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 IKE:


Link


Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
..well...Fine if we can't pick on jfv....but...Can we pick on Stormjunkie?

I mean...there's so much material there to work with....


Well, thats a bit different.. he is a big boy and can take care of himself :)
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Quoting tennisgirl08:
Cane Addict - that is true. The only condition that is not favorable are the SSTs. It could meander over the loop eddy - which would favor short-term tropical development. But that will diminish as it gets closer to the coast.

40-50% chance of an STD by Friday.

Do we think this will be an invest by tomorrow?


If it continues to show some sort of organization...They should declare it..if it's even the slightest bit a threat for development it will be declared.
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222. IKE
Quoting iluvjess:


Can you post a link to that model run please.


Link
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Good afternoon everyone. Looks like SE FL is primed for an afternoon round of thunderstorms, maybe even a few severe.

I hear rumbles of thunder as I type this here in Deerfield Beach.
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Quoting IKE:
GFS has the low coming in right at the mouth of the Mississippi river in 102 hrs...paging stormtop!


Can you post a link to that model run please.
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Quoting captainhunter:
I just hope we get some rain here on the emerald coast out of this system. It has been dry as a bone for the past three weeks here in Panama City Bch.


Captain when you wish for that rain could you please hope for it to occur Today, Thursday, or Friday and leave it nice for the Memorial Day Weekend!?
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3094
Quoting CaneAddict:
Interestingly enough most of the models have the low-pressure area off the coast of SW Florida getting to about a pressure of 1006mb and towards the New Orleans area...Also shear is dropping all over the eastern Gulf of Mexico...I'm going to say a 25-30% chance of a tropical/sub-tropical depression or storm developing out of this...Conditions seem to be getting a little more favorable.


im going to agree with you, i hope we get a little something from this thing in New Orleans
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..well...Fine if we can't pick on jfv....but...Can we pick on Stormjunkie?

I mean...there's so much material there to work with....
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Quoting stillwaiting:
scott:I would expect a severe t-storm watch later for SEFL and SWFL area as we now have a strong flow w/winds out of the SE now!!!!,w/a stregthening surface low to our SW it should be building and expanding sending out rain bands from the glades area and off the GOM....I would say ATLEAST 1 or 2 EFO's or EF1's.....


Are you sure about that?....This is not a hurricane......
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215. IKE
Pressure already falling at the buoy 262 NM south of Panama City,FL....that's a 10:50am CDST BP reading. At 9:50 it was at 29.79 inches.

"Wind Direction (WDIR): N ( 360 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 13.6 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 17.5 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 8.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 9 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.3 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): N ( 7 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.78 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 75.6 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.6 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 74.3 °F"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cane Addict - that is true. The only condition that is not favorable are the SSTs. It could meander over the loop eddy - which would favor short-term tropical development. But that will diminish as it gets closer to the coast.

40-50% chance of an STD by Friday.

Do we think this will be an invest by tomorrow?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I just read that the Mississippi will be at it's peak this week. Walking along the levee down here in Braithwaite, it is pretty high. If this Low does come in the mouth of the Mississippi, what might we be looking at as far as potential flooding?
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Link to the 12Z runs please...
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Does anyone have a loop of the Epac spinner? TIA
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Quoting Patrap:
JFV this,JFV that..please. Give it a rest.

Maybe try the related topic for a change.

Im tiring of flagging the Quotes and inquiries.

Key West Radar


Just do what I did the other night Pat... Evertime someone mentioned it for a second time that evening.. I put them on iggy. Only had to put 6 on there before it became an acceptable level of background chatter.
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:

Hey Mel, I don't know about today, but last night at about 11:30 MDT they still hadn't seen a single tornado. Did you see my blog update yet?
them tonadoes be smart waitin for em to pack up and leave
maybe a little shy or maybe just not ready to give up any secrets just yet
funny how it goes all suited up but nuttin gonna happen
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interestingly enough most of the models have the low-pressure area off the coast of SW Florida getting to about a pressure of 1006mb and towards the New Orleans area...Also shear is dropping all over the eastern Gulf of Mexico...I'm going to say a 25-30% chance of a tropical/sub-tropical depression or storm developing out of this...Conditions seem to be getting a little more favorable.
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Statement as of 12:25 PM EDT on May 20, 2009

... The Tornado Warning for east central Palm Beach County will expire
at 1230 PM EDT...

National Weather Service radar indicated that the tornado has
dissipated with the storm over Boynton Beach. Thus the Tornado
Warning will expire at 1230 PM EDT.

