Nicole's precursor moisture dumping epic rains on North Carolina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:29 PM GMT on September 29, 2010

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The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, is here, but not for long. Observations from the Hurricane Hunters and satellite imagery show that the storm is being stretched along a north-south axis as it gets absorbed into a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast. A separate extratropical storm is developing along a stalled-out front along the coast of South and North Carolina, and much of Nicole's moisture and energy will begin feeding into this new storm today and Thursday, leading to the demise of Nicole by Thursday. Nicole continues to dump torrential rains on Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, South Florida, and the western Bahamas as it tracks steadily north-northeastwards up the U.S. East Coast. Some rain amounts from Nicole since yesterday morning include 9.14" at Plantation Key, FL and 8.47" at Irwindale in western Jamaica. In Southeast Florida, radar-estimated rainfall amounts of 4 - 10" are common across the coast (Figure 1.)

Surface observations don't show any winds in excess of 25 mph near the center of Nicole, and the strongest winds are located several hundred miles southeast of the center. Some of the stronger winds measured today were at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (39 mph, gusting to 53 mph) and Cayman Brac Island in the Grand Caymans (33 mph, gusting to 43 mph).


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida. Nicole has brought over ten inches of rain to the Middle and Upper Keys.

Extreme rainfall for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the precursor moisture from Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC has measured 15.83 inches of rain over the past three days, as of 4pm EDT. This is the city's second highest 3-day total in history, behind the 19.06" that fell in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. The non-tropical low pressure system developing along the South Carolina/North Carolina coast today will move northwards, giving North and South Carolina an additional blast of heavy rain tonight, which will be followed by more heavy rain from Nicole (or Nicole's remains) Thursday morning. By the time the rains from Nicole finally clear the area Thursday afternoon, an extra 5 - 10 inches will have fallen, and Wilmington will be looking at a 4-day rainfall total of 20 - 25 inches, the highest in recorded history there. Severe and damaging flooding is likely today and tomorrow from the record rains. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, so the flooding damage will not be as great as the billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Floyd.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Saturday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of eight inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave a few hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is generating a modest amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorms. The wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, and has some dry air to the northwest of it that is interfering with development. None of the models develop this disturbance, and NHC is giving it a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. The wave is headed into a region of higher wind shear, and is not likely to develop.

Another tropical wave located about 900 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands is more of a threat. This wave is currently moving west at 15 - 20 mph, and is generating a large area of disorganized heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear is 10 - 20 knots over the wave, and shear is forecast to decline by late this week. The latest 2am EDT runs of the NOGAPS and GFS models show some slow development of the wave late this week, and the storm is forecast to pass near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday or Monday. NHC is giving the wave a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday.

Disturbed weather will continue in the Western Caribbean for at least the next ten days, and the NOGAPS and GFS models continue to predict that the region could spawn a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now. However, the models are being less aggressive about such a development than in yesterday's runs, and the models have not been consistent about the timing or location of such a storm.

Next update
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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1104. MahFL
Quoting weatherwart:
Oh, and the first thing Charleston's mayor, Joe Riley (who saw the city through Hugo) tells people when a storm threatens is that the government won't be able to help you for several days, you have to take responsibility for yourself and be prepared.

If people learned nothing else from Katrina, I hope they learned this.


Dream on, they never learn.....
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I just tried to go to StormW's new website and it told me this...

The Potentially Damaging Content category is restricted.(See the Options section below for more info) Sites in this category may pose a security threat to network resources or private information, and are blocked by your organization.
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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
winds peaking over 50 mph coming ashore in the carolinas' and it will go downhill from here.

regardless of the naming of this system (or lack thereof) this is packing ts winds and has yet to finally come ashore with its' strongest "core" (but,what core?...lol).


