Southeast U.S. drought: another Tropical Storm Alberto needed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:26 AM GMT on April 19, 2012

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Today is my last day in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where 700 of the world's hurricane experts are gathered to attend the 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology of the American Meteorological Society. It's been a great week of learning and catching up with old friends, and I present below a few final summaries of talks I attended.

Impact of Tropical Cyclones on drought alleviation in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi discussed how landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes can alleviate drought. The biggest winner tends to be the Southeast U.S. states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, where about 20% - 50% of all droughts between 1960 - 2009 were busted by a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane. It is uncommon for Texas to see a drought busted; less than 10% of all Texas droughts have been ended by a hurricane or tropical storm. This occurs because the Southeast U.S. can receive heavy rains from hurricanes moving up the East Coast, or moving through the Gulf of Mexico, while relatively few storms track over Texas. Over the course of a year, hurricanes and tropical storms contribute 15 - 20% of rain along the Gulf Coast, and 3 - 16% along the East Coast. The length of a drought does not seem to affect whether a drought can be ended by a hurricane or not. Hurricanes have been able to end both short (< 3 month) and long (> 12 month droughts) equally well.


Figure 1. Example of a drought-busting tropical storm. Moderate drought (Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI, ≤ –2.0) was present in 52 percent of the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina climate divisions in May 2006. The percentage decreased to 29 percent after Tropical Storm Alberto passed through on June 11 - 15, 2006. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.


Figure 2. Rainfall in inches from the passage of Tropical Storm Alberto in 2006. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

According to the U.S. drought monitor, over 90% of the area of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are currently in moderate to exceptional drought. There is 1 - 2 inches of rain coming to much of the region over the next few days, but that will not be enough to bust the drought. Based on Dr. Fitzpatrick's research, there is a 20% - 50% chance that the drought will be broken by a tropical storm or hurricane. The first storm on the list in 2012 is Alberto again; let's hope we get another Alberto this year that imitates the 2006 version of Alberto.

Patterns of rapid intensification
Peter Yaukey of the University of New Orleans studied patterns of hurricane rapid intensification in the Atlantic from 1950 - 2009. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean saw the most rapid intensification events, and the Northeast Atlantic the fewest. Interestingly, he found that rapid intensification events did not peak in September, but tended to be more common in June and July. Hurricane are less likely to intensify in the late afternoon and early evening (near 00 UTC), and more likely to intensify just after midnight, at 06 UTC.

Jeff Masters

TS Alberto Surfer (Loyce)
This surfer was taking advantage of the storm with the high waves in the height of Tropical Storm Alberto.
TS Alberto Surfer
Alberto feederband (earthlydragonfly)
At about 2 am a feederband passed through Winter Garden. My weatherstation recorded a 40mph wind gust and a pretty server drop and barometric pressure. I got this shot last night as well. Really not much lightning in these storms
Alberto feederband

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Any news on the Cayman radar?

No, i'm not sure whats the latest with the Cayman radar
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Trouble in Mississippi................................FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSON, MS
920 AM CDT THU APR 19 2012

...THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN
MISSISSIPPI...

BIG BLACK RIVER AT WEST AFFECTING ATTALA AND HOLMES COUNTIES
BIG BLACK RIVER NEAR BENTONIA AFFECTING MADISON AND YAZOO COUNTIES

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE OR WALK THROUGH AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS ROADWAYS! THE
WATER MAY BE DEEPER THAN IT APPEARS. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION IF
VENTURING NEAR RIVERBANKS. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY SHOULD
RISING WATER THREATEN YOUR SAFETY. REMEMBER...TURN AROUND, DON`T
DROWN!

THE FORECASTS ARE BASED ON RAINFALL THAT HAS OCCURRED AND THAT WHICH
IS FORECAST TO OCCUR OVER THE NEXT 12 HOURS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT (USE LOWER CASE LETTERS)
HTTP://AHPS.SRH.NOAA.GOV/AHPS2/INDEX.PHP?WFO=JAN

THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED UPDATE IS EXPECTED TONIGHT BETWEEN 8 AND
10 PM.

