Extreme Drought conditions have expanded in Central Florida north of Lake Okeechobee, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday. They now stretch from the northern shores of the lake to just south of Orlando.
The only drought-free areas of the state included the southeastern counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, and counties along the Gulf Coast in the panhandle. Most of the rest of the state is suffering from Moderate or Severe Drought, including the Tampa area and all of the rest of the western peninsula.
Despite last weekend’s cold front and rain, two of the four major reporting sites in South Florida have fallen behind in monthly precipitation. West Palm Beach and Naples remain slightly ahead of the game, but Miami and Fort Lauderdale have fallen behind by between a third and a half-inch.
The Extreme Drought in Florida is one of only two spots in the entire U.S. dealing with that level of drought, the other being just north of the Florida state line in southeastern Georgia.
California is now almost drought-free, with the exception of a few areas of far Southern California where Moderate Drought remains in place.
Adrian was disorganized Thursday as it moved northwest at 7 mph off the coast of Central America. (Credit: NHC)
MEANDERING IN THE PACIFIC: Adrian, the earliest forming tropical storm in the eastern North Pacific, continued to deteriorate Thursday morning and was expected to become a remnant low by Thursday afternoon. It was downgraded from a tropical storm to a depression Wednesday afternoon.
Adrian was moving toward the northwest — away from the coast of Mexico, and a turn toward the west was expected.
The National Hurricane Center had originally forecast Adrian to become a 100-mph hurricane, but increasing wind shear disrupted the system.
GLOBAL TEMPERATURE BREAKTHROUGH SEEN: Global temperatures could exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5 degrees C by 2026, a new study by the University of Melbourne in Australia contends.
Researchers say the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, or IPO has been in a negative phase, which has somewhat modified the advance of global warming. But they believe the IPO is now transitioning to a positive phase, which could actually enhance, rather than off-set, warming.
“Even if the IPO remains in a negative phase, our research shows we will still likely see global temperatures break through the 1.5 C guard rail by 2031,” lead author Ben Henley says.