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: 125 - 75

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 Patrap:
-- EMC Cyclogenesis Tracking Page --

Model Cycle: 2009052012








Nicely filling in that dry slot over the southern peninsula, TY for the image. Should be an interesting afternoon with better coverage today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
QS of the area west of florida


Link
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2713
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest 24 hr shear tend.


Thanks Keeper! BTW, your blog is looking good! Tons and tons of great info. I finally got my updated so check it out if you haven't already...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
the bar. pressure at sara. airport is 29.85 and now the sun is out. the low center seems not to be moving much right now in any direction. I think we can get lots of rain if the sun stays out!
Hi guys! I am on the Freeport, Tx coast and pay NO attention to the weather until May/June of every year due to it being hurricane season (duh!), so I have been lurking for the past 2 weeks trying to get everyone's "feel" for the season....just a quick question....what is all the hype about Stormtop and JFV? Who is that and why are they such bad people?? Sorry, curiousity is killing me! Thanks for answering!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Thanks for the update Dr, M.

So has the shear relaxed since Dr. M did his update because I'm seeing very favorable shear over our broad low? I see the CMC, GFS and NOGAPS are in relative agreement in regards to strength and course for once.


latest 24 hr shear tend.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting K8eCane:
Hey Tropical Friends
Got my popcorn
my coke
my screensaver
and my chores done
whats up tropically?

Wow, you're good if you've got your chores done! I use WU as my creative avoidance! :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Tropical Friends
Got my popcorn
my coke
my screensaver
and my chores done
whats up tropically?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
114. IKE
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


I agree 100% on both items.

However, the GFS was the only one that picked up the current area last week right? This is a public forum and I wanted to post my comment about it. No harm, No Foul nuff said.


Just keep an eye on the GFS runs. No crime mentioning it.

Is it likely to happen? No.
Could it? Yes.

I usually look at every GFS run. Curiosity reigns supreme.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Thanks for the update Dr, M.

So has the shear relaxed since Dr. M did his update because I'm seeing very favorable shear over our broad low? I see the CMC, GFS and NOGAPS are in relative agreement in regards to strength and course for once.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
RAMSDIS sees my circulation!!! :)

http://hadar.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/trop_ge_storm_relative_1.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Arthur of last year developed over the Yucatan Pennisula and the formation location was right in the middle of the pennisula. Systems manage to form over narrow landmasses because they can still absorb energy from the surrounding waters.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Scott, wow, chill with the numerical sarcasm there, sir! That clearly wasn't called for. Although for now, yes, it's still 9 days out, but once it falls into the within one week period, then we'll have to talk about, alright, bud?


DUDE JUST ADMIT THAT YOUR JFV....RIGHT THERE YOUR TYPING HABIT REVEALS THAT YOUR JFV...SIR, BUD?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:
Well just checking in on our GOM storm and all I can say is my, my, my....

I think I read in this blog back a page that someone does not think it could make TD before land fall but I'm just not going to rule that out just yet.... Although we do need rain but i will be careful what I wish for.... I think that this could still make TD while it starts to drift NW and impact a large area of the North Gulf Coast then the cold front will pick it up and send it to the NE.... I give it a 30% chance of that, but then who really knows....

I will be back later today and check in again...

Taco :0)


totally agree
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
Scott knows his stuff guys... and really in truthfully we have seen so far this season that anything over 2-3 days is VERY blurry..


I agree 100% on both items.

However, the GFS was the only one that picked up the current area last week right? This is a public forum and I wanted to post my comment about it. No harm, No Foul nuff said.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well just checking in on our GOM storm and all I can say is my, my, my....

I think I read in this blog back a page that someone does not think it could make TD before land fall but I'm just not going to rule that out just yet.... Although we do need rain but i will be careful what I wish for.... I think that this could still make TD while it starts to drift NW and impact a large area of the North Gulf Coast then the cold front will pick it up and send it to the NE.... I give it a 30% chance of that, but then who really knows....

I will be back later today and check in again...

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I see a tight closed circulation around 86W and 26N.. very tight circulation..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Maybe it's just me but looking at that radar loop Ike posted it almost looks like the COC is moving NNE or NE. It's supposed to be moving W or WNW today I thought.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
104. IKE
12Z NAM
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
WS...you just make alot of senseless comments.. its ok to ask questions, but you
seem to have mulitple accounts and flip out over a cloud in the middle of the ocean all the time.
Not to be mean here..but there is a reason Mets dont give out more than a 7 day forecast..infact it use to be 5 until the Gov told us they want a 7 day..and really...we only want todo a 3 day forecast. Asking about more than 5..a Met would say.. ask me later.. cause we dont have the technology to predict weather more than a few days out.
Now on blogs like these..its ok to ask questions and make statements...its just some of yours and mulitple accounts seem soo...well Ill leave it @ that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
na
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Scott knows his stuff guys... and really in truthfully we have seen so far this season that anything over 2-3 days is VERY blurry..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
AGAIN.. Shear has dropped 10-20 knots over the COC and 5-10 knots over the top half of the storm.. It can try to get going, dry air could inhibit that, but lets wait and see.. shear is low, waters are marginally ok for Subtropical development. It can still happen.


