Naples smashes 75-year-old record high; heavy rain possible mid-week

ECFL rainfall projections

(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

RECORD WATCH: The heat moderated slightly in the panhandle on Saturday — highs were only in the mid-90s — but Naples baked under record heat. It was 96, eclipsing a 75-year-old record of 95 set back in 1944.

Tampa tied a record high with 93, last set in 1990, while Sarasota busted a record high with 94, beating the old record of 93 set in 1990.

Melbourne posted a record warm low Saturday with 80 degrees, tying a mark set in 2007.

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RAINFALL EVENT UPDATE: With a frontal system coming down from the north, and a trough of low pressure drifting up from the Caribbean, the Florida peninsula is forecast to be in the soup by mid-week.

The National Weather Service’s high-end rainfall projections show more than 3.5 inches falling in the Orlando area through Wednesday morning; and up to 2.5 inches falling on Florida’s southwest coast, with lesser amounts on the southeastern coast. West-Central precip chances are in the 40-50 percent range.

By Wednesday, “locally heavy rainfall will be possible along the coast,” forecasters in Jacksonville said.

Drier weather returns for the weekend, forecasters said.

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TROPICS WATCH: National Hurricane Center forecasters are watching one disturbance and another potential disturbance in the North Atlantic. A system in the North-Central Atlantic, between Bermuda and the Azores, was moving west with a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical or subtropical cyclone by the middle of the week.

A second system, forecast to form by mid-week a little closer to the Mid-Atlantic Coast was given a 30 percent chance of tropical or subtropical development over the next five days.

Sunday’s GFS continued where Saturday’s left off, depicting a low in the southern Caribbean sloshing over Central America, back into the Caribbean and over Cuba, then swiping the southeast Florida Coast and the Northwestern Bahamas on the way out to sea.

The low would begin to spin up a week from Monday. It’s still pretty far out, and the European (ECMWF) has nothing at the end of its run, although the Canadian (CMC) has the Caribbean system on its 10-day map.

The German ICON has the system forming in the southern Caribbean next weekend, but not the Navy’s NAVGEM.

The GFS Legacy is no longer being run.

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All-time October heat record for Tallahassee; a zigzagging hurricane that hit the Keys

Hurricane Inez

HURRICANE HISTORY: Here’s a reminder that hurricanes can take some odd-ball tracks with twists and turns. Fifty-three years ago on Friday, Hurricane Inez plowed across the Florida Keys after a destructive romp through the Greater Antilles. Inez came up from the Caribbean and followed the southern coast of Cuba until it made a hard right turn to the north-northeast into the northwestern Bahamas. After that it stalled, then made another turn toward the west-southwest and walloped the Keys with gusts of up to 110 mph. At its peak, Inez was a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

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RELENTLESS: The high in Tallahassee on Thursday reached a scorching 97 degrees — the warmest temperature ever recorded in the city in October.

What was the previous record high for October? That was set the day before on Wednesday, 96 degrees. The long-standing all-time October record of 95 — set in 1941 — was tied on October 1.

To the west just off I-10, Crestview reached 101 degrees.

Down the coast, Naples tied a record high Thursday with 94. That was set in 1990.

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7 day rainfall
The seven-day rainfall forecast shows heaviest precip in South Florida and the Keys. (Image credit: NOAA/ WPC)

WET WEEK? An approaching front resulting in southwest winds next week could bring heavy rain to South Florida, the National Weather Service says.

“A conditional risk for flooding could eventually materialize in the Monday night to Wednesday time frame across South Florida,” forecasters said in their Friday discussion in Miami.

In Central Florida, rain chances remain at around 20-30 percent through Tuesday before jumping to 50 percent on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tampa’s rain chances range from 50-60 percent all of next week.

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HERE’S A COOL ULTRA-LONG-RANGE FORECAST: It could turn out to be in weather fantasy-land, but the GFS is showing a cold front that means business sliding down the entire Florida peninsula around Friday, October 18, pushing temperatures into the high 40s in the western panhandle and below 60 as far south as Orlando.

Under this scenario, temperatures the next morning, on Saturday October 19 would dip into the low- to mid-60s in parts of South Florida, with highs topping out in the 70s around Lake Okeechobee.

Nothing to hang your hat on at this point, but a reminder that, yes, Virginia, autumn really does come to Florida — you just gotta have some patience. It looks a little different from northern climates but is nonetheless spectacular.

