PM UPDATE: More than 5 inches of rain is possible in parts of South Florida over the next several days as a tropical system coming in from the southeastern Bahamas — previously tracked as Invest 95L by the National Hurricane Center — moves toward the Florida peninsula Thursday and Friday. NHC forecasters were still giving a 10 percent chance of tropical development over the next five days if it can stay off the Florida coast. Either way, heavy rain is in the forecast for the Florida peninsula.
On top of that, the tropical wave in the Mid-Atlantic that has been tracked by the NHC, now designated 96L, was given a 70 percent chance of development by Monday.
Forecast models have been sending this system out to sea near the Bahamas, but the Wednesday night run of the legacy version of NOAA’s GFS — replaced in June by the latest upgrade — brings it near Florida’s East Coast.
The National Weather Service in Miami said late Wednesday: “Early Next Week: The mid and upper level trough remains situated over the eastern sea board of the United States with an extension into Florida expected. This will allow the wet pattern to continue which will require continued monitoring and attention.
“However, eyes are also on the tropics as the next area highlighted in NHC`s Tropical Weather Outlook may push westward from the Antilles. Obviously uncertainty is high this far out in the period, but this pattern will need to be monitored to see if the blocking trough remains over the region as any potential tropical features approach.
“This should serve as a clear reminder that August is here, knocking on our collective doors, and that the climatological peak of hurricane season approaches. This is an excellent time to ensure that hurricane action plans including supplies, preparations for family members/friends/pets/businesses, and important documents are reviewed and ready in case action becomes necessary.”
(Image credits: Top, NHC; bottom: Early forecast models for Invest 96L via SFWMD)
(Image credit: NWS-Miami)
ORIGINAL POST: The rugged land masses of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and high wind shear, took their toll on Invest 95L early this week as it limps toward the Bahamas. Nevertheless, the National Weather Service in Miami sent out a special weekend weather outlook to the media on Wednesday, warning of possible heavy rain and flooding from the system.
“Minor coastal flooding is also possible given a new moon and tide levels averaging a bit above predictions.” forecasters said. Tide levels are averaging .8 to .9 above normal, with a new moon on Friday, they said.
The forecast is for 2-3 inches with locally higher amounts starting on Friday and going into the weekend. East-Central Florida is expecting around an inch.
Jacksonville is looking for increased “nuisance flooding” due to the new moon, and possibly heavy rainfall over the weekend leading to minor flooding. Ditto for Florida’ West Coast, since the passage of 95L to the east should draw up moisture from the deep tropics and spread it over the entire peninsula.
Weather watchers are turning their attention to the tropical wave that’s about to enter the Mid-Atlantic. It hadn’t been designated 96L as of early Wednesday but that seemed to be just a matter of time, since forecasters at the National Hurricane Center bumped up development chances of the wave to 50 percent by Monday.
Forecast models generally show this storm heading out to sea east of the Florida peninsula, but it’s too soon to let your guard down, since arrival of the system in the vicinity of the U.S. Coast is still more than seven days away. This will likely be the topic of discussion for tropical weather buffs over the next few days since it’s our first real Cape Verde system, a long-tracking storm that has the potential to jump-start the meat-and-potatoes of the hurricane season.
ALARM BELLS IN THE ARCTIC: Glaciers from Alaska to Antarctica are melting up to 100 times faster than previously thought, according to a new article in Scientific American.
A team of glaciologists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. are using technology that fishermen use to track their catches — a multibeam sonar instrument, which maps the topography of the glacier’s face from a distance.
They found they could determine the which parts of the glacier were melting by analyzing the shape of it over time. “When they combined that information with GPS data that tracked the glacier’s movement, they could chart the rate of meltwater flow,” the magazine says.
At the peak of the melting season in August, melting rates are higher below the water line where the glacier enters the ocean from land. That causes more ice to break off, which sort of unlocks the land-based ice and gives it a path to the water. “The glacier starts speeding up because it’s like removing a plug in front of the glacier,” says glaciologist Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The article contains some dramatic time-lapse photos of water gushing from glaciers and the land-based ice flowing toward the sea.
It’s a timely look at glacier melt since, as July ended and August was beginning, record-setting high pressure was moving over Greenland, poised to jack up temperatures and speed up ice melt. Whatever comes off Alaska — and Greenland — contribute directly to sea level rise.