Florida poised for a substantial soaking

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:03 PM GMT on May 18, 2009

An area of showers and thunderstorms is over the southeastern Bahamas and eastern Cuba, in association with a trough of low pressure. The latest 00Z and 06Z runs of the GFS, UKMET, NOGAPS, and ECMWF global dynamical computer models continue to forecast that this disturbance will develop into an extratropical low by Tuesday. The low should bring heavy rain and possible flooding problems to Florida and the Bahamas this week as it lifts northwestward over Florida. Up to nine inches of rain may fall over Florida by Friday (Figure 1), thanks also to a cold front expected to move over the state over the next two days. The exact timing and location of the rains over Florida are still uncertain, as the GFS model predicts development of the low over the Bahamas, while the ECMWF and UKMET models predict development over South Florida. At present, it appears wind shear will be too high to allow the extratropical storm to transition into a subtropical or tropical storm. However, if the storm's center emerges into the northern Gulf of Mexico late this week, wind shear may be low enough to allow a transition to a subtropical storm (10% chance).

Florida could use the rain--most of South Florida is under extreme drought, and Central Florida is under severe drought. The Lake Okeechobee water level is at 10.58 feet (Figure 2), which is about 3 feet below average. During the past week, the lake fell below the level that triggers water conservation measures for the first time since Tropical Storm Fay filled up the lake in August.


Figure 1. Forecast precipitation amount between 8am EDT Monday 5/18/09 and 8am EDT Saturday 5/23/09. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.


Figure 2. Water levels in Florida's Lake Okeechobee were under the level that triggers conservation measures between January 2007 - August 2008. Tropical Storm Fay then filled up the lake, which has gradually declined in level since, reaching water shortage management levels again in May 2009. Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

There has been little change to the large upper-level cold low spinning in the mid-Atlantic a few hundred miles east of Bermuda. The low may spin in place long enough over the next week to develop a warm core and be classified as a subtropical storm. It is unlikely that a subtropical storm forming that far out in the Atlantic this early in the year would pose a threat to any land areas, with the possible exception of Bermuda.

Climatology of early-season Atlantic tropical cyclones
Tropical storms are uncommon in the Atlantic before June 1, with only 26 named storms on record between 1851 - 2008. Five of these have made it to hurricane strength, and only one--Hurricane Able of 1951--made it to major hurricane status. Last year's Tropical Storm Arthur may be the deadliest May tropical cyclone on record. Though only a 40 mph tropical storm at landfall, Arthur killed five people in Belize and caused $78 million in damage. Three early-season storms have brought hurricane-force winds to land. The March 1908 hurricane swept through the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, destroying at least 24 boats and causing damage to buildings on St. Bartholomew. Hurricane Able of 1951 brought sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph to the northern Bahama Islands, but caused little damage. Hurricane 2 of May 1908 hit North Carolina's Outer Banks as a Category 1 hurricane, but also caused little damage.

List of all early season (formed in January - May) Atlantic named storms
May 31, 2008: Tropical Storm Arthur
May 6, 2007: Subtropical Storm Andrea
April 18, 2003: Tropical Storm Ana
April 21, 1992: Subtropical Storm 1
May 6, 1981: Tropical Storm Arlene
January 18, 1978: Subtropical Storm 1
May 21, 1976: Subtropical Storm 1
May 23, 1972: Subtropical Storm Alpha
May 17, 1970: Hurricane Alma (Category 1)
May 28, 1959: Tropical Storm Arlene
February 2, 1953: Tropical Storm Alice
May 25, 1952: Tropical Storm 1
May 15, 1951: Hurricane Able (Category 3)
May 22, 1948: Tropical Storm 1
May 19, 1940: Tropical Storm 1
May 27, 1934: Tropical Storm 1
May 14, 1933: Tropical Storm 1
May 5, 1932: Tropical Storm 1
May 13, 1916: Tropical Storm 1
May 24, 1908: Hurricane 2 (Category 1)
March 6, 1908: Hurricane 1 (Category 2)
May 27, 1890: Tropical Storm 1
May 16, 1889: Hurricane 1 (Category 1)
May 17, 1887: Tropical Storm 2
May 15, 1887: Tropical Storm 1
May 30, 1865: Tropical Storm 1