&&

MSC089-163-202020-
/O.EXT.KJAN.FL.W.0037.000000T0000Z-120421T1200Z/
/BTAM6.1.ER.120418T0900Z.120419T0400Z.120420T2100 Z.NO/
920 AM CDT THU APR 19 2012


THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR
THE BIG BLACK RIVER NEAR BENTONIA
* UNTIL SATURDAY MORNING.
* AT 8:00 AM THURSDAY THE STAGE WAS 22.7 FEET AND SLOWLY FALLING.
* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 22 FEET.
* FORECAST...THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE TO SLOWLY FALL TO BELOW FLOOD STAGE
BY TOMORROW AFTERNOON.

&&

FLOOD OBSERVED FORECAST 6AM CREST
LOCATION STG STG DAY TIME FRI SAT SUN CREST TIME DATE

LOWER BIG BLACK RIVER
BENTONIA 22 22.7 THU 8 AM 22.2 21.7 21.1 FALLING

$$

DL
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Quoting nigel20:

yeah...thats very good as we'll have a better view of Twaves, Tstorm and Hurricanes approaching the Carbbean. The Jamaican radar is being updated, hope to have it back soon..while the Trinidadian radar is temporarily out of service, i'm not sure why though


Any news on the Cayman radar?
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11211
......................more showers moving in now, this is wonderful, we need this rain so badly
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Good to see that radar is now publically available, link saved for hurricane season.

yeah...thats very good as we'll have a better view of Twaves, Tstorm and Hurricanes approaching the Carbbean. The Jamaican radar is being updated, hope to have it back soon..while the Trinidadian radar is temporarily out of service, i'm not sure why though
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As an aside, this awesome bit of news:

Weather Underground Launches New Climate Change Center in Honor of Earth Day. New Resource Center Provides Information on the Effects of Our Warming Climate and What We Can Do to Change It

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Apr 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Weather Underground, the world's first online weather service, announced today that it has added a new Climate Change Center to its popular site, wunderground.com. The primary goal of the new center is to present users with hard facts about how climate is changing in their local neighborhoods and empower people to form their own opinions on the climate change debate. The center is now live at wunderground.com/climate.

To understand how climate change is affecting local neighborhoods, users can access the Local Climate Change tool to review data from local weather stations reporting conditions from as far back as the early 1700s. In addition, this feature has the ability to see how climate could change in the future, as far forward as year 2100.

"Earth's climate has changed dramatically in recent years, and there is strong agreement among climate scientists that the current climate changes are mostly due to human activities. It is important for people to understand the changes happening to our atmosphere and what we can do about them," said Dr. Jeff Masters, co-Founder and Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground. "The Climate Change Center provides some unique resources to do just that."

The 'Skeptical Science' section debunks common myths about climate change. The new center also features blogs and videos for users looking to learn even more about the science behind climate change and understand how to reduce personal impact. With educational resources covering topics such as the greenhouse effect, Arctic sea ice decline, and extreme weather, the Climate Change Center will appeal to scientists, students, and anyone interested in the science behind climate change.

"Our new Climate Change Center is a one-stop shop for information about our warming climate," according to Weather Underground Climatologist Angela Fritz. "We want people to understand that climate change is not intangible, especially when looking at how your own neighborhood is being affected. Our ultimate goal is for people to use our content and resources to understand that climate change is happening and we can do something about it."
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Quoting nigel20:
Barbados radar image


Good to see that radar is now publically available, link saved for hurricane season.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11211
I am just starting to get a handle on the global and large scale pattern issues which impact tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin including the cause and effect issues with the Enso cycles. When I first started on the blog, I was basically looking through a "one dimensional view" (i.e. boy those waters are warm, or, man that sheer is really high) but the big picture is much more complex and I think it is (my own words) a "four" dimensional environment. You have ocean and all that goes with that (temps, topography, currents, etc.) on the bottom; horizontal issues (conditions "across" the storm environment in the different layers of the atmosphere from the surface to the stratospheric outflow regions) which include steering currents, wind sheer, dust, dry air, etc; on top issues in the highest levels over the storms (anticyclones, ventilation, cloud top temps); and, what I call the "space" dimension; Heating from the Sun on a global level in accordance with the seasons and movement of the ITCZ and and enso/wind generating issues related to solar heating (the strength of the Westerlies for example in the case of the Enso cycles) and the rotation of the Earth and the corresponding Coreolis effect.

