Damaging rains bust the drought in portions of Florida Panhandle

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on June 11, 2012

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Flood waters are receding in the rain-drenched Florida Panhandle and coastal Alabama today, where prodigious rains from a moist, tropical airmass interacting with a stalled front brought flooding that caused at least $20 million in damage to the Pensacola, Florida area. The most remarkable rains fell in West Pensacola, where 21.70" was recorded over the weekend. Pensacola airport received 13.13 inches of rain on Saturday, the city's second-highest 1-day rainfall total in recorded history. The only greater 1-day rainfall occurred on October 5, 1934, when Tropical Storm Nine brought 15.29" of rain to the city. Satellite loops of atmospheric precipitable water show that this weekend's heavy rains were caused by a flow of very moist tropical air that originated over the warm waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific and flowed northwards across Mexico and Central America to the Panhandle of Florida. This moist airmass has been replaced by relatively dry air over the Gulf, which should limit rainfall amounts today to the 1 - 2 inch range. A cold front expected to arrive on Tuesday will serve as the focus to bring additional rains of 1 - 2 inches per day to portions of the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Before this weekend's mighty rainstorm, the Florida Panhandle was experiencing severe to extreme drought, with 12 - 15 inches of rain needed to pull the region out of drought. This weekend's rains have busted the drought the extreme western Panhandle, but surrounding regions of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida still need 10+ inches of rain.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated rainfall for the Florida Panhandle from this weekend's rain storm.


Figure 2. Amount of precipitation needed to bust drought conditions over the U.S., as of June 2, 2012. A Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDI) of -0.5 is considered the boundary of where a drought exists. The 12 - 15 inches of rain that fell across the extreme western Florida Panhandle and coastal Alabama over the weekend were enough to bust the drought in those regions. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Some rainfall amounts from the storm, from 7 pm CDT Thu June 7, through 3 am CDT Sunday June 10, from the latest NOAA Storm Summary:

...ALABAMA...
TILLMANS CORNER 4.3 WNW 10.77"
GRAND BAY 0.6 NW 10.03"
MOBILE DOWNTOWN ARPT 8.97"

...FLORIDA...
WEST PENSACOLA 10.9 SW 21.70"
PENSACOLA RGNL ARPT 15.08"
MILTON 10.9 SSW 14.42"
PENSACOLA 3.8 N 13.88"
JACKSONVILLE 11.6 ENE 4.31"

...GEORGIA...
AUGUSTA/DANIEL FIELD 4.08"
WARNER ROBINS AFB 1.95"
VALDOSTA RGNL ARPT 1.50"

...LOUISIANA...
PONCHATOULA 11.8 E 5.64"
SLIDELL 4.29"
LACOMBE 1.4 N 3.73"
BATON ROUGE 2.5 E 2.26"
NEW ORLEANS/LAKEFRONT 2.13"

...MISSISSIPPI...
PASCAGOULA 7.50"
GULFPORT-BILOXI 6.52"
PASS CHRISTIAN 3.5 NE 4.69"

The Atlantic is quiet
There are no threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic today. The NOGAPS model is predicting formation of a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression in the Western Caribbean by Sunday, but none of the other models is going along with this idea. We could get something developing in the waters offshore of North Carolina late this week, along the edge of a cold front expected to move of the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday - Wednesday. The GFS model has suggested something could develop in this region in several of its recent runs.

Jeff Masters

flood (megulfbreeze)
Out the front window as our house flooded
flood
Flash (mobal)
I decided to turn around
Flash

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Does the ECWMF show a caribbean system at all?.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


And when you wake up, the models will show Chris and Debby 10-days out!
Between now and November there's gonna' be something 10-14 days out almost 100% of the time. Even if 25% of the cyclones the "models" spin up we'd have 40 cyclones a year.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
Quoting RitaEvac:


You know this could get you banned for reporting this kind of stuff....

Facts have a tendency to do that I guess...

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm starting to doubt we get anything in the East Pacific this week. The Atlantic looks like it will win out completely with a possible system off the East Coast and in the Caribbean.

