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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NEXRAD Radar
Tampa, Composite Reflectivity Range 124 NMI


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Is there anything working in favor of this system. Or are we likely going to wake up to a naked swirl?
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And baking work requires computer breaks :)) :))
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Model Cycle: 2009052100

North America: Model Tracks for Mid-Latitude Cyclones



00Z NAM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting BajaALemt:
Lucky you, Viking. I get lost in WORK during the offseason....LOL!!!


Oh I was working too, the blogs just keep me sane! Computer work requires sanity breaks!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
Nite Beachy
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Latest WV Image,GOM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Baja & Viking...
Leaving you in charge.
Make sure the steering currents keep that Low Pressure away from our little paradise. This overload of WORK is killing me... I need a couple of days of R & R and some SUNSHINE!

Night all!
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2009 GOES Eclipse Schedule

Good one to bookmark if you don't have it already

Explanation of satellite eclipse, for the lurkers :)...

The GOES satellites encounter two periods, during the year, which the satellites are in the Earths shadow. Known as the Eclipse season, these periods require the spacecraft to be totally dependent on onboard batteries for a maximum of 72 minutes daily. Eclipses occur from about February 28 - April 11 and August 31 - October 13. The Imager and Sounder instruments are powered down to conserve power, until the daily eclipse is over. There is a significant risk of the sun light directly entering the scanners, as the spacecraft enters and leaves the Earths shadow, requiring the Imager and Sounder to be idle prior to and following eclipse. This is known as the Keep Out Zone. The seasonal charts describe the GOES-East and GOES-West Imager and Sounder scan frames that are canceled, due to KOZ/ECLIPSE.

This will come into play during the height of the season.
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If this blob maintains it status for a few days as shear goes down little each day until the end of the week this could be something to watch.I doubt it to survive these raging winds but we'll see.
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Lucky you, Viking. I get lost in WORK during the offseason....LOL!!!
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LOL Beach!

Good to see you Baja, I'm back after getting lost in the hunting and fishing forums over the tropical offseason!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
NEXRAD Radar
Tampa, Echo Tops Range 124 NMI


T-Storm Tops to 56K

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Hiya Viking!!
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This is my favorite time of year, Beachy. One of the reason's I LOVE living here. Walking down the beach, all the shades of blues and greens change with the shape of the sand bars. It's just breathtakingly beautiful *sighs*
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Fizzle - that's an official new weather term for 2009! LOL
Viking - YGM
Quoting 69Viking:


I'm with Beachfoxx, fizzle, fizzle little pesky low, time to die and leave our holiday weekend alone!
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Caribbean IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Baja!!!

The drive to PCB every day is killing me! LOL
One hour to, one hour home...
The GOM was gorgeous today, NE winds had her laid down flat by the beaches & the turquoise, emerald and other colors of blue were at their finest!

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interesting blob south of Haiti, quite a blow up over the last few hours.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Baja!!!

Good to see ya!
Looks like the Low Pressure System is losing steam! Might we hope for a decent weekend after all?


I'm with Beachfoxx, fizzle, fizzle little pesky low, time to die and leave our holiday weekend alone!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
reboot brb
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good evening surfmom!!!,you're up/on kinda late...any waves tomorrow,ever since our rain has started its clouded up the waters a bit,prior to that fishing about 2 weeks ago was stellar!!!!!,caught 2 edible spanish macks and about a 6 lb snook,right on MY beach.....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting Vortex95:
I get what a cap is now. so 3.2 would highly impeade convection.


Correct. Old semi-perm low over on the left coast is closing out the dry air rather quickly so the cap could release at anytime with the current dynamics in place. If you look at the exceptions that can break the cap in Baja's post, Daytime heating and sea breeze (Lower Convergence) kicked up the storms today in light of the stable airmass in place. Those are how our traditional afternoon T-Storms pop up as well.

its getting better all the time
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Mom? He's just pullin' my pigtails :P
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
LOL !! ((((( E !!!!! ))))
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Vortex, here's the link to Haby's main site...good educational site.

Link

I also found these helpful...

WW2010

Basics: NWS Jetstream Link

MetEd/a> (Free Registration required)
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WV loop GOM

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting BajaALemt:
Here ya go, Vortex95

Haby Hints - Capping Layer


Thanks, that will cover it.
Quoting Orcasystems:


Nope, not falling for that either.. your sneaky.

Excccccuse me?
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Possible Shallow TVS approaching Daytona
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Stable air mass (Sinking Air)

Usually eases off overnight which gives way to our traditional morning showers / T-Storms.
Here ya go, Vortex95

Haby Hints - Capping Layer
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Beeeeeeeeeeeeeachy!!!! Hiya hunny!!! GREAT to see YOU!!!!
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By contrast, Tampa's got a 1.8 with showers in the vicinity
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Baja!!!

Good to see ya!
Looks like the Low Pressure System is losing steam! Might we hope for a decent weekend after all?
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0000Z Skew T for Miami had a 3.2 cap....LOL, no wonder
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models saying New Orleans is in for some rain if this thing goes where its supposed to go how much yall think ill get in New Orleans?
Member Since: May 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 250
Quoting Vortex95:
some showers to the South of Florida heading North should hit land in a few hours.


Cap must be on, most are fizzling out as they reach the coast.
869. weathersp 2:07 AM GMT on May 21, 2009
Post 865 is stretching the blog.. click "hide" to collapse the blog back to normal


i clicked report and minus that worked too
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52274
Quoting BajaALemt:
ROFLMAO! Now, Orca....would I do THAT? *bats eyelashes innocently*


Nope, not falling for that either.. your sneaky.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
ROFLMAO! Now, Orca....would I do THAT? *bats eyelashes innocently*
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Is the system drying up due to the wrapping of dry air or lack of heating?

And thanks for the feedback earlier BajaALemt :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183

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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.