A lot to consider and why tropical meteorology is such an interesting challenge................. :)
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9213
Miami NWS Discussion Update

.UPDATE...
HIGH PRESSURE WAS STILL LOCATED OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC WATERS
EXTENDING OVER THE CWA THIS MORNING...AS A WEAK COLD FRONT WAS
LOCATED FROM NORTHEAST FLORIDA SOUTHWEST INTO JUST WEST OF TAMPA
AREA. THE SURFACE HIGH WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY TODAY...AS
THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY MOVES INTO CENTRAL FLORIDA. THIS WILL KEEP
THE AREA IN A SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST DIRECTION...AND ALLOW FOR
MOISTURE TO CONTINUE TO INCREASE OVER THE CWA FROM THE SOUTH. AT
THE SAME TIME...BOTH THE EAST AND WEST COAST SEA BREEZES WILL ALSO
DEVELOP AND PUSH INLAND THROUGH THE DAY HOURS. THESE WEATHER
PATTERNS WILL HELP TO GENERATE SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
OVER THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING OVER THE CWA...WITH
THE HIGHEST COVERAGE OVER THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND METRO PALM BEACH
COUNTY.

A FEW OF THE STORMS COULD EVEN BECOME STRONG LATE THIS AFTERNOON
INTO EARLY THIS EVENING OVER THE LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND METRO PALM
BEACH COUNTY...DUE TO THE COLD AIR ALOFT AROUND -10C TO -11C OVER
THIS AREA AND THE SEA BREEZES AND LAKE BREEZE COLLIDING. SO WILL
UPDATE THE HWO SO SHOWS THIS POSSIBILITY.
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Barbados radar image
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You'll want to watch this one till the end as the Man tells it like it is.

Uploaded by askwestley on Oct 3, 2006
Video taken by Guerra Family after Hurricane Katrina. Chalmette, LA.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
for that guy up in georgia..................HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
826 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

GAZ001>009-011>016-019>025-027-030>039-041>062-06 6>076-078>086-
089>098-102>113-201230-
BALDWIN-BANKS-BARROW-BARTOW-BIBB-BLECKLEY-BUTTS-C ARROLL-CATOOSA-
CHATTAHOOCHEE-CHATTOOGA-CHEROKEE-CLARKE-CLAYTON-C OBB-COWETA-
CRAWFORD-CRISP-DADE-DAWSON-DEKALB-DODGE-DOOLY-DOU GLAS-EMANUEL-
FANNIN-FAYETTE-FLOYD-FORSYTH-GILMER-GLASCOCK-GORD ON-GREENE-
GWINNETT-HALL-HANCOCK-HARALSON-HARRIS-HEARD-HENRY -HOUSTON-JACKSON-
JASPER-JEFFERSON-JOHNSON-JONES-LAMAR-LAURENS-LUMP KIN-MACON-
MADISON-MARION-MERIWETHER-MONROE-MONTGOMERY-MORGA N-MURRAY-
MUSCOGEE-NEWTON-NORTH FULTON-OCONEE-OGLETHORPE-PAULDING-PEACH-
PICKENS-PIKE-POLK-PULASKI-PUTNAM-ROCKDALE-SCHLEY- SOUTH FULTON-
SPALDING-STEWART-SUMTER-TALBOT-TALIAFERRO-TAYLOR- TELFAIR-TOOMBS-
TOWNS-TREUTLEN-TROUP-TWIGGS-UNION-UPSON-WALKER-WA LTON-WARREN-
WASHINGTON-WEBSTER-WHEELER-WHITE-WHITFIELD-WILCOX -WILKES-
WILKINSON-
826 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT...
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE ACROSS PORTIONS OF EASTERN AND
CENTRAL GEORGIA.