I still think we'll see Carlotta... It will form from a different area than 93E though, closer to the coast.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


And when you wake up, the models will show Chris and Debby 10-days out!
not that far 9.5 maybe

lol
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Someone north of ya, already pulling the trigger

Temps out there were close to 110 there is trigger, extreme heat.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, Levi has good (or bad) news for Texas.

"The 500mb pattern late next week on the ensemble forecasts has consistently looked like the period when Allison formed in June 1989 and the other Allison formed in 2001, both extremely similar storms that developed in the NW gulf, moved into Texas, and got blocked, causing flooding. The below image shows the 500mb anomalies on the dates of formation of both Allisons on the left, and the ECMWF ensemble 6-10 day 500mb anomaly forecast on the right. Note the similarities. We may have to watch out for the ghost of Allison in this type of pattern."
Something Tropical into Texas would be Great news as long as it is not the Storm from Last Year that just brought dust. :) Whimpy tropical system last year almost brought me 1 cloud.
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Quoting redwagon:

My, it's hot! I think I'll take a quick 240-hour nap. Hope nothing happens while I'm asleep! :)


And when you wake up, the models will show Chris and Debby 10-days out!
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but the temperature for the last 6 days has been way below average for the country... We've seen 175 record lows and 330 lowest maximum temperatures vs. just 104 record highs and 159 highest minimum temperatures... With the west expected to stay cold for the next week or two and the rest of the country expected to be near or slightly above average, is it possible we break the streak of above normal months this month?


Global cooling! AKA climate change...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Maybe it's the lack of coffee talking but that line of storms heading across Mississippi and into Alabama is awesome. Like some northern banshee led wild hunt streaking through the plains.
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I'm starting to doubt we get anything in the East Pacific this week. The Atlantic looks like it will win out completely with a possible system off the East Coast and in the Caribbean.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30262
Quoting RitaEvac:


Just keep it under wraps, things are comin' and I aint saying a word

My, it's hot! I think I'll take a quick 240-hour nap. Hope nothing happens while I'm asleep! :)
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Definitely some convergence there in the S Carribean Sea.
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Quoting redwagon:

Our LCRA met actually called this one, but after his last week's busted-beyond-belief forecast (3"+ for Austin! I didn't get 3 drops!) I wasn't going to mention this weak cold front until someone else did :)

And I'm not going to think or say anything about potential Teleconnective Tropical Angel Debby so as not to jinx that, either.


Just keep it under wraps, things are comin' and I aint saying a word
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init for tex

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1126
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0359 PM CDT MON JUN 11 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...OK...AR

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 112059Z - 112230Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

SUMMARY...THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR EVENING TSTM DEVELOPMENT
ACROSS PARTS OF ERN OK AND WRN AR. VERY UNSTABLE CONDITIONS ACROSS
THESE AREAS WOULD SUPPORT SEVERE STORMS WITH LARGE HAIL AND HIGH
WINDS IF CONVECTION CAN OVERCOME CONSIDERABLE CAPPING CURRENTLY IN
PLACE.

DISCUSSION...PERSISTENT CONVERGENCE NEAR FRONT/OUTFLOW BOUNDARY
INTERSECTION ACROSS NERN OK...IN CONCERT WITH VERY HOT AND LOCALLY
EXTREME INSTABILITY /MLCAPE TO AT LEAST 3000 J PER KG/...MAY
CONTRIBUTE TO STORM DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA OVER THE NEXT 1-3 HOURS.
LATEST INDICATIONS SUGGEST THAT STORM INITIATION IS BEING INHIBITED
BY 1) VERY WARM AIR ALOFT ACTING TO KEEP AIR MASS CAPPED...AND 2)
LACK OF GREATER LARGE SCALE FORCING FOR ASCENT ACROSS THE REGION.

