Chances for wet weekend on the wane for South Florida, forecasters say

Chances for any significant rainfall in parched South Florida are dwindling as the weekend approaches, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

While a low pressure system and accompanying cold front pushes east across the eastern U.S. and into the Mid-Atlantic, triggering potentially severe weather, it’s looking as if the front could weaken substantially before providing the area with any much-need rain.

Precipitation probabilities peak at around 30 percent Friday and Friday night, forecasters said, then level off to around 20 percent Saturday and Sunday as the front lingers in the area.

“While models show the bulk of activity over the Gulf of Mexico weakening substantially as it nears South Florida later on Friday, will have to watch for potential of more organized convection holding together,” forecasters said in their Wednesday discussion.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center shows maximum precipitation amounts through the weekend of around a quarter of an inch around South Florida, and less as you head south toward the Keys.

The front is expected to wash out over the area on Sunday.

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800px-GreenMountainWindFarm_Fluvanna_2004

OUTLOOK CLOUDY: As the U.S. gears up to put a greater emphasis on coal for energy needs, other parts of the world are seeing a brighter future for renewable resources.

The U.S. is already well behind the rest of the world when it comes to renewable energy, and the question is now whether this gap will widen further in the coming years. President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday wiping out previous climate change directives that would have closed many coal-fired power plants.

Hydroelectricity, solar and wind accounted for about 15 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2016, according to Nature.com. That was almost double compared to a decade ago, when renewables accounted for just 8 percent of the market.

But they accounted for 24 percent of power generation in 2016 worldwide.

A new study by the University of California at Berkeley suggests wind and solar power will take center stage in Africas as power needs triple on the continent by 2030.

Researchers identified potential for solar and wind farms in 21 nations in southern and eastern Africa, from Libya and Egypt to the east coast of South Africa. The reliance on wind and solar to fuel the growth would save billions of dollars in infrastructure costs across the continent, they said.

About a third of Africa uses hydroelectric power, but the reliability of that is in doubt as the potential for drought increases due to climate change.

“The surprising find is that the wind and solar resources in Africa are absolutely gigantic, and something you could tap into for relatively low-cost,” said senior author Duncan Callaway, a UC Berkeley associate professor of energy and resources. “But we need to be thinking now about strategies for fostering international collaboration to tap into the resource in a way that is going to maximize its potential while minimizing its impact.”

Image: Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm, near Fluvanna, Texas via Wikimedia Commons.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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