Where in North or South Carolina are the "winds peaking over 50 mph"? Here in Charleston (SC) we have 0.0mph winds.
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1097 that reminds me of it's a rainy night in Georgia.
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1100. surfmom
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Weather forecast for my classroom:

Stormy with sporatic outbursts of tornados. Occasional sun peeking through with intermittant cloudiness.
Hang IN
Teachers & Farmers -- the REAL HEROS

Gordy - checking on it now .....thanks for your words
if I'm not back .... I heading for the 86 degree water
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Quoting portcharlotte:
THE PATTERN CHANGE...The.B/H was going to steer all the CV storms west into Florida and the Gulf...only Bonnie got close to that.....



Looking at the water vapor loop I am wondering if the GOM is shut down for the year. We typically see this type of setup later in October - not September. Any future storms could get stuck in the Caribbean or North of the Greater Antilles.
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Hey surfmom,I love your avatar never surfed though, must be Charley. Seriously go to the nhc look at Atlantic visible it's worth saving.
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1097. surfmom
WORTH THE SCROLL BACK
post 592 - Bahamagal

thank YOU
people need to know the truth
though some need to have their fantasy meet w/reality
b/4 they really understand
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Somebody please post the NHC visible at top of satellite page. Thanks your going to like it I guarantee it.


Link


i'll do you one better, the index page of all floaters and satellite views.
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1095. surfmom
Quoting gordydunnot:
Somebody please post the NHC visible at top of satellite page. Thanks your going to like it I guarantee it.

Bawahahahaa - maybe that's a nervous laugh - but your line cracked me up....
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1094. surfmom
1066. OctaviaStreet
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT POST!!
like the way you write & think

Morning Aslinn - getting ready to head out any minute..waiting for my buddy to show... we're kinda glad the kids have school -- the old folks will have Nicole's swell to ourselves.
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Somebody please post the NHC visible at top of satellite page. Thanks your going to like it I guarantee it.
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winds peaking over 50 mph coming ashore in the carolinas' and it will go downhill from here.

regardless of the naming of this system (or lack thereof) this is packing ts winds and has yet to finally come ashore with its' strongest "core" (but,what core?...lol).
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I think StormW is mentioning a pattern change on another blog for later this year
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THE PATTERN CHANGE...The.B/H was going to steer all the CV storms west into Florida and the Gulf...only Bonnie got close to that.....

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You'll want to see something very interesting look visible at top of NHC website I'm gone to try and post it. It's a funny shot for sure but looks like the storm of the century.
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1086. surfmom
1057. Neapolitan : )
my non-science view

The way I look at it - the EARTH is a living organism - (w/ alot female attributes) - how can any one 100% correctly predict the actions of a "living being"? Throw in Random Chaos & well, makes for an interesting world..that's why to me, weather is not just a science but an art.... some folks have that gift & connection-- "to just have a feeling" and sense what's going to be.

probably make the science folks groan reading this & I apologize.....
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1085. IKE
Quoting portcharlotte:
He has gone ballistic regarding NHC and Nicole




What did he say about it?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1084. MahFL
Quoting traumaboyy:

1032. BreadandCircuses

Well ... I had Vladimir Putin over to the house for Sunday dinner last week !



Putin gives a great foot massage I hear...lol


If he does not, who in thier right mind would complain ?
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1082. WxLogic
Good Morning...
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He has gone ballistic regarding NHC and Nicole


Quoting gordydunnot:
Him and a few others need to give Joe B's website a rest.
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Weather forecast for my classroom:

Stormy with sporatic outbursts of tornados. Occasional sun peeking through with intermittant cloudiness.
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Him and a few others need to give Joe B's website a rest.
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Good point Ike!

I mentioned once that sure the pattern change will come right around xmas....StormW had a number of issues...I read some emails posted here from him to our lady bloggers...he was somewhat out of line.....


Quoting IKE:


Which in turn led to all of the problems he had on here.