I'll have an update Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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Hiya Storm!
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575. weathermanwannabe 3:30 PM EDT on May 18, 2009
Been looking at this whole scenario for the last two hours (Conflicting Models/Comments on the Blog/Analysis/Dr. M/November Like Fronts and Temps in the South in May/Arguments on the Blog/Satellite Loops/More Arguments and Bans on the Blog, etc.), and, I don't have a clue as to what is going on/what is going to happen and it's still two weeks away from June 1st........What a way to start the season....Lol


Now that is the most accurate post i have seen all week long.

;-)


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Been looking at this whole scenario for the last two hours (Conflicting Models/Comments on the Blog/Analysis/Dr. M/November Like Fronts and Temps in the South in May/Arguments on the Blog/Satellite Loops/More Arguments and Bans on the Blog, etc.), and, I don't have a clue as to what is going on/what is going to happen and it's still two weeks away from June 1st........What a way to start the season....Lol
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oooh Daytona Beach, I don't like the looks of that!
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Hi StormW long time no see!
Hope all is well!

Pat those are great pictures, I love the picture of the guy taking a picture of the tornado up close, I would run like h#ll!
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Afternoon TCW

I think a lot of what happens depends on how close or how long it can stay near the Gulf Stream at any given point in its life.


Howdy SJ.
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Geez what happened today while I was at school all day?!Invest 90....here we go hurricane season.
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Does anyone else see the rotation and the appearance of almost an eye like feature in the blob spinning off the coast of central Florida in the gulf? or is it my imagination?
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Just updated the Atlantic Hurricane Watch page on the CCHS Weather Center site with the current satellite imagery, stats, and computer model data provided by Wunderground. Sometime later this evening, once the 18Z runs come out, I will have new Graphical Tropical Update regarding our new Invest 90L.
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Link



WOW
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Hey Storm!
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Good afternoon StormW.

We gonna get your take today?
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Slideshow of the Waterspout/Tornado from wwltv.com
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 144516
42003 - MARITIME-buoy
Monday May. 18 - 17:50 UTCAir Temperature: 73°F
Dewpoint: 73°F
Wind: NNE at 18 mph
gusting to 22
Pressure: 1011.2 mb
Wave Height: 2 ft
Sea Surface Temp: 81.7°F
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Quoting Patrap:
Waterspout that came in in Metairie off Lake Pontchartrain Sat Night as Waterspout/F0-1 Torando. Did Moderate Damage to A Few Homes,and destroyed a snow-ball Stand.

No Injuries,..but it a spectacular sight for thousands. Severe T-Storm Warning was in effect at the time.



Taken from Veterans&Severn intersection.

Photobucket
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
lol Pat- no snowball stands around here, guess we are safe! hehe
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It's Fay all over again centered at the NW corner of Broward. j/k. Just caught my eye while watching. ;)

IMAGE REMOVED FOR BLOG READABILITY - Doesn't resemble it anymore, of course.
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Oh my gosh It's not even raining here in Boca Raton...I see the thunderheads like a mile away.I looked at the radar as soon as I came back from school at 3pm and its raining everwhere EXCEPT SOUTHEAST FL.LOL WE NEED IT NOW!
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Quoting Patrap:
Waterspout that came in in Metairie off Lake Pontchartrain Sat Night as Waterspout/F0-1 Torando. Did Moderate Damage to A Few Homes,and destroyed a snow-ball Stand.

No Injuries,..but it a spectacular sight for thousands. Severe T-Storm Warning was in effect at the time.



Cool pic - is that fire in the background or lights?