And dry air should stop being a major force once these winds turn away from the north letting all the dry air into the gulf
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMarcus:

The season is still at least a week away... The past few days have been a non-event... Just a rainmaker...


While the season "officially" starts about 12 days from now there is nothing that says a system can't form in areas of the Carribean and the Gulf that have water temperatures 80 and above. There's been plenty of systems in the past that have formed outside "the official season".

I agree with you though this is now pretty much a rain event and even that could begin to fizzle with all the cooler waters it's stirring up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AGAIN.. Shear has dropped 10-20 knots over the COC and 5-10 knots over the top half of the storm.. It can try to get going, dry air could inhibit that, but lets wait and see.. shear is low, waters are marginally ok for Subtropical development. It can still happen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL...We were supposed to get 4-8 inches of rain in SFLA out of this storm and here in Pompano Beach we ended up with less than 2 inches...LOL....Seems about right! I can already see its going to be another slow rainy season and definetly a slow tropical season for us! Even though a slow tropical season is a good thing!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scottsvb:
I wouldnt put 2cents into anything forming more than 5 days out ..unless the GFS has the ECMWF, and UKmet along with it.


Everyone is entitled opinions and I started it. Just commenting on Taz's post that the EPAC discussion kind of backs up the GFS a bit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"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."

That is where I live and we are getting another soaking right now!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hurricanehanna.......who do you work for?
my company had a crawfish boil at our alabama office so was wondering if that included you
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If we have to make a FARMERS ALNAMAC GUESS @ what may happen 5 days from now or longer...I would say.. something forms on the eastern end of the trough in the bahamas..moves NE intesifys..then feels the ridge to its north near 28N and 65W and moves back towards the bahamas in the 8-12 day period from now.. Now that is probably a better chance then the GFS system near the yucitan coming true in the same time frame!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
20 knots of shear is at the top end of the survivability scale, especially in otherwise marginal conditions such as now. (marginal being waters barely 26C, and a very tight envelope to develop within)

If this was August, development would be much easier with 20 kts of shear. In mid May... you need to have everything set up perfectly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NWHoustonTX:
So it looks like the season is getting going. Do you think that the wave hights and weather in the western gulf will see any effect?

The season is still at least a week away... The past few days have been a non-event... Just a rainmaker...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have to respectfully dissagree with Dr. Masters once again on the shear levels.. According to the CIMMS shear maps, shear has dropped to 10-20 knots over the COC, but right under it, is 20-30 knots.. Just letting you all know. Check the shear map for yourself

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wouldnt put 2cents into anything forming more than 5 days out ..unless the GFS has the ECMWF, and UKmet along with it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Latest WV Image.GOM



You see how moist it has made most of the environment around it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
hello all!!!
WOW! I feel for you guys in FL.. look like the LLC has finally gotten in to the GOM... One of the local mets over in SWLA said this is nothing to worry about... not even really a rain maker... I don't know if i believe him


We needed the rain... which was all thing was ever going to be...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WS, I must say that your spelling has vastly improved over the 2 weeks, kinda makes you go hmmmm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scottsvb:
You guys are not talking about a system that might develop 10 days from now are ya? (weathestudent).. how about we talk about a system that might develop in August...yeah I see that model.. its about 1,656 hrs out! :)


A little harsh don't ya think? For a system that's parked next to Fla and going nowhere fast. A little aside never hurts and clears the brain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good morning all! I too I'm pretty spektical about the whole system myself, especially taking into account that it is 9 days out. However, I'm even more skeptical about how the GFS appears to form it over the Yucatan Peninsula, how is that so, bloggers?


With low shear you would assume it to be a pretty formidable entity. It all depends on how strong it is and how fast it's moving. Global models do not do well with strength, just look at the fact that it is there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You guys are not talking about a system that might develop 10 days from now are ya? (weathestudent).. how about we talk about a system that might develop in August...yeah I see that model.. its about 1,656 hrs out! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So it looks like the season is getting going. Do you think that the wave hights and weather in the western gulf will see any effect?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leftovers:
anyone see the magnified visiable of the se gulf? beginning of a td?


Not hardly the beginning of a TD, it looks to be dying a slow death in the cooler waters it's stirred up. Makes me wonder if the models take into account the cooler waters a slow system stirs up early in the season?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looking at the recent sat pics, i get the impression that shear around the extra tropical low off the west coast of florida is beginning to slacken a bit. i also get the impression that the big ULL to it's east maybe responsible for the apparent drop in shear. it could be creating an environm ent for the transition to a sub tropical entity
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2713
Mornin' ya'll,

A long way out (180 ) hours but heck, it's a slow morning!

There is a little bit of logic and consistency to the long range GFS and a possible sub-tropical system next week. Oddly enough, the current low pressure complex drifting west over the gulf may be involved.

GFS brings the surface low up towards the ARKLATX south of a stalled frontal boundary stretching from New England towards OK. Finally, a weak shortwave out of TX on Tuesday or so, provides enough energy to drag the southern end of the cold front towards the central Atlantic states. A potential subtropical system at the far southern end of the cold front moves up out of the Caribbean, across FL an on up the east coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leftovers:
anyone see the magnified visiable of the se gulf? beginning of a td?


Doubt it gets to TD status!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Nice radar pic there IKE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 125 - 75

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

Mostly Cloudy
63 °F
Mostly Cloudy