low off SW FL in the Gulf are interacting with cold
air aloft and rotation to produce strong thunderstorms with tornadic potential over Florida. Severe weather is likely over Florida, with many thunderstorms producing winds over 40 mph (60 mph+ in severe storms).
Also there is a tornadic potential due to being on the NE side of a surface low.

As for tropical development- The surface low appears to be maintaining a moist area around it and thus should develop slowly. Marginal shear/some drier air (since it is May)/ and waters SST being marginal should inhibit rapid development, but I expect slow development, with a tropical depression possible in the next couple of days.
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tennisgirl... the system isnt tropical nor close to be subtropical.. its a typical cold core low... until it gets T-Storms..and consolidated amount near the center..then a invest will go up... then when the NHC finds sat images,ship,bouy, other data that suggests this thing might be subtropical with warm air aloft instead of -10 to -15c then they will classify it or send in a plane. probably be a day or 2 before a invest is made..and 2 days @ least before a plane is sent out if they do @ all.
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Vis


IR


WV
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




Link
link for surface anmin. central america


Thanks Keeper, work is cutting into the fun today. That blob is making slow but steady progress so far. L8R
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
the ULL is weakening and spreading out,IMO...
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Statement as of 1:05 PM EDT on May 20, 2009

... The Tornado Warning for east central Palm Beach County is
cancelled...

Thunderstorms remain in the area. Frequent lightning... gusty winds to
35 mph... very heavy rainfall and small hail are still possible. No
reports of severe weather have been reported.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or local media for the latest updates.

Lat... Lon 2648 8021 2662 8021 2650 8008 2645 8010
time... Mot... loc 1704z 115deg 14kt 2651 8020


Gr
259. nishinigami

Id listen for Flood Watch,maybe a Coastal One this evening or tomorrow. The River is at High Stage..and a Surge of any sort coming upriver is very concerning.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
05/20/2009 1130 am

Folly Beach, Charleston County.

High surf, reported by NWS employee.

Significant beach erosion observed along Folly Beach.

Escarpments up to 2 feet in some places.

We just spent $28 million "renourishing" the beach...AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!


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ok so If I am reading right is there a new low developing right off the coast away from that low that is straight west of Tampa or are we talking about the low straight west of tampa (an image would be nice if someone can make one)
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
933 am CDT Wednesday may 20 2009


Gale Warning until 7 am Thursday
for the following zones: and
coastal waters from Pascagoula MS to the Southwest Pass of
the Mississippi River from 20 to 60 nm.


Small Craft Advisory from 7 am Thursday to 7 PM Thursday for the
following zones: and coastal waters from Pascagoula MS to
the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River from 20 to 60
nm.


Small Craft Advisory until 7 PM Thursday for the following
zones: coastal waters from Pascagoula MS to the Southwest
Pass of the Mississippi River out 20 nm...coastal waters
from the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River to lower
Atchafalaya River la from 20 to 60 nm...and coastal waters
from the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River to lower
Atchafalaya River la out 20 nm.


MS...none.
GM...Small Craft Advisory until 7 PM Thursday for the following
zones: coastal waters from Pascagoula MS to the Southwest
Pass of the Mississippi River out 20 nm...coastal waters
from the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River to lower
Atchafalaya River la from 20 to 60 nm...and coastal waters
from the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River to lower
Atchafalaya River la out 20 nm.


Gale Warning until 7 am Thursday




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
Quoting 69Viking:


Sorry, watching this low sit and spin and go nowhere is cause for stirring the pot a bit! I'll try not to encourage him in future!

Don't be sorry.. I agree with you.. even in that funny hat.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
260. IKE
Buoy 262 NM south of PC,FL...

"Wind Direction (WDIR): N ( 350 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.7 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 11.7 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 8.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 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): 29.77 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 76.1 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.6 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 73.2 °F"
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Hey Pat,

I live in Plaquemines, in Braithwaite. I have only been here a year, so I am not very familiar with the river. It thought you may know. As I asked earlier, the river is peaking this week, and with the potential slow moving low coming in on us bringing a lot of rain and the high level of the Mississippi, what is the likelyhood of flooding down here on the east shore of Plaquemines? I know that if you sneeze around here it floods the roads and yards:) but with the river so high, I wasn't sure the impact it could have on severe flooding. Thanks
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Quoting presslord:
Viking...please don't encourage him....