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NWS Melbourne anniversary

METEOROLOGICAL BLAST FROM THE PAST: The National Weather Service office in Melbourne is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its opening this month. Things started out small and quiet but have gotten busy! (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

More flooding for Keys; Severe Drought expands in North Florida

Key West flooding

RISING WATER IN KEY WEST: A Coastal Flood Advisory remained in effect for the Keys and for South Florida’s East Coast due to high tides. This photo was taken early Thursday morning. Additional photos were published on the National Weather Service’s Facebook page. (Image credit: William Churchill/ NWS-Key West)

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RAINFALL REPORT: Some decent rains have been falling in the Keys and up the East Coast to around Fort Lauderdale. Areas to the north and west have gotten zip. Conditions are still as dry as they were in September.

The words “potential for heavy rain” appeared in the National Weather Service forecast discussion from Miami on Thursday morning, but that would be late next week — if it happens at all. Forecasters said confidence in that occurring is low due to “increasing variability among model solutions.”

Meanwhile, Severe Drought conditions expanded this week in the northern tier of Florida counties, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported in its latest analysis released Thursday. Abnormally Dry conditions, the precursor to full-fledged drought, have been creeping down the peninsula from the north.

Parts of Georgia and Alabama are now experiencing Extreme Drought, the second most severe category.

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RECORD WATCH: Naples posted a record high temperature Wednesday with 94 degrees, breaking the old record of 92 set in 2002. Tampa tied a record high with 93.

Heat-weary Tallahassee broke another record high with 96, beating the old mark of 94 set in 1986.

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TROPICS WATCH: Now that Lorenzo is post-tropical, the only game in town Thursday was the disturbance in the Caribbean, which was given a 20 percent chance of development by forecasters at the National Hurricane Center as it moves west over the Yucatan Peninsula toward the Bay of Campeche.

Forecast models show nothing of note developing over the next seven to 10 days.

Triple digit highs fry Florida panhandle; record warm lows on East Coast

Key West flooding

High tides are causing street flooding in Key West. A Coastal Flood Advisory was posted for the Florida Keys and the East Coast of South Florida, from West Palm Beach to Miami. (Image credit: William Churchill/ NWS-Key West)

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The Florida panhandle and North Florida can’t seem to get a break from the summer heat. While the East-Central Coast has been enjoying breezy weather and more or less average temperatures, you’d think it was the Fourth of July in the panhandle.

People are grumbling about it on Facebook because well, this is October and enough is enough.

“Please make it stop!” one area resident wrote on the NWS-Tallahassee’s Facebook page. “Heat delirium has set in,” another said.

The high hit 100 degrees in Crestview on Tuesday — that’s air temperature, not the heat index. It was 97 in Marianna, 95 in Tallahassee, and 96 in Pensacola.

Farther down the peninsula, it was mostly in the low 90s on the West Coast.

The forecast for Tallahassee is for a temperature increase — Friday’s forecast high is 97.

Tallahassee had its first measurable rainfall on Tuesday since August 27. But it was no occasion to celebrate, since just 0.01 of an inch fell, about enough to smear the dust on your windshield.

The much-advertised cold front sweeping across the South is forecast to bring some relief in the early to middle part of next week. Until then, the National Weather Service says: “Daily high temperature records will be in jeopardy each day through Saturday across portions of the region as highs will rise into the mid to upper 90s.”

All-time records for the month of October may also fall.

The GFS temperature forecast shows some low- to mid-60s for overnight lows around the middle of next week, with lows dipping into the high 50s the week after.

Some Florida East Coast cities have been setting record warm lows, meanwhile. Tuesday’s low in Daytona Beach was a balmy 79, which busted an 86-year-old record of 78, set in 1933.

Vero Beach tied a record warm low with 79, last set in 2002.

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TROPICS WATCH: Hurricane Lorenzo didn’t make a direct hit on the Azores, but it brought wind gusts of up to 90 mph to western islands in the chain. It caused downed trees and power outages, but no injuries were reported by European news agencies.

Ireland is likely to be next to feel the effects of Lorenzo, which at its peak was a Category 5 storm. It was forecast to become post-tropical by Thursday, but it will still be packing hurricane-force winds through Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Forecasters were continuing to track a disturbance in the Caribbean, giving it a 20 percent chance of tropical development over the next five days as it moves west-northwest. The next name on the list is Melissa.

September rainfall records likely to fall as deficits mount

September Tallahassee

(Image credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

October begins on Tuesday, and September weather data will begin trickling in. And what a month it’s been — dry as dust from the panhandle to the Keys.

The final figures are likely to come in historically dry. It’s no coincidence that Severe to Moderate Drought, and Abnormally Dry conditions, have been edging south from North Florida down into the peninsula.

