Hurricane Center watching two systems for possible development

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(Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: Nestor, Olga, and Pablo. Those are the next three names on the 2019 hurricane season list, and it’s beginning to look like we could see all of them. The disturbance that’s rolling off the coast of Africa today has been designated Invest 94L by the National Hurricane Center, and all of the forecast models show something developing south of the Cabo Verde Islands.

But this is mid-October, and we won’t see any long-tracking storm cruising across the Atlantic and threatening the Antilles or the U.S. Coast. Instead, the forecast models pretty consistently take the storm to the north, with some curving it (or what remains of it as it weakens), back into northern Africa.

Here’s what the scenario looked like as of Sunday morning:

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(Image credit: SFWMD)

A second disturbance in the western Caribbean looks like it will run head-on into Central America, or the Yucatan Peninsula, then (perhaps) emerge into the western Gulf of Mexico around mid-week.

The GFS has been depicting some development of this off and on, and Sunday’s run takes a weak system into Louisiana.

Another tropical wave in the Central Atlantic has not grabbed NHC attention, but the GFS and Canadian (CMC) have the wave entering the Caribbean in long-range forecasts.

Subtropical Storm Melissa was hanging on with 45 mph winds as it moves east-northeast, but it’s forecast to become post-tropical on Monday.

RAINFALL REPORT: Decent rains fell in the Keys and in extreme southern Florida on Saturday. Marathon reported 0.63 inches, the heftiest rainfall total since August 15. Key West checked in with 0.54 of an inch. And 0.85 of an inch fell in Curry Hammock State Park, northeast of Marathon.

Miami picked up 0.24 of an inch at Miami International Airport.

Most of the peninsula and panhandle were dry, but a trace of rain fell on the East Coast as far north as Martin County.

Another stalled front was forecast by the National Weather Service to hike rain chances around the peninsula from mid-week into next weekend.

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Daytona Beach smashes rainfall record with 5.57 inches; interior lows in mid-60s by the weekend

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DROUGHT UPDATE: Extreme Drought (D3) spread into the Florida panhandle this week, while most of the rest of the panhandle, and North Florida, was in Severe (D2) or Moderate (D1) Drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday. Abnormally Dry conditions remain in most of the North Florida peninsula. Central and South Florida received significant rain this week, which should help keep drought conditions at bay for the next couple of weeks or so. (Image credit: US. Drought Monitor/ National Drought Mitigation Center)

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COOLING TREND UPDATE: Yes, we are getting to that time of the year when we sometimes get a meaningful cold front that actually delivers a breath or two of cool (OK, coo-ish) air. This weekend, after high pressure shoves this wet disturbance over the Florida peninsula to the south, a hint of autumn may make an appearance.

“Temperatures will also be enjoyable through the weekend, with low temperatures dropping into mid-60s across the northwestern interior and the mid-70s across the east coast metro areas,” the National Weather Service in Miami said. “Daytime temperatures will range from the mid 80s across the east coast to around 90 across the interior sections.”

At the end of next week, the GFS is suggesting that a stronger cold front could impact the state, with lows from the low-50s in the panhandle to the low-60s in interior areas of the peninsula.

RAINFALL REPORT: Parts of Florida’s East Coast were hammered with more than 5 inches of rain once again on Wednesday. Daytona Beach reported a record rainfall for the date of 5.57 inches, breaking the previous record of 1.73 inches set back in 1993.

Daytona Beach has had 9.02 inches from Monday through Wednesday.

Unofficial reports of 3 inches or more popped up on CoCoRaHS from East-Central Florida to South Florida, with the heaviest amounts limited to the barrier islands.

West Palm Beach reported 1.78 inches officially at Palm Beach International Airport, with more than 2 inches reported by CoCoRaHS observers elsewhere in Palm Beach County. The county was under a Flood Advisory on Wednesday night from Lantana to Palm Beach and west to Wellington and Loxahatcheee as heavy rain slowed to a crawl over the area.

