Tropical Storm Epsilon forms; Miami ties 92-year-old temperature record

This was a typical scene up and down Florida’s East Coast this weekend as the highest tides of the season, aggravated by heavy rain in some places, caused street flooding. More flooding was likely Monday. Note that a lot of this is salt water. (Image credit: William Churchill/ NWS-Key West)

More on the East Coast forecast: Rain, wind, etc. etc. etc. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

Autumn in absentia: The complaint on Facebook’s National Weather Service/ Tampa page Monday morning: “Can we get some cooler weather, for Pete’s sake?” Nope. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

The meandering system in the Central Atlantic crawled to a stop southeast of Bermuda on Monday morning and became Tropical Depression 27 [UPGRADED TO TROPICAL STORM EPSILON AT 1 1 A.M.] Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted it would become Tropical Storm Epsilon later today and would strengthen into a hurricane by Thursday morning as it moves generally northwest. It may swipe Bermuda as a hurricane early Friday morning.

Forecasters said it would likely top out as an 85-mph Category 1 hurricane by the end of the week.

There is another disturbance in the Bahamas that was dishing out copious rainfall amounts to parts of South and Central Florida.

Torrential rains were moving onshore from the Atlantic into South Florida and were adding to an already dicey situation at the coast due to the highest tides of the season. A Coastal Flood Advisory was in effect until 8 p.m.

The area it was not on the NHC’s radar as wind shear was at a high 30-40 knots. Shear was forecast to increase over the next 24 hours in the western Bahamas and South Florida.

There was still some potential for a disturbance in the western Caribbean to get started, although development chances edged down to 20 percent over the next five days. There, wind shear Monday morning was at a more accommodative 10-15 knots.

The early morning run of the GFS dropped the idea of a system in the western Caribbean later this week. The European (ECMWF) is clear the rest of the week, while the early morning run of the GFS Parallel still showed a low forming Friday west of Jamaica, which rolls over Cuba and into the Central Bahamas early next week.

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said a front may stall over North Florida as we head toward the weekend, and that “higher than normal uncertainty” exists for next weekend’s forecast.

RECORD WATCH: The low in Fort Lauderdale Sunday was a balmy 81, which busted a record warm low of 80 set just last year. Miami’s low was 79, tying a record low set 92 years ago in 1928.

Up the coast in Melbourne, the low was 78, breaking a record warm low of 76 set two years ago. Vero Beach broke a record with 77, beating the record of 76 set in 2016; ditto for Fort Pierce.

Heavier rain on the way for South Florida, Keys

More showers coming off the Atlantic dampens the outlook for early in the week for South Florida. Projected rainfall amounts from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center show heaviest precipitation falling over southeastern Florida and the Keys through next weekend. There is, of course, the added threat of more coastal flooding due to seasonal King tides. (Image credits: NWS-Miami, above; NOAA/ WPC, below.)

RAINFALL REPORT: Relatively light rainfall amounts were reported by CoCoRaHS observers Saturday around the peninsula. An observer in Boynton Beach reported 0.38 of an inch, but most sites checked in with just a few hundredths of an inch. More widespread showers were expected today, according to the National Weather Service.

Amounts of up to a third of an inch were reported in East-Central Florida, and an observer in Volusia County found more than a half-inch in the backyard bucket.

TROPICS WATCH: The forecast models have — at least for the time being — backed off on anything dire whipping up in the Caribbean, although the National Hurricane Center says there’s a 30 percent chance of some kind of development by the end of the week.

Invest 94L in the Central Atlantic looked to be headed toward subtropical status in the next day or two, but none of the models were taking it into the Bahamas before sending it back into the Central Atlantic.

The morning GFS either loses the system over the Yucatan or spits it back out into the Pacific. The GFS Parallel runs the low over Central Cuba and into the Bahamas, then out to sea. The Canadian (CMC) spins up a low south of Jamaica toward the middle of next week, runs a weak system over Central Cuba and into the northwestern Bahamas, the turns it west and loses it in the Keys.

