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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...must be having a PB&J! ;)


I'm out. Have a good sleep, all!
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Heck! Almost here and ya din't even holler. I see how y'are!!! LOL! (teasing)
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TS, give us the skinny. Ana or not?
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Welcome back, Tim!
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Quoting BajaALemt:
Here, here! How YOU doin?

I was in your neck of the woods last week for a few days, an hour away I guess. Spent a few days in Destin - all perfect until Sunday when that cool front came crashin' through there. 'Twas nice to see the pretty water again and relax if even for only a few days. Past that, same ol' grind, just watching this economy continue to tank is all.
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Night Beell!


Has your entire baseball team asleep yet?
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Here, here! How YOU doin?
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Quoting BajaALemt:
Mostly workin' too much, MLC. I actually have 2 days off in a row, sooooooooooooooooo...

Yup, that workin' sure gets in the way of havin' fun! Glad you're getting a couple of days off to enjoy and relax! :)
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967. beell
A belle must never forget her manners.
So...Goodnight, CatDL.
Thanks!
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How is our GOM Blob doing tonight?
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1837
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
MLC, how you been? It has been a while! Did you see my vacation pictures yet?

Yup, was just lookin' at 'em - awesome. That Lake Blanche must've been the sweet spot! Good pics, too. Thanks for sharing.
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Night Beell!
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Quoting beell:
Cool, cowboy. Won't argue your reasoning. All good points.

Ok, goodnight....Ladies

Good night, darlin'! ;)
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MLC, how you been? It has been a while! Did you see my vacation pictures yet?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
961. beell
Cool, cowboy. Won't argue your reasoning. All good points.

Ok, goodnight....Ladies
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Ok, lol. I've seen worse get named so, yup! If nothing else for some general preparedness flexing by the NHC.
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Baja, I had to change my avatar because the old one just started dropping yesterday out of the blue. The pic was still available and marked in my photos, but the blog wouldn't show it.

I want to know if something interesting is going to happen when the tropical wave at 68W collides with the stationary low (with LLC) at 75W?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
958. beell
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
Well, you know me, I'm the rebel-rouser. I say she's got a chance. Yep, broad core, but tightening. Low not as displaced from convection as one would believe. Moving over some warmer loop current temps. Extrapolated pressure down to 1006 mb. Persistent convection, though infiltrating dry air. High pressure building overhead. Just needs some fuel and the coc to spin down to the sfc. Lots of ifs, but I'd give it 25% chance this evening anyways.


No fair! It's a yes or a no lol!
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957. beell
Nite BajaAL!
(Oh the indignity)
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Well, you know me, I'm the rebel-rouser. I say she's got a chance. Yep, broad core, but tightening. Low not as displaced from convection as one would believe. Moving over some warmer loop current temps. Extrapolated pressure down to 1006 mb. Persistent convection, though infiltrating dry air. High pressure building overhead. Just needs some fuel and the coc to spin down to the sfc. Lots of ifs, but I'd give it 25% chance this evening anyways.
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The blog IS weird tonight. When I hit post (if I get a post button at all) it sends me to doc's pic page
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954. beell
Not!
And you?
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Nite belle :P :P
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Quoting beell:
belle!
ROFLMAO!I should change my nic!
Seems like a good place for a trip to Square Lake for me.
Good Night All!

LOL, thought you might get a kick out of that! Have a good sleep - reminds me, need to add you to lagniappe! What say you, Ana or not?
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951. beell
belle!
ROFLMAO!I should change my nic!
Seems like a good place for a trip to Square Lake for me.
Good Night All!
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So far, the GFS is pretty in line with the NAM. (Except for a quick 'splat')
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Not.
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Quoting stormpetrol:
interesting blob south of Haiti, quite a blow up over the last few hours.
Been watching that all day. Count is in for East End. Arden McLean 304 and John McLean Jr 206
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Not
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Mostly workin' too much, MLC. I actually have 2 days off in a row, sooooooooooooooooo..... I figured I'd start working my head back into weather mode with our little rainmaker...LOL
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Ok, ladies, this late night crew can get rough! Be careful (though I know everyone of you can hold your own!) :)

Alright, so Ana or not? (ahem), belle, you can go first! ;)
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((Digger)), I've been wondering 'bout you! Where ya been?

- beell, SHUP, dayum! ;)
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LMAO beell !!!!!!
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942. beell
Some good lookin', smart faces in here!
Thanks, mlc!
(lol)
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((( MLC !!!!! ))) Hiya Pard!!
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:
The girls are taking over the blog tonight! Hi ladies... and gentlemen :o)

Some good lookin', smart faces in here! Carry on, ladies - terrific job! ;)
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The girls are taking over the blog tonight! Hi ladies... and gentlemen :o)
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Maybe the blog's trippin' Zoo. I just tried to respond to your post and it wouldnt give me a post button until after I hit preview. Weird
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ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey you!! How are ya?
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Hi Baja - how are you? This may double post - since it looks like the first one got lost.
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hey Baja - I see you came to visit and chat. How's the rain up your way?
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Nite Viking...sleep well
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933. beell
A High School Graduation trumps a little rain and wind any day!
Congratulations to all who made it happen!
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New NAM out...

850/MSLP

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The first real spin of the season. Watching it makes me realize just how much I love watching the weather unfold on us with it's fury and fight to balance the season of dry. It is like in Greek Mythology where one god is not paying attention to his duties. It is Therefore time for balance.
The spin should hopefully put more moisture in the Sarasota to Punta Gorda area, as it spins away from the coast and up to it's projected path towards Louisiana. Much needed moisture is hard to come by at this time of the year and this helps give us a jump start before rainy season gets started.
Keeping a watchful eye to the sky on CS TA Key, until then. . .
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Quoting BajaALemt:
And baking work requires computer breaks :)) :))


LOL! Well not much in the way of convection left around the center so I'm going to call it a night. Talk at you all tomorrow, should be interesting to see what's left in the morning!
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well i think the only back up plan is everybody inside the house! ugh!!!
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Id have a Good Look at the forecast come Friday and have a Back-Up Plan just in case for a Sunday Barbecue.


Gulfport wu-page with Forecast
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127636
good evening! I have not posted a comment since last year's season ... but I have a question for ya'll serious folks.. I really have not been paying attention yet this year but I live on MS gulf coast and have family coming and a bbq planned on Sunday for my daughters high school graduation. Local weather says 50% showers..do I need to worry more with that system??
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Latest QUIKSCAT
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NEXRAD Radar
Tampa, Composite Reflectivity Range 124 NMI


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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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