Noooo...not a snowball stand....
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Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 13276
The Florida rain is here - rainin hard here on the central east coast.
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Why do tornadoes hate sno-cone stands?
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Quoting Patrap:
Waterspout that came in in Metairie off Lake Pontchartrain Sat Night as Waterspout/F0-1 Torando. Did Moderate Damage to A Few Homes,and destroyed a snow-ball Stand.

No Injuries,..but it a spectacular sight for thousands. Severe T-Storm Warning was in effect at the time.




great pic Pat!
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More WNW winds in the NW Caribbean
at buoy 42056
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Afternoon TCW

I think a lot of what happens depends on how close or how long it can stay near the Gulf Stream at any given point in its life.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 18190
Waterspout that came in in Metairie off Lake Pontchartrain Sat Night as Waterspout/F0-1 Torando. Did Moderate Damage to A Few Homes,and destroyed a snow-ball Stand.

No Injuries,..but it a spectacular sight for thousands. Severe T-Storm Warning was in effect at the time.



One of same from I-10,cell phone image.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 144516
Up on the Navy site, but no data yet.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 13276
Quoting hurricanehanna:
It is unusually cool here....couldn't even swim yesterday. Saw several jackets around town. Mother Nature needs to just relax....


I agree 100%....

Taco :0)
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AOI GOM BASIN
MARK
26N/85W


AOI/INV/90L
MARK
18N/75.9W
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Quoting scottsvb:
Well invest went up...enough reports from ne cuba bouy and ship reports including sat,radar data shows the midlevel low almost down the surface..but still lacking a NW wind..(though may be very small as of now).

Now when the 18z models come out....dont get excited too much on the GFDL and HWRF ..they sometimes over due the systems intensity too quickly or just never find a circulation after 12 hrs... I would really take more confidence in the 0z runs moreless.. A HH might be dispatched tomorrow if this gets better organized tonight..might be a subtropical storm by tomorrow afternoon..especially cause of the building pressure gradient from the high to its north building in.


GFDL overdues the storm on there first run, then the next run POOF! Yes, I said it people, fry me.
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546. IKE
Quoting IKE:


Takes it in near JAX,FL.

That 12Z ECMWF has 2 systems...Link

System to the east is 90L.

Separate system in the GOM...possibly 91L.


After looking at it again, maybe I'm wrong.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 38327
Quoting StormJunkie:


I find myself thinking that is unlikely kman, but really can not find a way to dispute your wind observations...


The only other explanation for those winds would be if we had a front digging S into the NW Caribbean and as far as I am aware that is not happening.
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It is unusually cool here....couldn't even swim yesterday. Saw several jackets around town. Mother Nature needs to just relax....
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Quoting scottsvb:
Well invest went up...enough reports from ne cuba bouy and ship reports including sat,radar data shows the midlevel low almost down the surface..but still lacking a NW wind..(though may be very small as of now).

Now when the 18z models come out....dont get excited too much on the GFDL and HWRF ..they sometimes over due the systems intensity too quickly or just never find a circulation after 12 hrs... I would really take more confidence in the 0z runs moreless.. A HH might be dispatched tomorrow if this gets better organized tonight..might be a subtropical storm by tomorrow afternoon..especially cause of the building pressure gradient from the high to its north building in.


Thanks for the info. Maybe Cantori was right this morning in saying the models are underestimating this system, what do you think?
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542. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
SHIPS text output

Seems to over do it. LGEM looks more realistic.


Takes it in near JAX,FL.

That 12Z ECMWF has 2 systems...Link

System to the east is 90L.

Separate system in the GOM...possibly 91L.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 38327
Quoting kmanislander:
521. scottsvb 6:59 PM GMT on May 18, 2009

With winds out of the W and WSW all day in Grand Cayman I would say the system has already worked it's way down to the surface.


I find myself thinking that is unlikely kman, but really can not find a way to dispute your wind observations...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 18190
Its all one Long Song really CCHS.

