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 This moist airmass has been replaced by relatively dry air over the Gulf, which should limit rainfall amounts today to the 1 - 2 inch range.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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Extremely broad monsoonal depression in the Caribbean by next weekend on the 12z GFS.
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Good Morning everyone!
Imagine my surprise when I read Dr. Masters' message today. The 21.70" report from Pensacola was submitted by me. I'm a member of COCORAHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network). Once I reported my readings, it was immediately picked up by NOAA. My readings began at 0700 Saturday morning. From 0720 - 0948, I recorded 11.69" of rain - and I made an hourly recording up until 1640, when the rain slacked to sporadic sprinkles. My home is about 28' above sealevel so we experienced no flooding but unfortunately neighbors to my east and west (especially) had anywhere to minor to severe flooding in the low lying areas along Gulf Beach Highway. A retention pond along the highway overflowed and caused MAJOR headaches for nearby residents.
The first part of last week I was reading the blog here and noticed that someone had posted a long range forecast for some type of "event" this past weekend. I mentioned it to my husband...and low and behold it was certainly true. So, whoever you were, thanks for that post. I stay glued to Weatherunderground this time of year. Thanks to all who are so dedicated to the assimilation of weather history and current happenings.
Gulf Beach Gal, West Pensacola
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O.O. Look at what GFS has on the Houston/Galveston area in 300 hours, at 6z model. It appears to be a 990 mbar strong tropical storm landfall right where Ike did in 2008.




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Does 21.7inches of flooding rain really produce (*) 12to15inches of drought-busting rain?
ie Did the storm run-off have enough soak-time to recharge the ground with sufficient water to break WestFlorida's drought condition?

* the equivalent to or more than
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting ILwthrfan:
ugh.....this will end in me cussing up a storm, because I know these will somehow, someway, find a way to mock me....
Looking better i think, we got soaked, ditches full still raining. Hope you get something, at least a half inch would help.
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ugh.....this will end in me cussing up a storm, because I know these will somehow, someway, find a way to mock me....

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At 120 hours,it has low pressure at BOC.

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Yeah, that's the most development we get out of that low off the East Coast..
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Low off the East Coast in 90 hours.

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Thank you Dr. Masters. So his take is leaning more towards another SE Atlantic storm versus a Caribbean or GOM storm. The SE Atlantic has been the hot spot this year.
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1133
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Dont forget an EPAC storm.

Definitely has one of those... Not much off the East Coast though

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These Obs. would suggest a "weak circulation" just N of the Costa Rica/Panama border.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
12z GFS is coming out... We'll see if it shows:
1. Anything off the East Coast
2. Anything in the Caribbean
3. That Gulf storm from the 6z run


Dont forget an EPAC storm.
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12z GFS is coming out... We'll see if it shows:
1. Anything off the East Coast
2. Anything in the Caribbean
3. That Gulf storm from the 6z run
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


That so called wave is a wimpy thing that will not bring needed rain as so far nothing has falled in San Juan so far in June.


Both 2/4/11 mets have been anouncing rain that has evaporated... The only rain we have got is the one that develops after 1PM over the Mayaguez, Rincon area...
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Yasi, was a monster like Katrina...

GOM was like adding gasoline to a small fire...



Yup, the GOM is like rocket fuel!
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Thanks Jeff. No golf in Navarre over the weekend but the lawn is happy...
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Cuz it deserves to be looked at by folks who do silly things like sleep during late night...
956 DavidHOUTX: Houston is off to its hottest year on record...
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Interesting




still modiki
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Quoting AussieStorm:
No matter how many times I watch this,,, i am always in awe of mother nature.



Yasi, was a monster like Katrina...

GOM was like adding gasoline to a small fire...

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Local meteorologist: "Expect rains due to a Tropical wave reaching us from the E" ??



That so called wave is a wimpy thing that will not bring needed rain as so far nothing has falled in San Juan so far in June.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I finally have the whole 93E and other low fiasco figured out. 93E is in an area of high wind shear right now, but should reach an area conducive for development in about three days or so. This is when most models forecast development of it. Farther east, there is currently a 1010 millibar low pressure area that is forecast to track west/west-northwest over the following days. It should eventually also reach tropical storm status. Both systems should turn north in reponse to a trough across the Central USA, allowing for 93E to threaten Baja California and the other low to threaten Tehuantepec.


Just when you think you have it... something will change
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Could be another repeat of Sunday. That storm last night was intense. I can tell you that the drought is pretty much gone after last weeks rains around Orlando.

1048 AM EDT MON JUN 11 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

.THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
MOISTURE WILL BE LIMITED ACROSS THE REGION TODAY...SO STORM
FORMATION WILL PRIMARILY OCCUR AS THE EAST COAST SEA BREEZE
PUSHES WELL INLAND AND COLLIDES WITH THE WEST COAST BOUNDARY
LATE THIS AFTERNOON. THE COLLISION IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR IN THE
VICINITY OF LAKE AND WESTERN ORANGE COUNTIES SOUTHWARD ALONG
THE KISSIMMEE RIVER.
STORMS WILL LINGER INTO THE EARLY EVENING
BEFORE DIMINISHING. STORM MOTION WILL BE TO THE SOUTHEAST FROM
ORLANDO NORTH AND TO THE SOUTH SOUTH OF ORLANDO.

THE MAIN STORM HAZARDS WILL BE FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...
HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND GUSTY WINDS UP TO 40 MPH. COOLER TEMPERATURES
AND DRIER AIR MASS IN THE MIDDLE LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE SHOULD
INCREASE THE POTENTIAL FOR COIN SIZE HAIL IN THE STRONGER STORMS.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is todays CPC update and it has Nino 3.4 going a tad cooler at +0.1C, and that is down from the +0.2C that was last week. Maybe the -PDO is not allowing Nino 3.4 to warm as the other areas are doing.

