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 weathersp:
Post 865 is stretching the blog.. click "hide" to collapse the blog back to normal.


Sorry, didn't realize, it must have been the post I quoted. Did that fix it?
Quoting BajaALemt:
It's got nuttin' to 'pull itself up with', Orca :P :P


Uh uh... your not setting me up again this year :)

I am on to you.. your still trying to get even for the Mrs thingie
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
20 May 2009 2200 UTC Tropical Weather Analysis

http://hurricanewarning1.com/

The area of disturbed weather across Florida continues to be the main player in the tropics, and has been quite interesting to watch the past couple of days. In the last update there were two low pressure systems in the area of disturbed weather, a developing cut-off low west of Florida and a weak surface low north of Cuba. As forecast, the low from north of Cuba was entrained into the cut-off low. The low from north of Cuba actually moved across central Florida last night, causing winds of up to 50 mph and torrential rains. It was essentially like a weak tropical storm. Now the two low pressure systems have become one, and the system is somewhat disorganized since the two vorticity maximums from the formerly discrete lows haven't fully merged yet. However, I expect the low to consolidate over the next few days as it moves slowly northwestwards across the Gulf of Mexico. Computer models are fairly consistent in having the low make landfall along the northern Gulf coast in just over 3 days. It remains to be seen how much the low can organize before then though. Water temperatures do support a slow transition of the low from completely cold core to shallow warm core (sub-tropical), and since it appears it will have time it's marginally possible that the low can become classifiable. It depends on how much wind shear and dry air affect the low. Regardless, the low will continue to cause heavy rain in Florida, and will bring nasty weather to the northern Gulf coast. I have outlined this forecast scenario in the graphic below.

The forecast graphic can be found on the hurricane warning home page.

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871. SRQfl
Link



Looks like our low is getting tighter
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It's got nuttin' to 'pull itself up with', Orca :P :P
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Post 865 is stretching the blog.. click "hide" to collapse the blog back to normal.
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868. beell
Saw that coming...
269. HIEXPRESS 3:32 AM GMT on April 24, 2009
"Maybe we'll see another storm like Andrea (May 2007)"


Pretty cool HI!
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LOL Orca!!!
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Good evening,
look at the WV loop, to the north/ NE of the system, the clockwise feathering of the clouds is indicative of an upper high.
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Quoting ChrisDcane:



Sheesh, it was a joke. Your obviously new around here.
864. beell
855. gulfcoastdweller 1:48 AM GMT on May 21, 2009

local met said we could be in for 5 inches....looks like I will be cooking a roast instead of BBQing

Ya'll don't BBQ roast? Odd.

We could use a rain but it's hard to beat what we've had the last couple of days.
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EAST PACFIC WV IMAGE

TROPICAL ATLANTIC WV IMAGE

GOM EAST SEABOARD WV IMAGE
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Quoting BajaALemt:
*mumbles* circ's too big. It's like those big fat babies that don't walk until they're 14 months old because they can't. LOL


Yes, but did you notice when they fall down.. they normally cause destruction?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
*mumbles* circ's too big. It's like those big fat babies that don't walk until they're 14 months old because they can't. LOL
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Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


haha ... you know I will get rained out this weekend, while you will be basking in the sun, checking rain fall totals for the Ms Gulf Coast...lol

local met said we could be in for 5 inches....looks like I will be cooking a roast instead of BBQing


Not to worry. THIS IS A TEXAS STORM.
LOL. I loved STORMTOP.
:)
Later-All...
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The winds up in defuniak were kicked up bad today i looked out my back windows and i could swear kings lake looked more like the bay on a really rough day. it was so choppy it was coming over my seawall.
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Blog Update

AOI #1

AOI #2



Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
837. beell 1:28 AM
I really thought this was such an odd system-then folks posted some historical on Andrea today. Guess I was sleeping!

Saw that coming...
269. HIEXPRESS 3:32 AM GMT on April 24, 2009
"Maybe we'll see another storm like Andrea (May 2007)"
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pat se corner looks like its cutting off the dry air that infiltrating the system, that will help alot with the strengthening process
if it does at all
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Its encapsulated in its own Lil World in the GOM.
Lotsa Energy still out there.
But will it consolidate it or will it spin out?
Stay Tuned..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Almost all of the models on this page have the "Blob" going to (I am not going to say it, for fear of panic in the blog by certain members), just different intensity levels. The CMC has it the strongest.