The European (ECMWF) has a low near western Cuba and the Yucatan next Saturday but apparently does not develop it. The German ICON has the low meandering in the western Caribbean through the end of next week.

South Florida rainy season ends with big surpluses; eyes on Caribbean

Northeastern Palm Beach County racked up the highest rain totals during the 2020 wet season, which runs from May 15 to October 15. Almost all reporting stations had above normal totals, with the exception of Naples and the far southern Everglades, the National Weather Service in Miami said. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

Friday’s wet spots: Miami International Airport, 1.32 inches; Fort Lauderdale, 0.40, West Palm Beach, 0.24; and a trace of precipitation in Naples.

Heftiest rain totals were in fact confined to South Florida, according to Saturday morning’s CoCoRaHS observation network. Up to 1.77 inches was reported in interior areas of northern Collier County, with 1.55 inches falling in central Miami-Dade. An observer in the Weston area of Broward County reported 2..29 inches.

More showers are in the forecast through the rest of the weekend, followed by some drier weather.

Next weekend: “High uncertainty in the extended forecast with the potential for tropical moisture to advect towards the region into next weekend,” NWS forecasters in Miami said. “Rain chances will be highly dependent on if and how much of that moisture would reach the area. We will continue to monitor the global models as we move through next week for any influx of moisture to the area.”

TROPICS WATCH: There’s a 90 percent chance that the disturbance southeast of Bermuda will develop into a subtropical depression or over the next day or two, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday. If it’s named it would likely become Zeta, which was the final storm that formed at the end of the record-shattering 2005 hurricane season.

One big difference: Tropical Storm Zeta formed on December 30, and today is only October 17. We still have 14 days to go in this official hurricane season, plus whatever might form in December.

The next three names on the Greek alphabet list are Zeta, Eta and Theta.

The disturbance expected to form in the Caribbean would be a potential candidate for Eta, in that case. It was given a 30 percent chance of forming through the middle of next week.

MODEL SNAPSHOTS: Most of the forecast models take the first system, designated Invest 94L by the NHC, back toward the Central Atlantic by the end of next week. A few GFS Ensemble project a continued track into the Bahamas ditto for the European Ensembles.

With the Caribbean disturbance, the GFS has been waffling between a brush with Florida and a hit to the Bahamas — Saturday morning’s run favored the latter. So did the GFS Parallel, a rare agreement. They are joined by the Canadian (CMC), which showed a weak low in the Central Bahamas in one week.

The European (ECMWF) was showing a very weak system off Cuba’s western tip in one week, followed by a quick movement to the north where it would slosh into the Florida Big Bend area.

Note that Colorado State University is calling for above normal activity in the Atlantic over the next two weeks.

NOAA calls for warm, dry winter in Florida; Tampa hits another record high

(Image credit: NOAA)

A warm and dry winter for Florida — typical of La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific — was ordered by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on Thursday.

The northern tier of states will likely be colder and wetter than normal, under the La Niña scenario, which means we should soon be seeing a torrent of traffic headed to the Sunshine State, ready for all the fun and frolic a deteriorating coronavirus pandemic will allow.

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RAINFALL REPORT: Precipitation chances ramp up in South Florida Friday — drier in Central Florida — but Thursday was still relatively rain-free around the peninsula. A CoCoRaHS observer near Pompano Beach in Broward County reported 0.42 of an inch through 7 a.m. Friday, and a quarter of an inch fell in other parts of Broward and Miami-Dade County.

In Northeast Florida, 0.92 of an inch fell in Jacksonville (officially the city picked up just a trace), and an citizen observer near Tallahassee reported 1.5 inches.

RECORD WATCH: Tampa set another record high Thursday with 93; Naples tied a record high Thursday with 92, which was last set in 2018. West Palm Beach tied a record warm low Thursday with 79;

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center upped development chances for two areas of interest to 30 percent over the next five days. A low expected to develop in the southwestern Caribbean was forecast to become stationary over the next five days. Another low in the Central Atlantic was forecast to move southwest.