Lat... Lon 2655 8004 2651 8004 2650 8005 2651 8010
2666 8006 2664 8003 2655 8003
time... Mot... loc 1624z 126deg 14kt 2658 8009


Baxter
SSTs are too cold for any tropical development. Even thought there is a COC. I bet this will simply be a subtropical depression that will soak the northern gulf coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
scott:I would expect a severe t-storm watch later for SEFL and SWFL area as we now have a strong flow w/winds out of the SE now!!!!,w/a stregthening surface low to our SW it should be building and expanding sending out rain bands from the glades area and off the GOM....I would say ATLEAST 1 or 2 EFO's or EF1's.....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
TheCaneWhisperer---

I'm sorry that remark wasn't meant for you nor was it meant in a derogatory way. I watch the GFS model runs as well. My apologies if it was taken wrongly.


None taken my friend, just substantiating because I brought the topic up.

Wait a minute, TAZ did, it's his fault!

JK TAZ, lol.
198. I'll go check it out now Cat...thank you!
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Quoting stillwaiting:
theeeeeeeeeeeeeere's soooomething forming offshore of ft myers!!! and its at the surface and its consoladating,STD or TD within 48hrs,IMO....


you think?
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BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SPECIAL DRAMA STATEMENT
NATIONAL DRAMA SERVICE JFV FL
1226 PM EDT WED MAY 20 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL DRAMA STATEMENT AND NOT A WATCH OR WARNING

DRAMA TODAY AT TIMES OVER WHOS WHO IN DRAMA LAND WILL BE FOLLOW BY OUTBURSTS OF ACCUSATIONS AND INSINUATIONS TOWARDS OTHERS
DURING THIS TIME OF DRAMA ONE SHOULD CLICK MINUS SIGN IN TOP RIGHT CORNER TO REMOVE THE DRAMA AND ALLOW THE FLOW OF NORMAL INFORMATION

&&
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I just hope we get some rain here on the emerald coast out of this system. It has been dry as a bone for the past three weeks here in Panama City Bch.
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Quoting melwerle:
Does anyone know if vort 2 has caught any live coverage yet?

Hey Mel, I don't know about today, but last night at about 11:30 MDT they still hadn't seen a single tornado. Did you see my blog update yet?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
197. IKE
Jeez...that 12Z GFS deepens the low over northern Alabama...interesting. This system will be around for another week.
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Quoting Patrap:
JFV this,JFV that..please. Give it a rest.

Maybe try the related topic for a change.

Im tiring of flagging the Quotes and inquiries.

Key West Radar


its becoming too much and interferring with the normal flow of information

recom
replace with empty space
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I never did, nor shall I ever will, cause I AM NOT HIM.



We already caught you quoting a ty to storm.

Ok but Pat is right..lets talk about weather!
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theeeeeeeeeeeeeere's soooomething forming offshore of ft myers!!! and its at the surface and its consoladating,STD or TD within 48hrs,IMO....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Guys, I'm off to FIU, BBS! Have a blessed and swell afternoon, all. In the words of my good ole' pal, TS ''Play Nicely Kids''. Lol.
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Quoting vortfix:
Cell X5...Tornado Warning!




THANKS VORT. HAVE TO CALL THE WIFEY>>>>
Does anyone know if vort 2 has caught any live coverage yet?
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Quoting Patrap:
JFV this,JFV that..please. Give it a rest.

Maybe try the related topic for a change.

Im tiring of flagging the Quotes and inquiries.

Key West Radar


Tel me about it, Pat. We cannot even keep this as a meteorological blog solemnly, my gosh.
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Quoting Patrap:
Stormtop retired to Bay St. Louis.
along with his flush model forecasting system
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Quoting IKE:


Yup...it's official.

Welcome back JFV...

OOPS! LOL....


I never did, nor shall I ever will, cause I AM NOT HIM.
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Quoting melwerle:
busted.



...
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TheCaneWhisperer---

I'm sorry that remark wasn't meant for you nor was it meant in a derogatory way. I watch the GFS model runs as well. My apologies if it was taken wrongly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
JFV this,JFV that..please. Give it a rest.

Maybe try the related topic for a change.

Im tiring of flagging the Quotes and inquiries.

Key West Radar
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411

Gulf and Tropics (Updated every ~1/2 hour)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
Could see some severe weather outbreak in Florida this afternoon south of I-4... just like last night as a vortex rolled in off the Atlantic...cold air aloft..warm humid air south of the warm front Daytona-Citrus County and turning into the 500MB range could spawn brief tornados... wouldnt be surprised to see a tornado watch go up.. 50% chance on that.
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So weather student finally admitted he was jfv?
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Good Afternoon...the big secret is busted..let's move on. Incredible dry air around the low, will that hinder it at all? And did I see talk about an another area by yucatan? If so, what is the thinking with that?
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179. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
Stormtop retired to Bay St. Louis.


Oh did he...then the low will shift slightly east on the 18Z GFS run.
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Stormtop retired to Bay St. Louis.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
177. IKE
Winds are gusting here at about 35 mph....my 99 Pontiac Sunfire was all over the road...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Always Land into da wind and Long.

Never land Short. Bad way to fly CRS
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129411
any part of the GOM can support STD development right now!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970

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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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