Link



Interesting


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I finally have the whole 93E and other low fiasco figured out. 93E is in an area of high wind shear right now, but should reach an area conducive for development in about three days or so. This is when most models forecast development of it. Farther east, there is currently a 1010 millibar low pressure area that is forecast to track west/west-northwest over the following days. It should eventually also reach tropical storm status. Both systems should turn north in reponse to a trough across the Central USA, allowing for 93E to threaten Baja California and the other low to threaten Tehuantepec.
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No matter how many times I watch this,,, i am always in awe of mother nature.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
Local meteorologist: "Expect rains due to a Tropical wave reaching us from the E" Where is it??

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

You gotta include images!







I would have but I'd have to switch to my PC, I'm on my iPad atm.
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Next system for the EPac
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Rain has started here, StL radio station said they're getting hard rain and lightning, just picked up here as typing. Hope it builds north some how for you ILwthr. Great for all farmers except those that hadn't got their wheat in yet.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Models continue to be in agreement that the MJO will return to our basin, the general agreement is that by all the models is that some sort of low pressure will develop in the Caribbean as pressures will be anomalously low in that time frame. The GFS while being inconsistent with development, it's ensembles have been showing consistently that there will be development of some sort down in the Caribbean. The ECMWF is the least excited about development, and the models as a whole aren't very sure that the lowering of pressures in the Caribbean will become a cyclone but the MJO, shear, climatology are all in favor for it.

You gotta include images!





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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is todays CPC update and it has Nino 3.4 going a tad cooler at +0.1C, and that is down from the +0.2C that was last week. Maybe the -PDO is not allowing Nino 3.4 to warm as the other areas are doing.

Link



We might need that sheer later on in the season, too.
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Missouri storms really exploded in intensity. The integrity of the storms is impressive, really thought they'd weaken way more than they did overnight. Wouldn't be terribly surprised to see a tornado watch box put out soon.
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Nice read DR. Masters
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Models continue to be in agreement that the MJO will return to our basin, the general agreement is that by all the models is that some sort of low pressure will develop in the Caribbean as pressures will be anomalously low in that time frame. The GFS while being inconsistent with development, it's ensembles have been showing consistently that there will be development of some sort down in the Caribbean. The ECMWF is the least excited about development, and the models as a whole aren't very sure that the lowering of pressures in the Caribbean will become a cyclone but the MJO, shear, climatology are all in favor for it.
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949 RitaEvac Actually if you've seen LIDAR elevation map of Harris County, it's the NW portion of county that is highest, but I get the idea what your saying.

Note the high elevation spots in center of county...those are landfills, as trash is built up high...
952 HouGalv08: Amazing, isn't it, when you see a map like that. We've managed to build the 4th largest city in the country in one of the most flood prone, disaster potential place in the USA.
955 RitaEvac: What's amazing is you go from sea level at Galveston Bay in Harris County to 350ft elevation on the NW side. We are in a unique area from a natural state, to the economic and non zoning concrete jungle, mania.....sitting ducks if you will.

The topology ain't much worse than NewYork, LosAngeles, or Chicago. Hurricane hit potential is extra, but the land rises fast enough. Even a 30foot(9metre)storm surge wouldn't penetrate grieviously into Houston itself.
Now ya wanna talk poor infrastructure design&engineering, gdawfl construction&zoning codes, and even worse code enforcement for the metroplex as a whole, that's pure politics. If it weren't for building-loan and mortgage insurance companies insisting on better-than-code as a precondition for providing coverage, y'all would have already been sacrificed to the AlmightyDollar.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Thanks Dr. Masters!

I made a big screw-up in my forecast lol.

We need to watch this area for the real development of "Carlotta".

93E is dead.



That area South of Panama looks juicy.
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Thanks Dr. Masters!

I made a big screw-up in my forecast lol.

We need to watch this area for development of a strong tropical storm or hurricane.

93E is dead for the time being, but models show it could come back in a few days time.



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From eyeballing the chart, minimum sea ice extent dropped from 2006's ~4,400,000sq.kilometres to 2007's ~3,000,000sq.kilometres

A similar ~1,400,000sq.kilometres drop from 2011's ~3,400,000sq.kilometres would produce a minimum sea ice extent of ~2,000,000sq.kilometres for 2012... And

wouldn't be much of a consolation.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good morning.
0z GFS at 84 hours shows a TD/Chris off the East Coast



GGEM



NOGAPS



Sitting right offshore...looks like the pressure gradient between the High and "Chris" would bring us some gusty winds here in Central VA.
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Here is todays CPC update and it has Nino 3.4 going a tad cooler at +0.1C, and that is down from the +0.2C that was last week. Maybe the -PDO is not allowing Nino 3.4 to warm as the other areas are doing.

Link

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Quoting hydrus:
GFS 168..NOGAPS.144.CMC 144..
CMC ain't showing anything..oh that's new.Lol.
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NSSL WRF 4 km grid initialized 00 UTC Jun 11 2012

36 h Total Precipitation (mm)
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Quoting ncstorm:
Thanks Dr. Masters

-He even mentioned the Nogaps..LOL..finally the model is getting some love..


NOGAPS imo isn't the best model out there but if other models like CMC and GFS do agree with the NOGAPS, then I would buy into the solution.
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GFS 168..NOGAPS.144.CMC 144..
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Thanks Dr. Masters

-He even mentioned the Nogaps..LOL..finally the model is getting some love..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Thanks for the update jeff!
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Thanks doc.From deficit to surplus in a matter of hours.
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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.