LATEST GUIDANCE PROVIDES MIXED SIGNALS ON WIDESPREAD TSTM
DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL WITH RAPID REFRESH INDICATING STORM INITIATION
BY 00Z...NAM SHOWING LITTLE IN THE WAY OF DEVELOPMENT...AND 18Z HRRR
SHOWING ONLY ISOLATED STORMS ACROSS NWRN AR AND ERN OK IN THE NEXT
1-2 HOURS. IF STORMS CAN DEVELOP...MAGNITUDE OF INSTABILITY AND
MODEST WLY FLOW AROUND 30KT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO SEVERE POTENTIAL WITH
LARGE HAIL AND HIGH WINDS POSSIBLE. AREA WILL CONTINUE TO BE
MONITORED AND A WATCH IS POSSIBLE IF STORM DEVELOPMENT BEGINS TO
OCCUR.

..CARBIN/MEAD.. 06/11/2012

(Add: aha. The outflow boundary. Thank you.)
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Quoting RitaEvac:


This was not forecasted for TX, from what I got storms were gonna be well east of I-45 more into east TX and LA, so I'm glad this setup is a lot farther west deeper into TX. Hopefully they got it wrong.

Activity was supposed to fire over NE TX, SE OK, and move SSE to S overnight

Our LCRA met actually called this one, but after his last week's busted-beyond-belief forecast (3"+ for Austin! I didn't get 3 drops!) I wasn't going to mention this weak cold front until someone else did :)

And I'm not going to think or say anything about potential Teleconnective Tropical Angel Debby so as not to jinx that, either.
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Quoting redwagon:
Good. The more instability over TX the better, to hold off the positive feedback loop that allowed that Dome of High Pressure during its formation to remain unchallenged last year.

Ya gotta nip that high pressure in the bud.


This was not forecasted for TX, from what I got storms were gonna be well east of I-45 more into east TX and LA, so I'm glad this setup is a lot farther west deeper into TX. Hopefully they got it wrong.

Activity was supposed to fire over NE TX, SE OK, and move SSE to S overnight
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1125
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0332 PM CDT MON JUN 11 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...W-CNTRL AND NW TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 112032Z - 112130Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT

SUMMARY...THE THREAT FOR LARGE HAIL AND DMGG WIND GUSTS IS
INCREASING OVER PARTS OF W-CNTRL AND NW TX. A WW WILL LIKELY BE
NEEDED WITHIN THE NEXT HR.

DISCUSSION...SFC ANALYSIS FROM 20Z PLACES A DEEPENING SFC LOW NEAR
SPS...WITH A SLOW-MOVING COLD FRONT ORIENTED SW-NE ACROSS N TX.
RECENT VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW INDICATIONS OF A DEVELOPING
SFC-BASED CU FIELD 40 NW MWL OCCURRING ALONG WIND SHIFT...AND
ADDITIONAL TOWERING CU DEVELOPING APPROXIMATELY 30 N SJT. VERY
STRONG BOUNDARY LAYER HEATING...WITH TEMPERATURES REACHING NEAR 100
F...HAS BEEN SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME A WARM LAYER NEAR 850 MB
OBSERVED IN 12Z SOUNDINGS. FORCING FOR ASCENT IS EXPECTED TO BE
WEAK...BUT GIVEN THE STRONG HEATING AND CONTINUED WEAK CONVERGENCE
ALONG/NEAR WIND SHIFT AND ATTENDANT DRYLINE...INITIATION OF AT LEAST
ISOLATED STORMS APPEARS INCREASINGLY LIKELY. WITH MLCAPE VALUES NOW
EXCEEDING 4000 J/KG IN SOME AREAS...STORMS WILL LIKELY BE CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING VERY LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED DMGG WIND GUSTS...BUT STORM
ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE SOMEWHAT LIMITED BY WEAK EFFECTIVE SHEAR
/NEAR 20 KTS/.

..ROGERS/MEAD.. 06/11/2012

Noon.
Good. The more instability over TX the better, to hold off the positive feedback loop that allowed that Dome of High Pressure during its formation to remain unchallenged last year.

Ya gotta nip that high pressure in the bud.
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Click image for watch details.
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finally the LSU is updating

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, Levi has good (or bad) news for Texas.