.SYNOPSIS...
A SURFACE LOW WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE EAST OFF THE CAROLINA COAST
THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON...ALLOWING WEAK HIGH PRESSURE TO BUILD IN
FROM THE WEST. THIS SETUP WILL ALLOW THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IN
PORTIONS OF EASTERN AND CENTRAL GEORGIA.

.PRIMARY HAZARDS...
THE PRIMARY HAZARDS WILL BE LIGHTNING...GUSTY WINDS TO 30
MPH...AND SMALL HAIL.

.DISCUSSION...
WITH MOISTURE REMAINING ACROSS SOUTHEAST GEORGIA...LOW PRESSURE
EXITING OFF THE CAROLINA COAST WILL TRIGGER THUNDERSTORM
DEVELOPMENT THIS AFTERNOON. ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THE CONVECTION IS
EXPECTED CLOSER TO THE GEORGIA COAST AND OVER THE
CAROLINAS...THE ENVIRONMENT OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN AND CENTRAL
GEORGIA COULD SUPPORT ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. CAPE VALUES IN THE
700-900 J/KG RANGE...AND LIFTED INDEX VALUES BELOW -2 WILL SUPPORT
ISOLATED CONVECTION. IN GENERAL...ACTIVITY SHOULD BE SOUTH AND
EAST OF A LINE FROM HAWKINSVILLE TO WARRENTON. AT THIS TIME...ANY
DEVELOPING THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD REMAIN BELOW SEVERE LIMITS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY...
THERE IS A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS PORTIONS NORTH GEORGIA
ON FRIDAY. A MORE ORGANIZED SYSTEM WILL TAKE SHAPE OVER THE
WEEKEND AS LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST.
BASED ON THIS POSITION...ALTHOUGH THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE
OVER THE AREA...THE STRENGTH OF THE STORMS SHOULD BE LIMITED IF
CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE. NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS ANTICIPATED MONDAY
THROUGH WEDNESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...
SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Hi, MontanaZephyr -

Very interesting post! I assume the wave action is in response to the storm, though I can't help but think the shape of the Gulf makes its waters behave at least somewhat differently than the Atlantic waters do, for instance, in a hurricane (due to the bowl shape of the Gulf, if nothing else).
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NINO/NINA REGIONS JAN 1 2012 APRIL 19 2012

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GULF SST MAR 1/APRIL 19

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Quoting nigel20:

This pattern is more typical during a la nina, but la nina is virtually gone.....is their an explanation for this or the effects of la nina are still being felt?


I think it has a lot to due with the warming over the east Pacific that combined with some lingering La-Nina but I think the main reason for the rainy last month or 2 in the Caribbean can be tied to these warming waters of the east Pacific which in turn is causing this. Lots of upward motion.



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SST MARCH 1

SST APRIL 19
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Strong storm quickly building near Gainesville

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April 18, 2011

April 18, 2012
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Quoting WxGeekVA:


It takes time for the atmosphere to adjust itself from one pattern to another. It may be a few more months before the pattern shifts to a non-Niña mode.

Exactly.

Sometimes, with ENSO changes, the atmosphere will lead, and sometimes the ocean will lead. This time, it seems the ocean is leading, so the atmospheric effects (jet stream changes, mainly) will be a few months out. The only exception to the atmospheric changes lagging is the MJO, but that is a direct correlation with El Nino ocean temps.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


It takes time for the atmosphere to adjust itself from one pattern to another. It may be a few more months before the pattern shifts to a non-Niña mode.

