Temps tumble into the 50s in North Florida; Melissa weakening

ECFL forecast

BEACH ALERT: Dangerous conditions with high surf and rip currents cover Florida’s East Coast from Daytona Beach South into Palm Beach and Broward counties, where High Surf Advisories were posted. “Entering the surf is strongly discouraged,” NWS forecasters in Melbourne said. (Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

FALL IN PROGRESS: It was in the mid- to upper-50s in North Florida on Saturday morning, and the low- to mid-60s in Central Florida, as autumn weather finally took hold. At 7 a.m., it was 56 degrees in Lake Butler, north of Gainesville; 55 in Live Oak; and 56 in the Tallahassee area, according to Weather Underground.

It was in the low 60s as far south as Okeechobee County.

Temps were in the low 70s in South Florida and the mid- to upper-70s in southeastern Florida; and there were a few 80-degree readings in the Keys, where a frontal boundary that came through the peninsula on Friday had stalled out.

RAINFALL REPORT: That triggered some decent rain as it came through: Miami International Airport picked up 0.95 of an inch; 0.87 fell in Fort Lauderdale; and 0.85 fell in West Palm Beach.

A few beach front communities reported up to an inch-and-a-half of rain from Palm Beach to Miami Beach, while the Treasure Coast received a few hundredths of an inch. The West Coast, North Florida and the panhandle were dry.

After a dry Saturday statewide, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami predicted that the frontal boundary would push back to the north on Sunday and Monday, increasing rain chances in South Florida for early next week.


TROPICS WATCH: Subtropical Storm Melissa was weakening on Saturday as it began moving off to the northeast. It was forecast to become post-tropical on Sunday.

Two other systems were being watched by the National Hurricane Center, one expected to roll off the coast of Africa on Sunday, and one expected to form in the southern Caribbean. Development chances range from 20-30 percent.

Forecast models show nothing of concern approaching Florida over the next seven to 10 days.


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.


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.


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.

Heavy rain possible in South Florida next week; Jeff Masters leaving Weather Underground

Expected rainfall totals SFL

Expected rainfall totals through Tuesday in South Florida. (Image credit: NWS-Miami)

RAIN EVENT UPDATE: The National Weather Service has been talking over the past few days about an increase in precipitation across the peninsula the middle of next week. Forecasters say this event is coming into better focus, due to a trough coming down from the north and another coming up from the south.

“This trough will slowly move east across the Florida Peninsula middle of next week,” the NWS Miami office said Saturday. “At the same time, a low level trough over the Northwestern Caribbean Sea will move slowly northward into South Florida. The combination of these will bring in deeper tropical moisture to South Florida leading to scattered to numerous showers and some thunderstorms.”

Rain chances around South Florida jump from 50 percent Monday to 70 percent Tuesday and 80 percent on Wednesday.

“We will need to continue to monitor the latest forecast models on this developing trend of possible heavy rainfall over South Florida for early to middle of next week,” forecasters said.

Rain chances in Central Florida are at 30-40 percent during this period; but up to 60 percent in the Tampa area and 40-50 percent in North Florida.


SUDDEN TRACK CHANGE: Jeff Masters, who co-founded Weather Underground in 1995 and developed a popular tropical weather blog — most recently called Category 6 — is leaving the IBM-owned company at the end of the month.

Weather Underground was sold to The Weather Channel in 2012, and to IBM in 2016.

“I am grateful to weather.com and IBM for making me feel welcome and allowing me to continue covering what I love, but I’ve never felt comfortable in a large corporate environment–I was more in my element back in the old days of WU,” he said in a Category 6 blog post Friday.

Masters will be writing for the Scientific American website with a new blog called “Eye of the Storm: the Science Behind Extreme Weather.”

“I will be averaging 50 posts per year—a lot less than the 150 – 200 posts per year I’ve been doing for Category 6.”

His co-blogger, Bob Henson, will continue writing for Category 6.

“The Scientific American website does not allow comments on their posts, so I plan on engaging with the WU community in the comments section of Category 6 to discuss my posts at Scientific American,” Masters said.


