Stalled cold front forecast to bring weekend rain

WCFL temps

Chamber of Commerce weather is in the forecast for most of the Florida peninsula through the end of the week before a cold front slides in on Saturday. (Image credit: NWS-TampaBay)

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A cold front forecast to stall over Central Florida this weekend could spark the next round of rain in the state, but don’t expect the kind of downpours Florida saw at the end of January.

The National Weather Service says showers could reach as far south as northern Palm Beach County, but forecasters expect only around a tenth of an inch, although rain chances do increase to 30 percent for northern areas of South Florida. The chance of more significant rainfall increases as you head up into the Treasure Coast.

Precipitation chances in Vero Beach, for example, are at 40 percent on Saturday, but only 20 percent in the Tampa area.

The front is forecast to shift back to the north early next week as a warm front, delivering more toasty temps to Central and South Florida. Even North Florida will be back up near 80 early next week, the National Weather Service says.

Normal rainfall is in the forecast for Central and South Florida through the middle of the month, according to the Climate Prediction Center. That’s the good news. The bad news is that February is normally one of the driest months in Florida.

Luckily, many cities have built up hefty surpluses thanks to the wet first weekend of the month.

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SMOG SCIENCE: A warming climate increases air pollution, scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have concluded.

Concentrations of aerosols — tiny particles or liquid droplets suspended in the air — are on the increase because of differences in the rate of warming over the oceans and land, researchers said. The problem is that land temperatures are rising faster than ocean temperatures, which results in drier conditions and a climate less able to wash out the particles.

The increase in aerosols cause smog and other kinds of air pollution and that can cause health problems in people and animals.

“A robust response to an increase in greenhouse gases is that the land is going to warm faster than the ocean. This enhanced land warming is also associated with increased continental aridity,” says Robert Allen, an associate professor of earth sciences at UC Riverside and an author of the study.

The study assumes that people won’t take steps to reduce pollutants in other ways, Allen said, so the study’s results represent “an upper bound” of the problem.

“The question is what level of air quality are we going to accept,” Allen said. “Even though California has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country we still have relatively poor air quality, and it’s much worse in many countries.”

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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