MORNING FORECAST MODEL SNAPSHOTS:

– GFS has Caribbean disturbance going over Cuba and into the Bahamas a week from Sunday

– Central Atlantic system slides southwest toward Bahamas but makes a turn toward the north and northeast well north Puerto Rico. European (ECMWF) has similar scenario with Central Atlantic system but does not develop anything in the Caribbean.

– The GFS Parallel had the Caribbean low meandering near the Yucatan before crossing into the Bay of Campeche and approaching Mexico’s northeast coast on November 1.

Record heat in Tampa, Naples; more coastal flooding in forecast

Seasonal coastal flooding continues Thursday up and down the Florida Coast. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

“We all knew that the drier weather pattern eventually had to come to an end, and ladies and gentleman today is that day.”

Thus begins the Thursday forecast discussion from the National Weather Service in Miami, where rain chances are up to 60 percent; ditto for Fort Lauderdale; 40 percent in West Palm and 30 percent in Naples.

In West-Central Florida Tampa is expecting no rain with a high of 91, while Orlando rain chances are at a modest 20 percent.

RECORD WATCH: Tampa tied a record high with 92, equaling the previous record set in 1989. Naples tied a record high Wednesday with 91, matching the mark set just one year ago. Jacksonville tied a record high Tuesday with 89, matching the record set in 2017.

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TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center added two new areas of interest in the Atlantic late Wednesday, one in the southern Caribbean and another near Bermuda. The projected system in Caribbean has been on the GFS radar for a while, and Thursday morning’s run was no exception, brewing up a hurricane and taking it over Cuba and into the Bahamas. The model has been flip-flopping east and west, and the Thursday run had it churning over the Central Bahamas and then out to sea.

The GFS offered up a bizarre scenario, with the hurricane passing over the western tip of Cuba and then doing a loop in the Keys, pushing the storm back into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Canadian (CMC) had a weak system spinning off Miami a week from Saturday, but the European model (ECMWF) seemed most interested in the disturbance coming down from Bermuda — still keeping it off the U.S. Coast to end its 10-day run.

Invest 93L, now over the Lesser Antilles, is forecast to fizzle out, the NHC said in its 8 a.m. Tropical Weather Outlook, which said development chances were near zero.

Seasonal high tides near peak; still watching the tropics

UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center says a low pressure system could form by early next week in the southern Caribbean. Forecasters gave it a 20 percent chance of development as it moves west-northwest. They also said a non-tropical low could form near Bermuda and then move southwest and west early next week. It also had a 20 percent chance of development. Invest 93L over the Lesser Antilles, meanwhile, had a 10 percent chance of development into a depression or storm as it moves toward Puerto Rico this weekend. (Image credit: NHC)

The highest tides of the year are possible over the next seven days, the National Weather Service says. There could be minor coastal flooding (again). Also, forecasters said early morning fog was possible, especially inland, over the next few days. (Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

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ORIGINAL TROPICS WATCH: The fortunes of Invest 93L east of the Lesser Antilles took another tumble Wednesday morning, as forecasters dropped development chances to 10 percent. They predicted a track over Puerto Rico in five days, with heavy rainfall over Puerto Rico Thursday and Hispaniola Friday.

The Wednesday morning run of the GFS was back to predicting a storm that cranks up into a hurricane near Central Cuba midweek and running it northwest the following weekend, before going out to sea. The GFS Parallel offered a funky forecast, pushing the system into Central America, rather than taking it north, then back into the Caribbean, skirting Honduras and then back into the Caribbean a second time.

The European (ECMWF) is predicting broad areas of showers and thunderstorms at the end of its 10-day Wednesdy morning run, one south of Cuba and another off Florida’s East Coast.

The Canadian (CMC) is still insisting on a western Caribbean scenario, with a storm nearing the Yucatan Channel at the end of its run.

Keep in mind that the Hurricane Center hasn’t even gotten out its yellow crayon yet for the Caribbean, so at this point it’s just something to talk about while you’re sitting around playing checkers.