The pattern change that did happen is fall along the northern gulf coast.
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Oh I forgot surfmom keep on rocking in America.
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Good morning, Surfmom.
You have fun out there, but be careful! Wish I had that to look forward to today. I get to begin working with a young lady who, if she doesn't get her way, kicks, hits, throws things, spits and bites. Oh joy. Another one...
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1075. IKE
Quoting portcharlotte:
Agreed.....all the predictions of multiple hits and a major and quite frankly all we have had is Mexico and Re-curves...We have been truly lucky here in the Gulf although October is typically the most dangerous month for SW Florida.

Does anyone remember the relentless predictions of pattern change by stormw and all the other fearless predictions?



Which in turn led to all of the problems he had on here.

The pattern change that did happen is fall along the northern gulf coast.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting KoritheMan:


I like when it's around 75F during the daytime -- not too hot, not too cold.

Anything below 65F, and I start freezing.


Sounds like my temperature range. And I'm dipping into the dusty recesses again. Among the cobwebs I find:

The gardener's cat's named Mignonette.
She hates the cold, she hates the wet.
She sits among the hothouse flowers for hours and hours and hours and hours


I can't remember any more, it was 50-something years ago when it went into my memory.

Hilaire Beloc was the poet, couldn't find anything about the poem online and no more time to search. Hope it conjures a smile to start your day.
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1073. surfmom
MORNING - BEEN UP SINCE 4:30...OOOPS -need to use my inside voice...
Getting ready to meet Nicole - her waves are finally reaching the SWFL/SRQ shore - puny in the AM building through the day - been a drought of waves on the gomex so we're all looking to quench the thirst....
Excellent Surfcast by WU blogger:
surfswells100's Blog:
"As for the surf conditions,it looks like we will get some really fun south swell,when the wind goes offshore late afternoon and early evening!This will be the rare type that comes up from Cuba with a hard south tilt to it.It will likely be real fun,long rights with some little shacks mixed in,at about waist-shoulder high.Also,as Nicole moves to our north and gets absorbed,the system will likely kick back a large northeast swell for late weekend/next week,though probably blown to pieces by strong northeast winds,you could find a fun corner someplace"
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I know and that's what makes it worthwhile....
I guess the amazing part is how so many make such bold predictions and forget that nature will do it's own thing...


Quoting KoritheMan:


If weather were an exact science, it wouldn't be worth following.
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I can only say this about that. I just took a walk, I have never in my life seen anything before late October like this cool front. It is for a lack of a better vocabulary, to be able describe how pleasant it is here in ne Dade county.There is one thing for certain" and I hardly ever use that word,there is climate change for good or bad I'll leave it to the experts.Everyone have a nice day sincerely.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Agreed.....all the predictions of multiple hits and a major and quite frankly all we have had is Mexico and Re-curves...We have been truly lucky here in the Gulf although October is typically the most dangerous month for SW Florida.

Does anyone remember the relentless predictions of pattern change by stormw and all the other fearless predictions?



If weather were an exact science, it wouldn't be worth following.
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Agreed.....all the predictions of multiple hits and a major and quite frankly all we have had is Mexico and Re-curves...We have been truly lucky here in the Gulf although October is typically the most dangerous month for SW Florida.

Does anyone remember the relentless predictions of pattern change by stormw and all the other fearless predictions?

Quoting aislinnpaps:


That works for me. We've been very blessed over on this side of the Gulf.
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Oh, and the first thing Charleston's mayor, Joe Riley (who saw the city through Hugo) tells people when a storm threatens is that the government won't be able to help you for several days, you have to take responsibility for yourself and be prepared.

If people learned nothing else from Katrina, I hope they learned this.
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1067. Keys99
FXUS62 KKEY 301000
AFDKEY

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KEY WEST FL
600 AM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

NICOLE LEFT HER MARK ON THE MIDDLE AND UPPER
FLORIDA KEYS. KBYX DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATES STORM TOTALS OF 6-9 INCHES
ACROSS THE UPPER KEYS WITH LOCALIZED AMOUNTS NEAR NORTH KEY LARGO IN
EXCESS OF 12 INCHES. FRESHWATER FLOODING RESULTED NEAR
ISLAMORADA...WHERE 3 TO 4 FEET OF WATER ENTERED HOMES ON THE BAY
SIDE OF LOWER MATECUMBE KEY DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS. ACROSS THE
MIDDLE KEYS...STORM TOTALS RANGED FROM TWO INCHES NEAR THE SEVEN MILE
BRIDGE TO OVER SIX INCHES AT DUCK KEY.
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Quoting dukeuncluver:


Oh, and if anyone is new to NC and this is your first storm--wear boots when walking outside! Do not pick up any crooked sticks. Also, if you have water in you yard use a flash light to look under your sinks where the pipes come into the house.


