TROPICS WATCH: One of the reasons preseason hurricane forecasts have been ratcheted down recently is persistently cooler-than-normal water in the Atlantic, from the coast of Africa all the way west to the Caribbean. But an interesting point was made by hurricane tracker Mark Sudduth in his Thursday Hurricane Outlook and Discussion on YouTube — the Main Development Region of the Atlantic is warming quite rapidly. The above graphic shows temperature anomalies on June 4 and the second graphic, below, shows anomalies on June 21. “That is a pretty stark difference,” he said. Also, as he notes, there’s very warm water off the southeastern U.S. Water temperatures aren’t the only factor in tropical storm generation, though. Wind shear is a major factor as are pressure trends over the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center predicts clear sailing over the Atlantic Basin for at least the next five days. (Image credits: NOAA/ NESDIS)
Summer slammed into the Florida peninsula Thursday on a wave of brutal heat, with temperatures nearing the century mark from top to bottom.
Jacksonville hit 98 — and no, that wasn’t the heat index, that was the actual high. It was 97 in Vero Beach (1 degree off the record high), Fort Lauderdale (Executive Airport), Pembroke Pines, and Tallahassee.
Unofficially, it hit 100 degrees in West Palm Beach at the Banyan Cay Resort and Golf Club northwest of downtown. An observer in Boynton Beach, also in Palm Beach County, reported a high of 99 to the National Weather Service.
One of the coolest locations in the state was Key West, where it was 87. Even Marathon hit 93.
Friday was expected to be a rinse-and-repeat day, but afternoon storms may once again take the edge off the heat on the East Coast.
With a westerly wind flow, storms that fired up over the interior made it to the East Coast, mercifully cooling things down. For example, the heat index in West Palm Beach at 3 p.m. was 105. Thunderstorms moved in to the area between 4-5 p.m., dropping the actual temperature to 85 and the heat index to 92.
Daytona Beach was soaked with record rainfall Thursday — 2.03 inches, breaking the previous record for the date of 1.26 inches set in 1983.
Miraculously, there were no record highs set around the state, but Naples tied a record warm minimum with 81, matching the mark set previously in 2002. Tallahassee also tied a record warm low with 78 degrees.