Florida forecasters predict soggy start to holiday weekend

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WEATHER WATCHER: The new GOES-16 satellite, which observes Earth from a stationary orbit 22,300 miles above the equator, snapped this image of the Earth and moon in January. The satellite sends sharper images of weather systems every 15 minutes, which enables more accurate weather forecasting. It was launched last November.  (Credit: NOAA, NASA)

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June is winding down as predicted, with the Bermuda high in the Atlantic maintaining its grip on the Florida peninsula and bringing hot and dry weather more typical of July.

But a cold front that stalls over central Florida around mid-week should pump more moisture into the area, driving rain chances up as high as 50 percent around the southeastern coast, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Don’t look for anything too dramatic, though — NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is calling for a maximum of 1.3 inches of rain in interior locations Tuesday through Thursday, with under an inch in the forecast for the East Coast.

The threat of wet weather may stretch into the holiday weekend, a long one this year that starts Friday afternoon and sails through Tuesday. For now, Weather Underground is calling for rain chances of from 50-60 percent in South Florida through Monday, July 3. But AccuWeather brings rain chances down to 30 percent for July 4.

FLORIDA DROUGHT WATCH: The state map was wiped clean of any drought areas this week, although parts of Central Florida north of Lake Okeechobee remained abnormally Dry, the U.S. Drought Monitor said. Also, parts of the Tallahassee area in the eastern panhandle were Abornally Dry.

RECORD WATCH: The low in Miami Friday was 82, tying the mark for the warmest minimum temperature set two years ago in 2015.

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THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW  … IN REVERSE: The buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere can reach a tipping point that leads to rapid temperature increases of up to 10 degrees Celsius in higher latitudes — a phenomenon called Dansgaard-Oeschger events that has been observed in ice core samples collected in Greenland.

The research was conducted by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. https://www.awi.de/nc/en/about-us/service/press/press-release/wie-sich-das-klima-an-kipppunkten-in-kurzer-zeit-aendert.html

Other studies have suggested that temperature rises could flush enough fresh water into the Atlantic to disrupt the Gulf Stream, which delivers heat to part of northwestern Europe.

But this study looks at intensification of trade winds over Central America and warming of the eastern Pacific. This in turn causes a rise in salinity in the Atlantic, actually amplifying — rather than disrupting — circulation in the Atlantic.

“Our simulations indicate that even small changes in the CO2 concentration suffice to change the circulation pattern, which can end in sudden temperature increases,” says the author, Xu Zhang.

This scenario has unfolded in the past, researchers say, but during glacial periods.

“We can’t say for certain whether rising CO2 levels will produce similar effects in the future, because the framework conditions today differ from those in a glacial period,” says researcher Gerrit Lohmann. “That being said, we’ve now confirmed that there have definitely been abrupt climate changes in the Earth’s past that were the result of continually rising CO2 concentrations.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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