A cold front for the birds; Miami posts record high

THE SNOW BIRDS ARE BACK! Not just the ones with the funny-looking license plates, but the real deal — birds flying south for the winter. This image was taken from last night’s Key West radar. Here’s some detailed info on the annual migration. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

Slightly cooler weather settled over South and Central Florida this morning … but humidity remained high. The temperature at 6 a.m. in West Palm was 74 — but so was the dew point, which produced a relative humidity of 100 percent. It was 76 in Miami with the humidity at 88 percent, and 74 in Fort Lauderdale with humidity at 94 percent.

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami summed things up nicely: “Not the taste of fall you want but it`s the taste of fall you get.”

It was 73 in Orlando with a relative humidity of 96 percent; 75 in Tampa with a RH of 82 percent. Credit the passage of a weak cold front that made it all the way down the peninsula. Another cold front is on the calendar for the weekend, but it’s unclear how far south it will get and what it might mean for temperatures, forecasters said.

Orlando still won’t drop below 70 this weekend, according to the NWS in Melbourne, although the Friday night forecast low in Gainesville is 59.

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RECORD WATCH: Miami posted a record high Monday with 92. That beat the old record of 91 set in 2011. Fort Lauderdale set a record high with 93, busting the old mark of 91 set in 2006.

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TROPICS WATCH: Nature has hit the pause button on the 2020 hurricane season, but keep a wary eye on the tropics as we continue to plow through more of the Greek alphabet.

Tuesday morning’s run of the GFS showed a disturbance brewing up in the southern Caribbean a week from tomorrow, then intensifying rapidly into a hurricane that slams Jamaica on Saturday, October 24. It crosses over eastern Cuba and into the Central Bahamas, after which it curves out to sea between Bermuda and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The early run of the GFS Parallel was much more problematic for Florida, moving the storm north from the western Caribbean a week from tomorrow and then bashing western Cuba over the weekend. It clips the Keys and southeastern Florida as a 943 mb major. After that it curves out to sea.

The European (ECMWF) was not onboard with either of these scenarios, although both the ECMWF and the Canadian (CMC) showed something trying to form off the coast of Honduras toward the end of next week.

Captain, deflector shields up!

The German ICON suggests something weak — possibly what’s left of Invest 93L — crawling northwest just north of the Greater Antilles and approaching Andros Island a week from today.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center dropped development chances for 93L, now east of the Lesser Antilles, from 30 percent to 20 percent as it nears an area of high wind shear.

Cold front countdown; still watching the tropics

The graph shows dates when the temperature in Tampa first dipped below 60. It has ranged from September 19 (1981) to November 23 (2015). The long-term average is October 19. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

COLD FRONT WATCH: A “cold” front was hanging around the I-4 corridor Monday morning but was expected to slide south, through Central Florida and then South Florida tonight. Time to shut off the AC and throw open the windows? Well, no.

“Temperatures behind the front will not change much,” National Weather Service forecasters said this morning. “However, some slightly drier conditions can be expected.”

How long will the drier conditions last? Perhaps into Wednesday. And the next front, due to arrive Thursday or Friday, looks like it may stall around Lake Okeechobee or even farther north.

“For those Fall weather fans of South Florida, don`t get your hopes up yet because how far south the front slides is up in the air.”

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RAINFALL REPORT: Marathon had 1.31 inches of rain Sunday, which brought the October total to an impressive 5.02 inches — 3.03 inches above normal for this point in the month. It was dry in Key West.

West Palm Beach, 0.66; Orlando, 0.65; Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, 0.59; 0.35; Leesburg, 0.24; and Sarasota, 0.21.

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TROPICS WATCH: The tropical wave in the Central Atlantic that has been tracked by the National Hurricane Center set up shop Monday as Invest 93L, and forecast models suggested it would rake the Lesser Antilles Thursday and approach Puerto Rico on Saturday. The NHC was giving it a 30 percent chance of becoming the next tropical depression — or Tropical Storm Epsilon — by Wednesday, before it runs into strong wind shear.