But thanx..anyway.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 144516
Hello everyone!! I've been gone for awhile, but I thought I'd stop in and say hi as we get closer to the start of my one of my least favorite seasons besides snowbird season. It's been raining since about 10 am here in Deep Creek area of Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte and according to the radar, looks like it may continue for most of the day and night. It's a good thing cuz it's been wayyy too dry this year. Anyhow, I look forward to learning and interacting with y'all more this upcoming hurricane season. :)
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12Z ECMWF 24hrs out

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Quoting Patrap:
I think the Ensemble has something going Ka-boom somewhere in the Se GOM Thursday.

What it will be,dunno. But the Cold Push slammed thru here and went Se in a Hurry.Where it went I spect when it meets that Warm juicy Low.
Cold core and warm cold will have a Dance over it.
Like Fall out here today.
Bad Mojo afoot.


Don't know if I've ever told you this before, but I love how you turn weather into song and wordplay.
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Pat....I just said to Kelly that it feels like October...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10618
Hi all. I only come on here when there is something going on in the weather.

Can someone post a link that can show me where you all see it as an Invest? I usually see it on SFWMD but it's not there and unlike you all, I don't know what all those letters and numbers mean on the other stuff yall post.

I appreciate yall's help!
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I think the Ensemble has something going Ka-boom somewhere in the Se GOM Thursday.

What it will be,dunno. But the Cold Push slammed thru here and went Se in a Hurry.Where it went I spect when it meets that Warm juicy Low.
Cold core and warm cold will have a Dance over it.
Like Fall out here today.
Bad Mojo afoot.



Mad Mojo and MJO Pulse.
Bad Karma.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 144516
SHIPS text output

Seems to over do it. LGEM looks more realistic.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 13276
521. scottsvb 6:59 PM GMT on May 18, 2009

With winds out of the W and WSW all day in Grand Cayman I would say the system has already worked it's way down to the surface.
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Well i see a invest now...... i take a min away and then come back and see 90L.....

Now at least they might get a handle on it anyway....

Taco :0)
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523. Not liking that Pat, not one little bit. Nope.

I have squinted and squinted and I can't see the swirl.
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
** WTNT80 EGRR 181800 ***

MET OFFICE TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE FOR NORTH-EAST PACIFIC

AND ATLANTIC

GLOBAL MODEL DATA TIME 12UTC 18.05.2009

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 24 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 24 : 26.2N 79.5W

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
12UTC 19.05.2009 26.2N 79.5W WEAK
00UTC 20.05.2009 27.3N 80.0W WEAK INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 20.05.2009 27.6N 83.5W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 21.05.2009 27.6N 87.0W WEAK INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 21.05.2009 27.7N 87.0W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 22.05.2009 28.2N 88.1W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 22.05.2009 29.1N 89.5W WEAK INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY
00UTC 23.05.2009 29.8N 89.6W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY
12UTC 23.05.2009 BELOW TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH



If the UKMET's coordinates play out exactly like that, it would place the center just about 100 miles to my north.
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Quoting scottsvb:
Well invest went up...enough reports from NE cuba bouy and ship reports including sat,radar data shows the midlevel low almost down the surface..but still lacking a NW wind..(though may be very small as of now).

Now when the 18z models come out....dont get excited too much on the GFDL and HWRF ..they sometimes over due the systems intensity too quickly or just never find a circulation after 12 hrs... I would really take more confidence in the 0z runs moreless.. A HH might be dispatched tomorrow if this gets better organized tonight..might be a subtropical storm by tomorrow afternoon..especially cause of the building pressure gradient from the high to its north building in.


Thank you for the update.
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Quoting conchygirl:
Welcome back KMan - seems most of the old gang is pretty much back.


Hi there. I have been on a bit over the past few days but the sniping and bickering was so bad here yesterday that I simply stayed away, pretty much in disgust.

I hope the one-upmanship has ended for a while.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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