Excellent advice, especially if you're unable to distinguish between venomous and nonvenomous snakes--like me!

We went through Fran too, but in Durham--scary and uncomfortable but only for about a week. What I want to pass on to those inexperienced in disasters is that if you don't have sufficient water, food and so on for about a week, you're going to leave yourself open for trouble. I worked as a news stringer when Fran hit, reporting on crime, and I had all three of my police scanners going at once to get the news. Reports, which I confirmed with contacts at Durham PD, were of fights and mini-riots breaking out, for example, at Home Depot when two days after Fran a shipment of 20 generators arrived. There were countless reports of shoppers having their purchases stolen as they left grocery and hardware stores--and as they left a parking lot where a Good Samaritan (bless his heart!) had set up with a big truck full of free ice. You didn't hear such reports by the media because they didn't want to encourage copycat crimes.

Hearing on the police scanner that a shipment of ice had just arrived at our nearby Kroger, my friend and I hurried over there. I would have been assaulted had it not been for the Kroger manager when I happened to be lucky enough to get the last bag of ice, again only two days after the storm. (And the woman next in line, with anger all over, her was very nicely dressed, made-up and coiffed, not like the rest of us in shorts and T-shirts--you would never have guessed that she was ready to pop me one and steal my ice!)

The reason cities get power first is not just because more people can be connecteds at one time but also because power needs to go on FAST in high-crime areas--light to discourage thieves and power for alarms. I could hear on the scanner high-crime areas being powered up (because hundreds of burglar alarms were auto-dialing the police) long before we had power. By the way, when you DO see power crews out there, please take them something--water, candy, cake, sandwiches, whatever you can spare. They work such long hours and, in my experience, get a big kick out of turning the power back for people who are pretty depressed by that time and they treasure every bit of appreciation shown to them.

Moral of this story: As Patrap (I think it was) said, be as well prepared as you can be for ANY disaster. Do not go outside your immediate neighborhood to gawk at damage. Law enforcement is totally overwhelmed and the National Guard almost always takes about three days to arrive and get things under control. Also, it takes a few days for homeowners to get over their damage and loss and they stay angry and upset for a while; they don't want you gawking at the tree that took out most of their home.

Oh, and the first thing Charleston's mayor, Joe Riley (who saw the city through Hugo) tells people when a storm threatens is that the government won't be able to help you for several days, you have to take responsibility for yourself and be prepared.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


And mine:
Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low in the upper 60s
Monday: Party cloudy, high in the lower 90s
Monday night: Partly cloudy, low in the upper 60s
Tuesday: Partly cloudy, high in the low 90s
IOW: right where we should be. Aaah...

BTW, have you guys seen the radar estimated storm total accumulation out of Wilmington? The max rainfall as of this moment is 45 inches. I'll just say: wow...


That will mean some major flooding. : (
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Quoting IKE:
My forecast.....

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 79.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 76.


And mine:
Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low in the upper 60s
Monday: Party cloudy, high in the lower 90s
Monday night: Partly cloudy, low in the upper 60s
Tuesday: Partly cloudy, high in the low 90s
IOW: right where we should be. Aaah...