Sorry, watching this low sit and spin and go nowhere is cause for stirring the pot a bit! I'll try not to encourage him in future!
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Thanks viking, and good to see ya.

Alright ya'll, have fun in here and don't let the JFV bugs bite.

See everyone later
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GOM 60 Hour WAVE Forecast (using WAM)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
Pat...creepy indeed...very odd
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based on that map - seems like very little convection despite its ominous look on radar.
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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 WV loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
251. IKE
Quoting RevInFL:
Ok, this is only my second season on WU so I am a noob and still learning and I hate to ask a dumb question but I am curious. What will become of that blob east of Cuba? Is it going to get a ride along the low that is in GOM or is it gonna get battered into oblivion with shear and dry air? Sorry but I am trying to learn how to watch the blobs.


Think it's suppose to head NNE to NE with no development. Shear is too high there...running 40 knots.
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NEXRAD Radar
Melbourne, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
patrap - that's very creepy. do you have an animated version of that map?
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anyone have any thoughts as to why this hasn't been labeled an invest yet?
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Its just plain ol creepy looking fer May

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
Talked to wifey, heads up Wellington people. It's forecast to run up by Wellington Regional Hospital and Aero Club, 10 Minutes.
Viking...please don't encourage him....
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2 years ago when my daughter graduated from HS...we had to contend with Barry...son graduates next Friday...and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts we have another tropical something...
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Quoting StormJunkie:
The vision of decrepit elders often deteriorates...So I am not even sure press knows exactly what I look like...

¿~)


LMAO! Great come back SJ!
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Hey guys, that wave off Jamaica is looking good any thoughts
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Quoting Ossqss:
Does anyone have a loop of the Epac spinner? TIA




Link
link for surface anmin. central america
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52173
The National Weather Service in Miami has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...
east central Palm Beach County in South Florida.

* Until 115 PM EDT

* at 1242 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Village of
Golf or northwest of Delray Beach... moving northwest at 15 mph.

This storm is also capable of producing nickel size hail... and
damaging winds in excess of 60 mph.

* The tornado will be near...
Village of Golf...
and surrounding communities.

When a Tornado Warning is issued based on Doppler radar... it means
that strong rotation has been detected in the storm. A tornado may
already be on the ground... or could possibly develop anytime. If you
are in the path of this dangerous storm... move indoors and to the
lowest level of the building. Stay away from windows. If driving... do
not seek shelter under a Highway overpass.

Lat... Lon 2648 8021 2662 8021 2650 8008 2645 8010
time... Mot... loc 1644z 115deg 14kt 2648 8012


Gr
Ok, this is only my second season on WU so I am a noob and still learning and I hate to ask a dumb question but I am curious. What will become of that blob east of Cuba? Is it going to get a ride along the low that is in GOM or is it gonna get battered into oblivion with shear and dry air? Sorry but I am trying to learn how to watch the blobs.
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ah...SJ....was just telling everyone what a handsome young man you are....
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The vision of decrepit elders often deteriorates...So I am not even sure press knows exactly what I look like...

¿~)
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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL PALM BEACH COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 115 PM EDT

* AT 1242 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR VILLAGE OF
GOLF OR NORTHWEST OF DELRAY BEACH...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 15 MPH.
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...'bout the nicest thing I can say for SJ is that his son is cute as a bug....thank God he looks like his mother....
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Perhaps we need JFV shock collars...one post and zap! sizzle! sizzle! I think it has potential...
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Quoting presslord:


much much uglier....


I have my doubts.. anything uglier then you in that dress, would have been put down under the Mercy rule.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Heck if you want to pick on someone Pick on me I don't mind a bit
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...and he shows no respect to his elders....
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Uglier then you in that dress?


much much uglier....
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Quoting presslord:



he's really quite ugly...really...I'm talkin' ugly....


Uglier then you in that dress?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
mark
27.3n/81.4w
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52173
227. IKE
I think this will get labeled an invest. I'll go with an outside chance of a minimum STS at landfall.

Just my uneducated guess.

Prove me wrong GOM low!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Well, thats a bit different.. he is a big boy and can take care of himself :)



he's really quite ugly...really...I'm talkin' ugly....
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Quoting IKE:


Link


Thanks!
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About JeffMasters

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