Continental US - Clean Longwave Window - IR

Saturday’s Gulf of Mexico satellite showed the disturbance in the western Caribbean. (Image credit: NOAA)

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center predicts an area of low pressure will form over the next five days in the Atlantic between the Azores and Bermuda. They gave it a 40 percent chance of becoming the next tropical depression, or Tropical Storm Melissa, as it moves toward the west.

An area of disturbed weather in the northwestern Caribbean (left) was not on the NHC’s radar, but it’s been firing up some fairly vigorous convection over the last couple of days.

The GFS is showing a couple of systems toward the end of its 16-day run in the southern Caribbean, one of which rolls into Central America and another that comes off the Central America Central America coast late in the run, and moves into the Keys and South Florida as a tropical storm.

The forecast model has been flip-flopping back and forth on development in the Caribbean for at least the last week, but there doesn’t seem to be anything of concern in Florida’s neck of the woods over the next week to 10 days or so.

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)


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.


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.


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.


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)

Autumn day #2: Temps dip below 60 in Central Florida; forecasters keeping an eye on Karen

Key West flooding

A Coastal Flood Statement was in effect in Key West with tides running up to a foot above normal. “It didn’t rain overnight, so any areas of water you see on the street are saltwater!” the National Weather Service said Tuesday morning on its Facebook page. (Image credit: Meteorologist Sandy Delgado/ NWS-Key West)


The first full day of autumn started out on a coolish note — cool by Florida standards, anyhow — with early morning temps in the low 60s as far south as Lake Wales.

There was even a reading of 59 degrees in Pine Ridge, south of Dunnellon in Citrus County, according to Weather Underground.

South Florida and Central Florida were mostly in the low 70s, but a few areas in the interior dipped into the upper 60s. It was 64 in Okeechobee; 68 in Orlando.

The National Weather Service was calling for dry weather for the remainder of the week with northeast winds. Outside of the fact that many cities up and down the peninsula are dealing with significant rainfall shortages for September, this is about as good as it gets this time of the year.

Keep those irrigation systems turned on.



(Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: Karen flared up overnight and became a tropical storm again as it approached Puerto Rico. The island was under a Tropical Storm Warning and Flash Flood Watch with up to 8 inches of rain expected. The center of Karen, a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph, was forecast to be north of the islands by late afternoon.

The strength of the storm once it gets into the Atlantic will determine its ultimate track, the National Hurricane Center said.

“The GFS, GFS-Legacy, UKMET, and HRWF dynamical models take a much weaker and more vertically shallow cyclone northeastward after 48 hours and either continue with that motion through day 5 or dissipate the system,” forecaster Stacy Stewart said.

“In contrast, the [European model] ECMWF and many of its stronger ensemble members stall Karen around days 3-4 and then turn the somewhat stronger and deeper cyclone westward to west-southwestward to the south of a building ridge. Given that Karen is forecast to be stronger and vertically deeper than the weaker models, the current track forecast leans more toward the stronger ECMWF and ECMWF-Ensemble model solutions.”

On the projected track, by Saturday Karen would be a 70 mph tropical storm and moving toward the southwest — but about a thousand miles east-northeast of Miami.


Tuesday forecast tracks for Tropical Storm Karen. (Image credit: SFWMD)

Breezy weather in forecast; tropical wave arrives for weekend

Keys wind gusts

Winds were gusting well into the 40-mph range in the Keys on Wednesday and more breezy weather was in the forecast for Thursday. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

The relative humidity dropped to as low as 52 percent — with a dew point of 61 degrees — at Palm Beach International Airport Thursday morning in an early taste of fall, South Florida-style.

Of course, the actual temperature was still 80, so the sweaters remain in the back of the closet.

The dew point in Miami plunged to 63 degrees with a relative humidity of 58 percent; ditto in Fort Lauderdale.

Humidity was on the rise in Naples Thursday morning, but Wednesday afternoon’s relative humidity was 44 percent — albeit with an air temperature of 95.

East-Central Florida also woke up to lower humidity, with a dew point of 62 in Vero Beach.

