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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PAGASA Synopsis : At 2:00 AM today, a Shallow Low Pressure Area (SLPA) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 230 kms West Northwest of Iba Zambales or 250 kms West of Dagupan City (16.3°N, 117.7°E).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hiya DL! Great to see you again!

Be interesting anyway Ike. El Nino...ENSO neutral...maybe a little quieter this year? We'll see.

I call this sat Remedial GOM LOL!
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723. IKE
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:


where ya located?


Inland panhandle of Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting weatherwatcher12:



Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting IKE:


Another season about to begin. We might have a better chance of being hit this year vs. 2008. Hopefully we won't be.


where ya located?
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1857
720. IKE
Quoting BajaALemt:
Thanks Ike! Great to see you! Looking forward to your inputs...always helpful.


Another season about to begin. We might have a better chance of being hit this year vs. 2008. Hopefully we won't be.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting BajaALemt:
Thanks Ike! Great to see you! Looking forward to your inputs...always helpful.

Baja, Keeper has a new blog you can check out & I've updated mine. Good to see ya! I like your new avatar :o)
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
If it follows Katrinas path at this intensity, I will get close to no rainfaill
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Quoting BajaALemt:
Hiya 456...nice to see you. Great comparison to Andrea back there...nice graphic.


Great to see you too.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
LOL Tim!! Have a nice evening *snickers*
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Quoting stormpetrol:
If shear wasn't so strong that area south of Haiti might be worth watching.

The shear tendency is starting to drop slightly
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
I say this every season...."I'm gonna clean up my links"...and here I am thinking it AGAIN.
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I'm out till late this evening! Gotta get the TV clicker ready.....The RAYS are on Now...The Magic come on at 8.....and the wife just reminded me the American Idol..winner is tonite..PLEASE HELP ME GOD!.....LOL...I have a 75"HD and i bet i go to the 42 in the bedroom......LOL...see ya all...
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Looks like Hurricane Katrina's path
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Hiya 456...nice to see you. Great comparison to Andrea back there...nice graphic.
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Exactly animal.
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If shear wasn't so strong that area south of Haiti might be worth watching.
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It is amazing how this thing is eating up that dry air and replacing int with wet air... this thing has just about replaced all the dry air in the GOM with moist air
Member Since: August 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1857
Quoting BajaALemt:
Hey Tim? It's like EMTs, medics, fire..anyone in EMS really. When I worked as an EMT I LOVED what I did! Sadly, the thing those of us in EMS love and get excited about comes at the expense of some poor soul. But, thank goodness there are folks that love it to DO IT. Kinda the same thing with enthusiasm for the weather.


Have to agree with you completely, Baja. I do disaster response and I hate to see the loss involved but glad to be there to help when it does happen. And does the adrenaline get going? Sure it does!
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Thanks Ike! Great to see you! Looking forward to your inputs...always helpful.
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Quoting futuremet:
GFS wind shear forecast

*Go to level, and select the wind shear module.

Wow on Friday the 29 everything just explodes in the northerwestern Caribbean in this model
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GOM GOES-12 WV Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
Quoting Littleninjagrl:
Thank you CatastrophicDL & Futuremet!!! For some reason it would not let me quote you. ???


It is probably due to the lack bandwith or too much people posting simultaneously.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Cause you usually are banned about 10 times a season lol


I don't think soooooo!!! LOL it let me quote you.....that is weird. I have never been banned. i am a good girl. Muwahahahahaha
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GFS wind shear forecast

*Go to level, and select the wind shear module.
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697. IKE
18Z UKMET
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Littleninjagrl:
Thank you CatastrophicDL & Futuremet!!! For some reason it would not let me quote you. ???


Cause you usually are banned about 10 times a season lol
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GOES-12 IR Loop,GOM
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
694. JRRP
?
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Thank you CatastrophicDL & Futuremet!!! For some reason it would not let me quote you. ???
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If anyone needs all the graphics and Sites.....use StormJunkie and here!
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GFS

Do not put too much trust on flawed long range forecast of tropical cyclogenesis. I suggest looking at the GFS' shear forecast from WU.
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689. IKE
Hey Baja.....nice seeing you on Dr. M's blog...:)
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Littleninjagrl:


Do you happen to have a GFS model run for the next week or so?

Here you go Link
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Quoting TampaSpin:
Quoting scottsvb:
Im in here to inform everyone and get people views... I know who to weed out on the wish and hypecasters..

I dont think anyone wants a Cat 2 or higher coming right @ them...but I would think 80% of the people in here get excited and want to see a tropical system form and bring them weather..as long as its not a Cat 2 where there is destruction.. most in here are weather enthusiests (sp?).. we love weather.

People that dont want a season to start..probably shouldnt be in here..cause there are many hypecasters that will scare them to thinking something is coming and big.

I would just think..if someone doesnt want to hear about or think about the season to come..avoid the thought.


ROFLMAO.....Scott you have not been here long huh....oh...Boy.......LOL


been on and off here since 1999..but I usually stay away from this site.. I use another!
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Test

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NICE EYE!!!!!
Quoting futuremet:
Shear values are expected to decrease substantially over much the Caribbean and the GOM late next week. It will be interesting if the long range GFS' cylogenesis in the Caribbean comes true.

can you please post the gfs forecast
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
8.0" and counting here in Maitland(Orlando area). This is great, I hope it keeps up until our deficit is gone, without flooding of course. Ex invest 90L is still up on the hurricane center website, maybe they consider this system to still be 90L rather than calling it 91L. What do the computer models do with this low? It is definitely trying to wrap convection around the center.
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Quoting futuremet:
Shear values are expected to decrease substantially over much the Caribbean and the GOM late next week. It will be interesting if the long range GFS' cylogenesis in the Caribbean comes true.


Do you happen to have a GFS model run for the next week or so?
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If there wasn't 50 knt shear across the Caribbean and around 5-10knts then this deformed blob of thunderstorms east of Jamaica probably would of been a depression, so it's nothing to worry about....darn it.Lol.I need rain badly in Boca cause this low barley brought anythin.I still need about 10 more inches just to fill the below average rainfall and then I need more rain to get above average uggh.
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Its got a long way to go to become anything Named...not even close to anything like that....

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...looking for a rain total in Titusville for the last couple of days... anyone know?
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Hey Tim? It's like EMTs, medics, fire..anyone in EMS really. When I worked as an EMT I LOVED what I did! Sadly, the thing those of us in EMS love and get excited about comes at the expense of some poor soul. But, thank goodness there are folks that love it to DO IT. Kinda the same thing with enthusiasm for the weather.
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Shear values are expected to decrease substantially over much the Caribbean and the GOM late next week. It will be interesting if the long range GFS' cylogenesis in the Caribbean comes true.
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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.