On the Treasure Coast, Vero Beach, picked up another 0.44 inches on Wednesday, bringing the two-day total there to 1.55 inches.

MISSING OUT: Tallahassee has had just 0.03 of an inch of rain so far this month and is already looking at a rainfall deficit of 1.03 inches. Tallahassee had the driest September in its recorded history.

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TROPICS WATCH: Chances for tropical or subtropical development in the North Atlantic continue to diminish, according to the National Hurricane Center. One system was dropped from the map Thursday morning, and another — a disturbance due north of Bermuda — had a near zero chance of development. Another system meandering off the U.S. East Coast had a 20 percent chance of development, but NHC forecasters said conditions would become more unfavorable by the weekend.

Forecast models are still hinting at development in the southern Caribbean, but whatever might form seems destined to run into Central America before posing a threat to the Greater Antilles or the U.S.

RECORD WATCH: Miami tied a record high Wednesday with 91, matching the mark set in 2012.

Parts of Florida’s East Coast slammed with 5 inches of rain

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(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

Much of Florida’s East Coast was was drenched with heavy rain Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning, with 5.57 inches reported by an observer for the citizens observer network, CoCoRaHS, just southwest of Jacksonville in northeastern Clay County community of Orange Park.

Just under 5 inches fell in parts of St. Johns County north of St. Augustine. An observer near Ponte Vedra Beach found 4.86 inches in his backyard bucket, and several locations along the St. Johns River reported just over 4 inches.

Northeast of Orlando, in southern Seminole County, a CoCoRaHS observer reported 4.10 inches. And in Brevard County, near Cocoa, an observer reported 4.43 inches.

On the West Coast, observers in Hillsborough County reported 1-2 inches, and one observer near Ruskin reported 3.51 inches.

In South Florida, almost 4 inches of rain fell in the Middle Keys; 1.30 inches in Miami-Dade and almost 2 inches in southern Broward County.

The trigger was a frontal boundary sliding south into North and Central Florida, and a trough of low pressure moving up from the south. The National Hurricane Center began watching the latter area of disturbed weather for possible tropical development on Monday, but said it had just a 10 percent chance of becoming a depression, or tropical storm.

But on Tuesday afternoon, the NHC said low pressure had developed a few hundred miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and it was producing winds to near-tropical storm strength and “showing some signs of organization.”

“Only a small increase in organization could result in the formation of a tropical depression or storm later today or tonight. On Wednesday, the system is forecast to merge with the low off the east coast of the United
States, and further development is not anticipated after that time.”

Nothing on the NHC’s Tropical Weather Outlook map looks to have any direct effect on Florida, however.

In fact, the National Weather Service said it expects drier air to move into the peninsula over the weekend.

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Three areas of disturbed weather in the Atlantic were being monitored by the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday. (Image credit: NHC)

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tropical Storm Karen forms, future track could impact U.S.

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Forecast track for Tropical Storm Karen from the National Hurricane Center. (Image credit: NHC)

Tropical storm watches and warnings were likely to be issued on Sunday for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and parts of the Windward Islands as Tropical Storm Karen formed near the islands of Tobago and Trinidad, off the northern coast of South America.

The 11th named storm of the season was moving west-northwest at 9 mph, but it was expected to turn north-northwest, and then due north on Monday and Tuesday as it nears Puerto Rico, possibly on Tuesday.

An interesting scenario is in the forecast for Karen my mid-week according to the National Hurricane Center.

“In the 72-96 hour period, Karen is forecast to slow down and possibly even stall and turn westward on day 5 as another large ridge moves eastward across the southeastern United States and builds to the north of the cyclone,” the NHC’s Stacy Stewart said Sunday.

By late Thursday or early Friday, Karen is forecast to be at 25.6N 65.6W, 911 miles due east of Miami as a 65 mph tropical storm.

Sunday forecast models were showing the left turn earlier and later, and of course when it makes the turn will determine if and where other land areas, including the U.S., are impacted.