The GFS depicts a low in the southern Caribbean next week — it’s unclear whether this is what’s left of 93L or something else entirely. But several model runs of the GFS have shown this whipping up in the western Caribbean and possibly threading the needle between western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula before hooking north and east into the Florida peninsula.

Hurricane expert and blogger Jeff Masters said in his Eye On The Storm on Saturday that 93L could end up in the western Caribbean or the Bahamas and that “it will have to be watched.”

Forecasters eye cold front next weekend that could pack a punch

(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

Will we finally get the real deal — honest-to-gosh open window weather — next weekend with a cold front that drives lows down into the 60s, maybe even high 50s inland? That is what the GFS is suggesting, but National Weather Service forecasters say not to get too excited since the time frame is too far out to hang your hat on.

More likely is a shot of drier air that sifts down the peninsula early this week, knocking Florida’s famous summertime humidity back on its heels but keeping temps on the warm side.

NWS Miami: “While it’s too early to get into a lot of the nuances of the weekend cold front, let’s enjoy the drier air expected early in the week, and perhaps we can get further enjoyment during the upcoming weekend. Stay tuned for details as we go through next week”.

TROPICS WATCH: Cooler temps may be on the horizon in Florida, but we’re still knee-deep in potential tropical weather threats.

National Hurricane Center forecasters continued to give a disturbance in the Central Atlantic a 20 percent chance of development over the next five days as it rolls toward the Lesser Antilles and the Caribbean. It’s unclear, based on Sunday morning’s run of the GFS, if it’s the same system as the one shown spinning up in the western Caribbean a week from Monday.

That system is depicted as moving into Central/ Western Cuba and the Florida Keys, then scraping the southeast Florida coast on its way to to the Bahamas as a hurricane. This is similar to a typical late October/ early November track:

(Image credit: NHC)

The GFS Parallel concurs, although it sends the storm farther east into the Central Bahamas, and much weaker.

Sunday morning’s run of the European (ECMWF) has a disturbance in South Florida week from Wednesday, but perhaps not as a closed low. Other models don’t seem to be picking up on much of anything.

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RAINFALL REPORT: Precipitation totals were fairly light across the state on Saturday, although CoCoRaHS observers reported in excess of 2 inches south of Palm Bay in Brevard County.

Florida rain chances jump this weekend as upper-level low moves into peninsula

(Image credit: NWS Melbourne)

Humidity levels have begun climbing again across South Florida, with dew points increasing from the upper 60s and lower 70s on Friday to the mid- to upper-70s as the previously advertised upper level low drifts up from Cuba.

The National Weather Service in Miami is calling for more than an inch of rain through Tuesday for metro areas of southeastern Florida, with an inch-and-a-half or more in coastal East-Central Florida.

Another shot of dry air may roll into the peninsula next week, but the GFS and European (ECMWF) differ on how far south it may get. In any case, NWS forecasters in Miami said temperatures won’t be affected much, with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s.

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TROPICS WATCH: Hurricane Delta made landfall at 6:15 p.m. Friday, 12 miles west of Creole, Louisiana, just a few miles east of Cameron where Hurricane Laura made landfall. Wind shear kicked in before landfall and drove most of the rain into the northern side of the storm, which packed winds of 95 mph, according to the National Weather Service. About 600,000 homes and businesses were without power Saturday morning.

At 8 a.m. EDT, winds were down to 40 mph as the storm moved north-northeast at 16 mph.

The Lake Charles Regional Airport reported 9.53 inches of rain through midnight with a top wind gust of 95 mph

The National Hurricane Center was still watching a system in the Eastern Atlantic, giving it a 20 percent chance of development by Thursday. The Saturday morning run of the GFS showed a low spinning up off the coast of Cuba next weekend but taking a southerly track towatrd the Yucatan and eventually dissipating over Mexico.

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RECORD WATCH: West Palm Beach tied a record warm low Friday with 80, as did Vero Beach with 78.