SUPERSTORM ANNIVERSARY: A late-winter low pressure system that formed in the Gulf of Mexico wreaked havoc on 26 states after it moved over North Florida on March 13, 1993. The system produced a wind gust of 96 mph in Tampa Bay along with a 12-foot storm surge in the Big Bend area. Multiple tornadoes were produced from the system, which also brought heavy snow to the Deep South. (Image credit: NWS-Wilmington NC)
PICTURE PERFECT WEATHER: High pressure parked over Florida will keep cold fronts at bay over the next week or so, the National Weather Service says.
“A series of weak cold fronts and troughs traverse the eastern portion of the [U.S.] throughout the forecast period, but again, high pressure over Florida will keep the fronts to the north of the CWA,” forecasters said in their Friday morning discussion from Miami. “By Tuesday into Wednesday, one of the fronts makes a run for South Florida, however it stalls over central Florida.”
Despite that, Orlando stays in the mid-80s through most of next week, NWS forecasters in Melbourne say.
There’s a 65 percent chance that the tropical Pacific will see ENSO neurtral conditions — around average water temperatures, in other words — through summer, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said in an El Niño/ La Niña update on Thursday.
But things get a little murkier toward the end of summer, with La Niña chances growing from the July-September period through the end of the year.
Still, “The majority of [forecast] models favor ENSO-neutral … through the Northern Hemisphere fall,” forecasters said.
It’s a crucial question for the hurricane season since El Niño (warmer than normal water) and La Niña (cooler than normal water) have big effects on how many storms develop and how intense they might become. El Niño creates high wind shear in the tropical Atlantic and keeps a lid on development, while La Niña leads to more accommodating conditions.
If we are indeed trending toward La Niña by the end of summer, it could mean another busy peak of the season.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology releases its new ENSO forecast next Tuesday.
In its March 3 update, forecasters said neutral conditions were likely through mid-year. “ENSO predictions made during autumn [NOTE: the northern hemisphere spring] tend to have lower accuracy than predictions made at other times of the year. This means that current ENSO forecasts beyond May should be used with some caution.”
The World Meteorological Association issued its annual State of the Global Climate Report on Tuesday.
Josh Petri, who writes the Week in Green column for Bloomberg, summed the report up this way: “It’s not good. The organization projects 22 million people were displaced by extreme weather last year, up from 17.2 million the year before. Temperatures in 2019 were on average 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, making it the second-warmest year on record.”
Goals established in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate — which the U.S. has dropped out of — are far from being reached, the report says.
HOT TIP: The National Weather Service in Key West reminded spring breakers Friday that springtime heat in Florida needs to be taken seriously. “Your body’s ability to cool itself is challenged,” forecasters said on Facebook. “When your body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, you may experience a heat-related illness. Make sure to learn the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.” (Image credit: NWS-Key West)