Thanks WxGeekVA!
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SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
1006 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

FLZ039-042-048-060-062-GMZ850-853-856-870-873-876 -191600-
LEVY-CITRUS-HERNANDO-SARASOTA-CHARLOTTE-
TARPON SPRINGS TO SUWANNEE RIVER OUT 20 NM-
ENGLEWOOD TO TARPON SPRINGS OUT 20 NM-
BONITA BEACH TO ENGLEWOOD OUT 20 NM-
TARPON SPRINGS TO SUWANNEE RIVER OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
ENGLEWOOD TO TARPON SPRINGS OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
BONITA BEACH TO ENGLEWOOD OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
1006 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

.NOW...
THROUGH NOON...SCATTERED SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE NORTHEAST
ACROSS THE GULF WATERS AND INTO WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA. THE STRONGEST STORMS ARE 10 NM WEST OF THE CITRUS AND
HERNANDO COUNTY COAST. EXPECT PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN AND GUSTY
WINDS NEAR THESE SHOWERS.

$$

TF
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Quoting nigel20:

This pattern is more typical during a la nina, but la nina is virtually gone.....is their an explanation for this or the effects of la nina are still being felt?


It takes time for the atmosphere to adjust itself from one pattern to another. It may be a few more months before the pattern shifts to a non-Niña mode.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3474
Quoting OrchidGrower:
Regarding rapid intensification, I remember watching Opal in the Southern GOM in 1995, from my home in Mobile. Opal was expected to move north and hit New Orleans as Cat 2 or low-end Cat 3. I stayed up until midnight watching that storm, then went to bed.

'Woke up next morning with rain pouring down, wind rattling the palms, and a high-end Cat 4 barreling towards us. Opal reached Cat 5 an hour later, around 10 a.m. and south of Mississippi, I think. Of course she went on to hit the Panhandle as a weaker storm, but it was a (very) chilling reminder of how quickly a GOM hurricane can change in the middle of the night!


I lived in Venice Fl at the time of Opal. I went to the beach one morning when it was still far far away, still, I believe, only a tropical storm, and the weathermens' forecasts were still renderable as "Mehn~ some rain and wind..." But at the beach I saw waves which looked unreal: very far apart relative to usual, and what was singular was that they were unbroken for hundreds and hundreds of yards.. that is, each wave was a single unit that rolled as one nearly as far as the eye could see, even generally all cresting and crashing at once, as though it were made up for a film or something. Not very high ... maybe 2 to 3 feet. My aunt, now long dead and from the ancient history days when people foretold the weather by 'signs', said that the waves were a sign of a big storm.

Thinking of it afterward, I supposed that there must have been a very broad and substantial lowering of air pressure, thus raising the water and pulling it toward the center. This deepish but very wide low pressure then itself pulled toward the center....something like if a wide shallow bowl of water suddenly got an inch of water applied to the whole of it, it would all come to rush to the center. That's my (decidedly non-scientific) impression of it.

I wonder do they take wave characteristics into consideration today...? I suppose it would be like taking increases in reports of missing animals into account in the prediction of earthquakes.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
This is the 16 day GFS precip map and look at the Gulf and down into the Caribbean. This is supposed to be the driest time of the year here and look. Looks like this has a big part in it.



This pattern is more typical during a la nina, but la nina is virtually gone.....is their an explanation for this or the effects of la nina are still being felt?
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Quoting kwgirl:
Good morning all. Maybe the RI is a result of temperature differences. The hurricane is over warm water and the night air is cooling. Seems to me to be some correlation.


That would make a lot of sense, I know that tropical convection does go through DMIN and DMAX cycles, and it would make sense that that process would extend to hurricanes as well.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3474
April 19 SST Anomaly

april 18, 2011
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Very interesting post...i've also notice that most of the rapid intensification took place in the Caribbean and GOM...thanks Dr. Masters
Good morning fellow bloggers
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After Sunday it appears Orlando will dip into the 70's for one last time:)
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Quoting DookiePBC:
All I know is that I am leaving for Vega$ on Sunday afternoon out of Palm Beach International. Hopefully any stormy weather has cleared out by then!!! :-)


Depends...If it late Sunday you should have no problem.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Drought is creeping back into N GA. The next system shouldnt be so bad up here, so the campout should not be as wet.
We have not had a significant (5in+) rain in GA for a long time.
We used to get rain that would keep it cloudy for the better part of a week, but that has not happened for a few years.