The weakening shear is only going to help it in the direction
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Patrap:


drak or pat, is it trying to cut off the dry air thats feeding in? if that happens is it likely to grow?
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SREF Ensemble
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
849. beell
GCD, same to you. Let's go jump some dogs!
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Multi-Model
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847. beell
830. StormFreaky-this is the first year I have really paid attention to the FL rainy season-what makes it go, etc.

Here in TX our rainy season is seasonably un-seasonable, sometimes, maybe...
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First soaker for th south. We really need it it has been unseasonably dry for too long. Anyone has an idea where this rain might end up I believe it will end up in Lousiana.
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chrisdcane:please remove your post!!!its stretching the blog,WE GET THE POINT,please!!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970

NexSat GOM Viz to Night IR view
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Quoting beell:
The next trick will be for this low to drag itself back east across the SE-It will be like a big ole warm front stretched across the SE Gulf States.

Could rain!


Just a little...
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840. beell
The next trick will be for this low to drag itself back east across the SE-It will be like a big ole warm front stretched across the SE Gulf States.

Could rain!
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I like this track much better. Drunk STS wannabe...

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Well, here's a thought.... Large area of circulation, precip's been located on the eastern side of the circ, so maybe it's a combination of the low still having enough 'presence' to provide the moisture and destabilization in combination with the return of the seabreeze regime?? *shrugs* (Just a thought...maybe I shouldn't do that to myself...LOL)
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837. beell
Quoting Barefootontherocks:


...Is/has been intriguing to watch.


I really thought this was such an odd system-then folks posted some historical on Andrea today. Guess I was sleeping!

Hear the sounds of Carlos on American Idol creeping into this room Barefoot!
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I got 70% for tomorrow for port st lucie.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Seabreeze stuff usually get's 40%...sometimes as much as 50%. So, it DOES seem a little strange to go with an 80% pop
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833. beell
Quoting BajaALemt:
(The 80 IS weird tho)


I read ahead (lol)

Hello BajaAL! Tis the season, although we should be watchin' severe.
The surface low moves north and Boca gets back into SE surface flow-maybe like ya said-seabreeze?
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From Tallahassee's forecast discussion...

ECMWF/GFS AGREE ON THIS REMNANT LOW MOVING SLOWLY NORTH DURING THE
EARLY PORTION OF NEXT WEEK. AS THIS OCCURS THE LOW IS PROGGED TO BE
ABSORBED INTO LONGWAVE TROUGHING THAT WILL BE DIGGING INTO THE LOWER
MS VALLEY AND SOUTHEAST STATES WITH TIME.
MOIST SOUTHERLY FLOW AHEAD
OF THIS FEATURE COMBINED WITH THE APPROACHING MID-LEVEL SUPPORT
SHOULD KEEP OUR AFTERNOON HOURS ACTIVE WITH SCT SHOWERS/STORMS.
DAYTIME TEMPERATURES SHOULD END UP SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL...WITH
THE ENHANCED CLOUD COVER AND LIKELY EARLY CONVECTIVE INITIATION EACH
DAY.

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NEXRAD Radar
Tampa, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI
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Quoting beell:


Ya'll may have to wait for that slot of dry air S and E of the center to pass you by-from SE to NW and maybe some subsidence along the Edit-periphery of the mid/upper low.

Ha me too we had 60%chance today and it seems funny that all the rain bands went all around us literally and I wouldn't be surprised tomorrow if we don't see rain here with 60% chance tomorrow.
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(I figure I better get the "Hey!! Good to see you's" out of the way before it gets busy and they earn a ban :)
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Quoting beell:
Shortwave over Montana on this 18Z 500mb chart. Valid 00Z 5/21. This one will soften the ridge N of the gulf low and allow it to come ashore.



On wv, it looks to be a little farther south (southern Idaho) than shown in the model.
Link


Wondered when someone was gonna mention that. Something's gotta pull this feature north. WVL-looks like completely cut off from Pacific moisture but is still draining all the moisture and energy possible from ex90L. Is/has been intriguing to watch.
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Beell! Good to see you!
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Quoting Weather456:




Dude. You just ruined a bunch of underwear in LA and MS...
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(The 80 IS weird tho)
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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.