"The 500mb pattern late next week on the ensemble forecasts has consistently looked like the period when Allison formed in June 1989 and the other Allison formed in 2001, both extremely similar storms that developed in the NW gulf, moved into Texas, and got blocked, causing flooding. The below image shows the 500mb anomalies on the dates of formation of both Allisons on the left, and the ECMWF ensemble 6-10 day 500mb anomaly forecast on the right. Note the similarities. We may have to watch out for the ghost of Allison in this type of pattern."


There is an eerie thing about both those Allison's at least for me. And something I'll never forget.
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Vostok, Antarctica wunderpage

Tuesday

Mostly cloudy in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of -81F with a windchill as low as -143F. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.
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Well, Levi has good (or bad) news for Texas.

"The 500mb pattern late next week on the ensemble forecasts has consistently looked like the period when Allison formed in June 1989 and the other Allison formed in 2001, both extremely similar storms that developed in the NW gulf, moved into Texas, and got blocked, causing flooding. The below image shows the 500mb anomalies on the dates of formation of both Allisons on the left, and the ECMWF ensemble 6-10 day 500mb anomaly forecast on the right. Note the similarities. We may have to watch out for the ghost of Allison in this type of pattern."
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30262
Someone north of ya, already pulling the trigger

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1125
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0332 PM CDT MON JUN 11 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...W-CNTRL AND NW TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 112032Z - 112130Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT

SUMMARY...THE THREAT FOR LARGE HAIL AND DMGG WIND GUSTS IS
INCREASING OVER PARTS OF W-CNTRL AND NW TX. A WW WILL LIKELY BE
NEEDED WITHIN THE NEXT HR.

DISCUSSION...SFC ANALYSIS FROM 20Z PLACES A DEEPENING SFC LOW NEAR
SPS...WITH A SLOW-MOVING COLD FRONT ORIENTED SW-NE ACROSS N TX.
RECENT VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW INDICATIONS OF A DEVELOPING
SFC-BASED CU FIELD 40 NW MWL OCCURRING ALONG WIND SHIFT...AND
ADDITIONAL TOWERING CU DEVELOPING APPROXIMATELY 30 N SJT. VERY
STRONG BOUNDARY LAYER HEATING...WITH TEMPERATURES REACHING NEAR 100
F...HAS BEEN SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME A WARM LAYER NEAR 850 MB
OBSERVED IN 12Z SOUNDINGS. FORCING FOR ASCENT IS EXPECTED TO BE
WEAK...BUT GIVEN THE STRONG HEATING AND CONTINUED WEAK CONVERGENCE
ALONG/NEAR WIND SHIFT AND ATTENDANT DRYLINE...INITIATION OF AT LEAST
ISOLATED STORMS APPEARS INCREASINGLY LIKELY. WITH MLCAPE VALUES NOW
EXCEEDING 4000 J/KG IN SOME AREAS...STORMS WILL LIKELY BE CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING VERY LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED DMGG WIND GUSTS...BUT STORM
ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE SOMEWHAT LIMITED BY WEAK EFFECTIVE SHEAR
/NEAR 20 KTS/.

..ROGERS/MEAD.. 06/11/2012

Noon.
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I don't watch TWC very often.
But, I was just flipping through the channels and Cantore was doing the Tropical Update.
I don't remember him doing those very often. Is this a new thing?
Either way, I smell swim goggles on the immediate horizon.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Not exactly... With the season expected to shut down by the end of September we need these storms if we're going to meet the predictions. Basically if we end up not getting anything by the end of June we begin to run the risk of a bust, at least from a strict numbers standpoint. As always it only takes one.


Oh, I didn't know that the season was expected to end early, my bad. In that case, this rate will probably have to continue in order to meet the expectation. If nothing happens until August it'll be a very inactive season, number of storms wise. But like you said, one powerful storm like Andrew and it becomes an "active" season.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Funny, you can have all the heat and humidity you want but if you don't have a trigger then you don't have rain.