I feel North Florida has got drier too the last few years.
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Good morning all. Maybe the RI is a result of temperature differences. The hurricane is over warm water and the night air is cooling. Seems to me to be some correlation.
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41. OrchidGrower 10:07 AM EDT on April 19, 2012

That is every forecaster's nightmare.......Same thing happened with Andrew in 92 when it went through RI just before landfall aided by the Gulf Stream and a relaxation of sheer between the Bahamas and Florida.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9213
Hmmm...
I wonder why NHC is still tracking 91L. 000
WHXX01 KWBC 191221
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1221 UTC THU APR 19 2012

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL912012) 20120419 1200 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
120419 1200 120420 0000 120420 1200 120421 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 30.3N 56.4W 29.9N 54.7W 30.0N 52.5W 30.9N 49.6W
BAMD 30.3N 56.4W 30.7N 48.8W 33.8N 46.0W 36.6N 45.1W
BAMM 30.3N 56.4W 30.3N 51.3W 32.7N 48.4W 35.0N 46.9W
LBAR 30.3N 56.4W 30.4N 53.9W 31.1N 51.3W 32.1N 49.0W
SHIP 30KTS 31KTS 33KTS 33KTS
DSHP 30KTS 31KTS 33KTS 33KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
120421 1200 120422 1200 120423 1200 120424 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 32.0N 48.0W 34.5N 46.7W 36.7N 47.1W 39.3N 48.4W
BAMD 38.8N 44.4W 40.4N 45.2W 41.3N 47.9W 42.1N 49.3W
BAMM 36.8N 45.8W 38.3N 46.4W 39.2N 48.8W 40.8N 50.2W
LBAR 33.1N 47.0W 35.5N 44.1W 38.2N 42.0W 40.6N 41.0W
SHIP 34KTS 36KTS 38KTS 31KTS
DSHP 34KTS 36KTS 38KTS 31KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 30.3N LONCUR = 56.4W DIRCUR = 120DEG SPDCUR = 6KT
LATM12 = 31.0N LONM12 = 57.4W DIRM12 = 116DEG SPDM12 = 7KT
LATM24 = 31.9N LONM24 = 59.0W
WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 35KT
CENPRS = 1005MB OUTPRS = 1014MB OUTRAD = 350NM SDEPTH = S
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN
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Regarding rapid intensification, I remember watching Opal in the Southern GOM in 1995, from my home in Mobile. Opal was expected to move north and hit New Orleans as Cat 2 or low-end Cat 3. I stayed up until midnight watching that storm, then went to bed.

'Woke up next morning with rain pouring down, wind rattling the palms, and a high-end Cat 4 barreling towards us. Opal reached Cat 5 an hour later, around 10 a.m. and south of Mississippi, I think. Of course she went on to hit the Panhandle as a weaker storm, but it was a (very) chilling reminder of how quickly a GOM hurricane can change in the middle of the night!
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All I know is that I am leaving for Vega$ on Sunday afternoon out of Palm Beach International. Hopefully any stormy weather has cleared out by then!!! :-)
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31. nrtiwlnvragn 9:11 AM EDT on April 19, 2012

You are exactly correct which is why I mentioned "other sensors" in addition to on-site doppler. That "cold cloud" top issue is a huge factor in current observation of intensity trends which has traditionally been done by satellite as your cited articles indicate. Increased lightening in the eye-wall is another big one and I think one of the University of Florida researchers has been doing lots of research on that one as well (increased lightening activity will usually precede a rapid intensification event).

Really interesting stuff but predicting it with any certainty 24 hours in advance is a real long shot in my opinion, but, you never know how good the intensity models will perform on this issue as they are being fed a combination of the latest improved satellite and other data along with real time on-site sensors on aircraft.

Thanks so much for those links................ :)
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Winter is not Coming!