August was pretty wet for much of the Florida peninsula, so Central and South areas are all right for now.

A wetter period is coming up, according to forecasters, but the dry season is right around the corner.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee announced over the weekend that September will most likely be the driest on record, with only a trace of rain falling all month. A trace — a sprinkling that can’t be measured — fell on September 1 and September 27. That’s it.

The result is a rainfall deficit of 4.56 inches through Sunday. Apalachicola had just 0.02 of an inch in September, for a deficit of 6.52 inches.

It has also been the second-hottest September on record in Tallahassee (Records date back to 1896). The high reached 101 — that’s air temperature, not the heat index — on September 18.

The dry weather hasn’t just been in the panhandle, either. In South Florida, Fort Lauderdale tops the rainfall deficit parade with minus-7.01 inches through Sunday.

Here are some of the other shortfalls around the state:

Miami, minus-6.30; West Palm Beach, minus-6.74; and Naples, minus-6.37;

Orlando, mins-3.99 inches as of Sunday; Melbourne, minus-5.30; and Vero Beach, minus-4.12;

Tampa, minus-4.70; Sarasota, minus-4.97; and Fort Myers, minus-5.25;

Jacksonville, minus-5.60.

Hurricane Lorenzo busting records in the Atlantic

Tallahassee forecast

PANHANDLE COOKING: “Raise your hand if you are officially done with this heat,” the National Weather Service in Tallahassee said Saturday, as record temps continued. “Another hot day, and mostly dry, in the forecast again.” Tallahassee tied a record high Friday with 96, matching the mark originally set in 1972. And Apalachicola hit 92, tying a record set in 2011. (Image credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

Coastal flooding

(Image credit: NWS-Miami)

Minor flooding is expected on Florida’s East Coast through early next week due to seasonal high tides. Rain is still in the forecast for mid-week — 30-40 percent in Central Florida and South Florida; and up to 50 percent in the Keys.

The National Weather Service in Miami says the remnants of Karen will “move this way by mid-week,” but an upper-level low also in the area should prevent any redevelopment of the system.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center indicates that the heaviest precipitation will be southeast of the Florida peninsula.

TROPICS WATCH: Hurricane Lorenzo was all alone on the National Hurricane Center’s Tropical weather map on Saturday. No other disturbances were being tracked for potential development.

Lorenzo has been a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) for two days — a new record for most major hurricane days east of 45 degrees, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Philip Klotzbach.

“This breaks the old Atlantic record set by Hurricane Carrie of 1.75 days set in 1957,” he said on Twitter Saturday.

The GFS is still hinting at possible development in the western Caribbean over the 10-14 day period.

 

Rain chances finally pick up next week, forecasters say

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(Image credit: NOAA/ CPC)

An end may be in sight for the ultra-dry weather pattern that has kept the Florida peninsula in its grip for most of September.

Karen was still clinging to tropical storm status on Friday morning, and was forecast to become a remnant low on Saturday and dissipate in the open Atlantic early next week.

However, the National Weather Service in Miami said the remnants of Karen could bring some needed rain to the area by the middle of next week.

An upper level low “should bring enough shear to the area to keep the remnants of Karen from redeveloping in the area, and keep the moisture passage as just an area of increased rainfall for the mid and later half of the week,” forecasters said Friday.

“It is this tropical wave that finally brings a decent chance of rain back to South Florida for Wednesday into Thursday.” They added that “there is still uncertainty this far out.”

The GFS forecast model shows rain picking up on Wednesday and Thursday, with perhaps another batch of precipitation the following week. And in fact, the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for October 4-10 is indicating above normal rainfall for the entire Florida peninsula.

East-Central Florida rain chances increase to 50 percent by the middle of next week, which National Weather Service forecasters in Melbourne are attributing to an upper level low approaching from the southeast.

Rain chances for West-Central Florida improve into the 30-40 percent range.

TROPICS WATCH: Hurricane Lorenzo was still a powerful Category 4 storm with winds of 145 mph, moving north in the Central Atlantic. It could brush the Azores by the middle of next week.

Nothing else was showing up on Friday model runs, at least in the next seven to 10 days. The GFS had something brewing in the western Caribbean at the end of its run, but that’s two weeks away.

RECORD WATCH: Jacksonville set a record high for the third day in a row with 97, breaking the previous record of 96 set in 1961. Gainesville’s high of 95 broke the record for the date of 94 set in 1980.

And in the panhandle, Apalachicola set a new record high with 95, beating the previous record of 92 set in 1988.