BTW, have you guys seen the radar estimated storm total accumulation out of Wilmington? The max rainfall as of this moment is 45 inches. I'll just say: wow...
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1063. IKE
Airport in Miami,Fl. for yesterday....Precipitation:
Precipitation 5.07 in



Airport in Tampa,Fl. for yesterday....Precipitation:
Precipitation 0.00 in



Airport in Orlando,Fl. for yesterday....Precipitation:
Precipitation 0.00 in



Airport in JAX,Fl. for yesterday....Precipitation:
Precipitation 0.49 in
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Looking at the models there is really no threats for the next 10 plus days to the US. This trough has pretty much cleared out everything even the Antilles wave moves north and recurves. Others have said October will be busy but right now it does not per long range IMO


That works for me. We've been very blessed over on this side of the Gulf.
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Quoting weatherwart:


So... spring and fall? lol

I love the cold. I'm so glad to see October and the first cold front. That and Stone Crab season and I'm a happy camper!


I like when it's around 75F during the daytime -- not too hot, not too cold.

Anything below 65F, and I start freezing.
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Looking at the models there is really no threats for the next 10 plus days to the US. This trough has pretty much cleared out everything even the Antilles wave moves north and recurves. Others have said October will be busy but right now it does not per long range IMO
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Good morning, everyone.

I was just reading back, some of those posts should be re-posted when we have people wishing for a hurricane. Or take up a collection and send them into the aftermath to live through it themselves.

I hope for the best for those along the east coast with the flooding and tornados, and those who could be hit by the next event.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I won't. I hate the cold. :(

I don't like summer either, but...


So... spring and fall? lol

I love the cold. I'm so glad to see October and the first cold front. That and Stone Crab season and I'm a happy camper!
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Quoting vis0:
Has there ever been storm with its TS status recalled. State this as in my book, 2 TS in 2010 where very suspect as to being tropical storms and wonder if their is a time limit for demoting their status.

State this as since the 1970s i've enjoyed keeping up with the Tropical Season predictions and stats. Yet notice certain years the requirements for TS status though not changed on paper is changed to fit the OFFICIAL predictions. Example, 2 years in the 1990s, 8 or less TS OFFICIALLY predicted, so when a few TDs seemed to become TS they where NOT called TS as the TS count would then go over 8 or higher. i know of 2 TD would've been given TS status 'cause an uncle (military guy very trustable & scientifically worthy) that worked on ships in the Atlantic measured sustained winds above 50, NOT 39 but 50 with TS characteristics, yet both times, OFFICIAL records stated they weren't TS and wouldn't accept ship reports though his reports have been accepted before & after. This year i say 2, others say as much as 4 so called TS seemed not to reach true TS status. I think since the OFFICIAL predictions of 22-26 (even 28) TS** is influencing that certain border line TD be categorized as TS.


I suppose this can be looked at in one of two ways:

#1 (aka "Government Conspiracy Theory"): The NOAA, not wanting to be left with egg on their faces, intentionally classifies a few tropical depressions as tropical storms to artificially inflate the storm count so it better matches their preseason predictions.

#2 (aka "What Is Most Likely Happening"): Preseason predictions of an active season were made, and the season is actually turning out to be as active as what was predicted.

IOW, when a forecast predicts rain for a given area at a given time, it's not a conspiracy when that rain appears. It's just weather, period.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey Kori....we are doing Coast to Coast AM here on the weather Blog.....how are you??


I'm fine, thanks! Sorry about the delayed response. Was busy.

I trust you are fine as well?
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Good morning my weather geek friends,

With coffee in hand and getting ready to head out the door for work, I had to come take a peek in here.

Well, here in Broward County we are expecting a high temp of 90 this afternoon and only 20% chance of rain, which is what we have all the time. So none of that cool air is coming down this far; it never does this time of year.


I see we have another invest....another low pressure to watch and of course the models will all show it crashing into someplace in the next 7 - 10 days!


Will check in later from work.

Enjoy your Thursday.

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Quoting weatherwart:
My forecast.....

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49. Monday: Sunny, with a high near 79.
Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47. Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 76.


Niiice, Ike. I'll be in the low 60s Sunday and Monday. I'll take it.


I won't. I hate the cold. :(

I don't like summer either, but...
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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.