It doesn't say anywhere that winter is coming
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Good morning folks, local radio is now starting to warn the Tampa bay area about a possible real stormy saturday night, heavy rain, real stong wind, large hail and maybe tornado's..all still possible if the current thinking about the track of this low, things can change since its not formed in the gulf yet they said...guess we really need to stay informed this weekend.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134
Drought is creeping back into N GA. The next system shouldnt be so bad up here, so the campout should not be as wet.
We have not had a significant (5in+) rain in GA for a long time.
We used to get rain that would keep it cloudy for the better part of a week, but that has not happened for a few years.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


First they called it the year without a winter. Then springtime began to feel more like summer for most of North America. March 2012 saw thousands of daily temperature records fall in the contiguous United States (often called the “lower 48”), and the entire month was the warmest March in a temperature record that dates back to 1895.
The map above shows global temperature anomalies for March 2012, based on an ongoing analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It shows changes from the norm for each region, not absolute temperatures. That is, the map depicts how much temperatures rose above or below the average March temperatures for that area compared to the base period of 1951-1980.
For the month, the eastern two-thirds of the United States, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, saw temperatures in the GISS map approaching as much as 10 degrees Celisius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal (deepest reds on the map). Temperatures were similarly extreme in the Arctic Ocean around Svalbard, the Barents Sea, and the Kara Sea. Far eastern Siberia, Alaska, and northwestern North America were significantly colder, while much of Europe and western Russia were warmer than normal (following a much colder February).
According to an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average March temperature was 10.6 degrees C (51.1 degrees F) for the 48 contiguous states, which was 4.8 degrees C (8.6 degrees F) above the 20th century average for March. “Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began,” NOAA climatologists wrote, “only one month (January 2006) has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.”
East of the Rocky Mountains, 25 states had their warmest March on record; 15 more states were in their top ten warmest. More than 15,000 temperature records were broken—evenly split between daytime highs and nighttime highs—and there were 21 instances where nighttime low temperatures were warmer than the former daytime records.


Winter is not Coming!
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On April 14, 2012, a dust storm stretched from northern Mexico into New Mexico, grazing the northwestern tip of Texas. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image the same day.
Arising from source points in the southwest (image lower left), the dust blew toward the northeast. Thick dust obscured El Paso, Texas, from the satellite sensor’s view. Over White Sands National Monument, the storm picked up additional sediments, discernible in the plume by their relatively light color.
On the evening of April 14, a Pacific-type cold front moved into the same region, and nighttime thunderstorms followed the dust, the National Weather Service reported. The line of thunderstorms subsequently traveled eastward through the early morning of April 15.
This dust storm happened to fall on the seventy-seventh anniversary of the Black Sunday dust storm of April 14, 1935. Striking the North American High Plains, east of the region affected by this storm, the Black Sunday dust storm was especially severe in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. That storm apparently spurred a Woody Guthrie song and a new nickname for the region: the Dust Bowl.
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First they called it the year without a winter. Then springtime began to feel more like summer for most of North America. March 2012 saw thousands of daily temperature records fall in the contiguous United States (often called the “lower 48”), and the entire month was the warmest March in a temperature record that dates back to 1895.
The map above shows global temperature anomalies for March 2012, based on an ongoing analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It shows changes from the norm for each region, not absolute temperatures. That is, the map depicts how much temperatures rose above or below the average March temperatures for that area compared to the base period of 1951-1980.
For the month, the eastern two-thirds of the United States, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, saw temperatures in the GISS map approaching as much as 10 degrees Celisius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal (deepest reds on the map). Temperatures were similarly extreme in the Arctic Ocean around Svalbard, the Barents Sea, and the Kara Sea. Far eastern Siberia, Alaska, and northwestern North America were significantly colder, while much of Europe and western Russia were warmer than normal (following a much colder February).
According to an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average March temperature was 10.6 degrees C (51.1 degrees F) for the 48 contiguous states, which was 4.8 degrees C (8.6 degrees F) above the 20th century average for March. “Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began,” NOAA climatologists wrote, “only one month (January 2006) has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.”
East of the Rocky Mountains, 25 states had their warmest March on record; 15 more states were in their top ten warmest. More than 15,000 temperature records were broken—evenly split between daytime highs and nighttime highs—and there were 21 instances where nighttime low temperatures were warmer than the former daytime records.
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Thanks Dr. Masters,
I am on the edge of that Low that is to develop.
We could use the rain here.I'm curious if the 2006 Alberto year drought buster brought us a cooler summer as last year was sooo hot.I can't remember how many high temp. records we set.
I'm sure there are some very capable people there at the conference but don't drink all the "Koolaide" being dished out.LOL!! We leave it in your trusted hands.
Thanks again Dr. Masters
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Thanks Dr. M. The issue of rapid intensification, and being able to predict when it may occur in advance, other than an obvious factor such as a pending pass over a warm Gulf eddy or the Gulf Stream for example, remains one of the holy grails in tropical meteorology. Until that egg is cracked model-wise, the best hope for short-term prediction might just have to be on-site doppler radar. NWS is off to a good start with the addition of tail mounted doppler on one of the P-3 Orions but for storms further away from land, or in the central Atlantic heading towards the Antilles, we might see long range drones one day with doppler and other sensors constantly monitoring the storm all the way (provided they have the funding for such a costly endeavor) across the MDR.