Well this is TX, and you gotta gun right? we can pull that trigger mighty fast when we need to. Even if its blanks first couple of times, that rain will come.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Nah, we're bringing the gulf coast to ya. If you want rain down the road, gonna have to join the club....
Funny, you can have all the heat and humidity you want but if you don't have a trigger then you don't have rain.
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Quoting Dodabear:


It is always night down there now. But, you knew that, didn't you. That was a test for us eh?
i think its the confusion he said he was a little confused
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Quoting Dodabear:


It is always night down there now. But, you knew that, didn't you. That was a test for us eh?


Just wants to see who answers. :)
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With Dome C reporting, we may push the WR this year. Odds anyone?

Quoting cedarparktxguy:


-114 in Vostok Antartica....
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
There are No rain chances here for our near future so yes if it isnt going to rain go away humidity. Unlike where you live rains outside of something tropical just seldom happen here. Southeast Texas is a different story just like La. is. Fronts are not going to make it to South Central Texas thru this heat and anything that develops along the coast usually doesnt make it this far inland.


Nah, we're bringing the gulf coast to ya. If you want rain down the road, gonna have to join the club....
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Quoting Grothar:


Was this picture taken at night?


It is always night down there now. But, you knew that, didn't you. That was a test for us eh?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ECMWF 72 hours, possibly Tropical or Sub-Tropical Storm Chris off the US East Coast.


ECMWF 240 hours, beginnings of what might be Debby in the BOC. This is not our Caribbean system, this is a crossover system from the Pacific similar to Hermine in 2010.

Dreams of Hermine.... what an Angel.
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Quoting Grothar:


Was this picture taken at night?
live shot yeah its dark now its winter there
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Quoting cedarparktxguy:


-114 in Vostok Antartica....
Almost need a jacket there.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


german base web cam ant.




Was this picture taken at night?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea.......but that means with that high dewpoint air rains and storms are not too far off and will come at some point unlike last year where there was no high dewpoints around. Trust me it will pay off being humid. That's the difference with this year, pattern change. You might want to rethink that phrase, because if not then you'll overcook and burn up literally like last year.
There are No rain chances here for our near future so yes if it isnt going to rain go away humidity. Unlike where you live rains outside of something tropical just seldom happen here. Southeast Texas is a different story just like La. is. Fronts are not going to make it to South Central Texas thru this heat and anything that develops along the coast usually doesnt make it this far inland.
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Quoting cedarparktxguy:


-114 in Vostok Antartica....


german base web cam ant.


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167 RevElvis: Virginia Republican forces scientists to stop using climate change terminology Henceforth "Coastal Resilience" is to be used in place of 'Climate Change' and 'Sea Level Rise'. (not kidding)

Essentially the same thing in NorthCarolina. Figures. Perfectly legal to advocate cold-blooded murder of people for being of the wrong ethnicity or religion or political affiliation or sexual orientation or ...
...yet one would not be allowed to express any perfectly reasonable expectation concerning the effects of presentday Climate trends.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Last year we had not humidity and temps 100 or greater every day this year it is almost 100 every day with dew points in 70s and heat indexes around 110, I think I like the dryer air better. :) I could not live closer to the Coast cause I hate humidity.


Yea.......but that means with that high dewpoint air rains and storms are not too far off and will come at some point unlike last year where there was no high dewpoints around. Trust me it will pay off being humid. That's the difference with this year, pattern change. You might want to rethink that phrase, because if not then you'll overcook and burn up literally like last year.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ECMWF 72 hours, possibly Tropical or Sub-Tropical Storm Chris off the US East Coast.


ECMWF 240 hours, beginnings of what might be Debby in the BOC. This is not our Caribbean system, this is a crossover system from the Pacific similar to Hermine in 2010.

It will be interesting to see what pans out over the next week or so...
Quoting Chicklit:
G'afternoon everyone, it's looking nasty in Paducah.

Good afternoon!
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but the temperature for the last 6 days has been way below average for the country... We've seen 175 record lows and 330 lowest maximum temperatures vs. just 104 record highs and 159 highest minimum temperatures... With the west expected to stay cold for the next week or two and the rest of the country expected to be near or slightly above average, is it possible we break the streak of above normal months this month?


You know this could get you banned for reporting this kind of stuff....
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.