Gusty winds hammer Keys, Florida’s East Coast

Keys wind gusts

Winds were gusting up to 39 mph in the Keys on Thursday due to a tight pressure gradient between high pressure to the north and low pressure to the south. Windy weather was in the forecast through Sunday. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

Top wind gusts along South Florida’s East Coast (and inland) as of Friday morning: Fowey Rocks, Biscayne Bay, 39 mph; Sunrise, 38 mph; Tamiami Executive Airport, Kendall, 38 mph; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Aiprort, 37 mph; Miami International Airport, 36 mph; Palm Beach International Airport, 35 mph; Immokalee, 35 mph;

East-Central: Melbourne, 32 mph; and Fort Pierce, 31 mph. Winds were calmer on Florida’s West Coast and in North Florida.

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MORE ON 2019: Annual average temperatures in East-Central Florida for each year since 2015 have been among the top 10 warmest on record for cities from Daytona Beach to Fort Pierce, the National Weather Service in Melbourne said in a report posted Thursday.

“Extreme warmth [occurred] at times, especially into February and the fall season,” meteorologists said. “Most notably, Vero Beach had their warmest September and October on record. It was also the warmest October on record for Daytona Beach and Orlando.”

Check out the full report for complete details.

Separately, Weather Underground discussed a NOAA report that said Florida had its second-hottest year and the U.S. had its second-wettest year on record in 2019.

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PONDERING THE PACIFIC: ENSO neutral conditions are expected in the Tropical Pacific through spring and perhaps through summer as well, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said in an analysis released Thursday.

The gave neutral conditions — neither El Niño, abnormally warm waters, nor La Niña, abnormally cool waters — a 60 percent chance of lasting through spring and a 50 percent chance of lasting through summer. Neutral conditions currently prevail.

It’s an important forecast in terms of the 2020 hurricane season. Under El Niño, tropical activity in the Atlantic is suppressed due to increased upper-level wind shear, while La Niña is usually accompanied by above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

When El Niño conditions ended last summer, hurricane activity spiked, producing such storms as the deadly Hurricane Dorian.

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FLORIDA DROUGHT UPDATE: Drought conditions faded throughout Florida after a wet December, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday. Moderate Drought lingered, though, in the Central Panhandle and Moderate Drought was reduced to Abnormally Dry conditions in the Everglades.

Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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