Lots of research ongoing using existing tools being discussed this week. Sampling:

Creating diagnostic techniques of TC structure from satellite microwave data toward improved intensity change prediction

Examining Trends in Satellite-Detected Overshooting Tops as a Potential Predictor of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification


Improvements in the probabilistic prediction of tropical cyclone rapid intensification resulting from inclusion of satellite passive microwave observations
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11211
Oh I now moved up into the Exceptional Drought area, of Northern Clay County. A few showers are however tracking towards me :).
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Good morning all, my roof was steaming earlier as the sun burnt off the moisture from an overnight shower.
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interesting, today they now say, that Low will move over OUR area this weekend, thats a change from yesterday......................................... ......HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
544 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

FLZ039-042-043-048>052-055>057-060>062-065-191600 -
LEVY-CITRUS-SUMTER-HERNANDO-PASCO-PINELLAS-HILLSB OROUGH-POLK-
MANATEE-HARDEE-HIGHLANDS-SARASOTA-DE SOTO-CHARLOTTE-LEE-
544 AM EDT THU APR 19 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE AREA WITH THE
BEST CHANCES INLAND AND SOUTH AS A WEAKENING COLD FRONT GRADUALLY
DISSIPATES JUST WEST OF THE AREA TODAY AND TONIGHT. DEADLY
LIGHTNING...STRONG GUSTY WINDS AND BRIEF HEAVY RAINS WILL BE THE
MAIN HAZARDS WITH THE STORMS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
WEAK RIDGING WILL BE IN PLACE ACROSS THE AREA FRIDAY ALLOWING FOR
SCATTERED MAINLY AFTERNOON AND EVENING THUNDERSTORMS. STRONG GUSTY
WINDS...DEADLY LIGHTNING AND BRIEF HEAVY RAINS WILL CONTINUE TO BE
THE MAIN HAZARDS EXPECTED WITH THE STORMS.

LOW PRESSURE WILL ORGANIZE OVER THE CENTRAL GULF SATURDAY AND
GRADUALLY MOVE EAST OVER THE AREA THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL
ALLOW FOR SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS WITH STRONG TO A
FEW SEVERE WIND GUSTS...LARGE HAIL AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO
POSSIBLE WITH THE STORMS. ALL RESIDENTS AND VISITORS SHOULD
CLOSELY MONITOR THE WEATHER THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

...WIND AND SEA IMPACT...
WINDS AND SEAS WILL INCREASE TO NEAR ADVISORY LEVELS FOR EARLY
NEXT WEEK AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS INTO THE AREA BEHIND THE LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM AND COLD FRONT.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTERS SHOULD MONITOR THE WEATHER AND SELF ACTIVATE IF NEEDED.

$$

COLSON
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39134

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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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