“The drier air will result in slightly cooler daytime highs in the 80s to lower 90s with lows dropping into the lower to mid 70s away from the coasts and urban areas,” the National Weather Service in Miami said Thursday.

But breezy conditions are expected to take shape Thursday night and Friday along Florida’s East Coast, due to high pressure to the north and low pressure in the Caribbean, represented by ex-Invest 96L, which continues to flare up south of Hispaniola.

The National Hurricane Center said the system would move slowly toward the northwest over the weekend, but it looked pretty much stationary on satellite. It had a low 10 percent chance of tropical development.

Nevertheless, NWS forecasters say moisture from the system should poke its way into South Florida over the weekend, with rain chances rising to 50 percent by Saturday and winds gusting over 30 mph.

Breezy conditions are in the forecast for Central Florida as well, from Vero Beach and Mebourne and over to Tampa, but with lower rain chances.

Dew points in the mid-60s were even reported in the Keys Thursday morning. “Enjoy that unseasonably crisp September air today, as 70s dew points look to return in a hurry as a weak tropical wave ushers more moist air into the region,” forecasters in Key West said.



Three potential systems were being monitored by the National Hurricane Center, in addition to Tropical Storm Jerry, Hurricane Humberto and Tropical Depression Imelda. (Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: Luckily for Florida, and the U.S. East Coast in general, it looks fairly certain that [Hurricane Jerry, with 90 mph winds as of 5 p.m.], will make its well advertised turn toward the north east of the Bahamas and head out to sea.

Forecast models show no Florida threats over the next seven to 10 days.

Tropical Depression Imelda, meanwhile, was stuck over eastern Texas where it had dropped more than 30 inches of rain in some places. Imelda was only a tropical storm for a short time, but it has done major damage as a depression.

Hurricane Humberto toppled trees and power lines in Bermuda and left 28,000 customers without power, according to NBC News. A Tropical Storm Warning was lifted early Thursday as the storm sped off to the northeast.

Intensifying Humberto may scrape Bermuda; record heat forecast for panhandle

Caribbean satellite Monday

Monday’s Caribbean satellite shows Hurricane Humberto off Florida’s northeast coast. Center-right, ex-96L was firing up convection as it moves into the Caribbean. (Image credit: NOAA)

Humberto became the third hurricane of the 2019 season late Sunday night with 75 mph winds, and it continued to strengthen Monday morning, when winds were measured at 85 mph. It was moving toward the northeast at 5 mph.

All of Monday’s forecast models showed 97L curving out to sea northeast of the Lesser Antilles. A system behind 97L is shown making it into the Bahamas around October 1, but very weak. The European (ECMWF) also shows the latter disturbance, but it only gets half-way across the Atlantic before the run ends.

The disturbance formerly known as 96L arrived in the Lesser Antilles and moving into the eastern Caribbean Monday, with some robust convection, although it was dropped by the National Hurricane Center as an area of interest last week. It’s still battling moderately high wind shear but that would relax if it can make it into the central or western Caribbean.

The Gulf of Mexico also has low wind shear, according to the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin — and warm temperatures to boot. An area of disturbed weather in the western Gulf was close to land and was forecast to move inland Monday night.


PANHANDLE TO THE FRYING PAN: The panhandle may be looking at record high temperatures this week, with upper 90s common. That’s about 10 degrees above normal for mid-September.

Records could be challenged in Tallahassee, where Tuesday’s record high is 99 (1933) and Wednesday’s is 98 (2005).

Heat index readings will be around 105.

Don’t bother looking for refreshing breezes further south in the peninsula, either, although drier winds out of the north should bring a drop in humidity levels on Tuesday.

Subtropical humidity returns for the weekend — and higher rain chances, forecasters said.


Keys forecast

CONTINUITY IN THE KEYS: The story in the Keys will be rinse and repeat this week. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

From the National Weather Service: “Aside from winds shifting back to the northeast beginning Tuesday night, the forecast this week may seem like a scene out of Groundhog Day… albeit with a slightly higher chance of rain on Friday.”