“It’s a bit difficult to see here but Tropical Storm #Karen is a storm to watch for potential U.S. impacts,” the Weather Channel’s Michael Ventrice said on Twitter. “The ECMWF EPS shows a hard left turn towards the US after Karen leaves the Antilles. Folks residing anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico & SE coast should stay in tune to news.”

Here are the Sunday forecast maps:

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(Image credit: SFWMD)

The system behind Karen, which just emerged off the coast of Africa, will likely become Tropical Storm Lorenzo, since the NHC gave it a 90 percent chance of development. But forecast models show this one heading north into the open Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Jerry had turned north-northwest, meanwhile, and was no longer forecast to regain hurricane status. The latest forecast track from the NHC shows Jerry missing Bermuda to the north and west.

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RAIN, RAIN GOES AWAY: The heavy rainfall that affected parts of the southern Florida peninsula and the Keys on Saturday was pushed south into the Florida Straits on Sunday.

There was no mention of rain in Miami’s forecast until Monday, with a dry week coming up. The weekend could bring another round of rain, the National Weather Service said.

Miami picked up 0.62 of an inch of rain Saturday, bringing the September total to 3.24 inches, but that’s 3.69 inches below normal for this point in September, normally the wettest month of the year along with June.

Fort Lauderdale had 0.05 of an inch and just a trace of rain fell in West Palm Beach (at minus 4.64 inches for September) and Naples (minus 4.37).

However, 2.26 inches fell in Coconut Grove, the National Weather Service said.

Up to 2 inches fell in parts of the Keys, according to the citizens observation network CoCoRaHS, but officially 0.59 of an inch fell in Marathon and 0.36 fell in Key West.

61 mph wind gust reported in Palm Beach County as Hurricane Dorian edges NW

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Major forecast models Tuesday night were pretty much unanimous in keeping Dorian off the coast of Florida — with a possible brush to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. (Image credit: SFMWD)

5 PM UPDATE: The threat to South Florida by Dorian was over late Tuesday afternoon, but East-Central Florida was in for more blustery weather. Tropical Storm Warnings were discontinued south of the Jupiter Inlet. The mandatory evacuation for the barrier islands was canceled at 4 p.m.

The Hurricane Warning was changed to a Tropical Storm Warning from Jupiter to the Sebastian Inlet.

A Hurricane Warning remained in effect for East-Central Florida from the Sebastian Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach.

National Weather Service in Melbourne: “Expect increased frequency more rainbands to move across the area and tonight the area along the coast could get into the main rain shield of Dorian. Tropical Storm conditions are expected along the coast and hurricane conditions are possible along the Volusia and Brevard coasts. Sustained tropical storm force winds near 40 mph is expected along the immediate Brevard/Volusia coasts with gusts to hurricane force possible.”

Also Tuesday night: Tropical Depression Eight formed in the eastern Atlantic. It was expected to head into the open Atlantic as a tropical storm, not affecting land through at least Sunday.

Forecast models suggest that another tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa behind TD Eight could have the potential to make it across the Atlantic. It was given a 70 percent chance of tropical development over the next five days.

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2 PM UPDATE: The storm was moving northwest at 5 mph and was due east of Fort Pierce. On radar, Dorian’s movement seemed to have more of a northerly component, and in fact a turn toward the north-northwest was in the forecast.

The wind field had expanded. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended 175 miles.

ALSO AT 2 PM: The season’s sixth named storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico with 40 mph winds. Tropical Storm Fernand was forecast to come ashore in northeastern Mexico on Wednesday night.

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At 11 a.m., Dorian was finally beginning to drift toward the northwest at 2 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. It had dropped to a high-end Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds.

“Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, the increasing size of Dorian’s wind field along with any deviation to the left of the forecast track will bring hurricane-force winds onshore along portions of the Florida east coast,” the NHC said.

  • The Hurricane Watch from Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet was discontinued.
  • The Tropical Storm Watch from Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach was discontinued.
  • A Hurricane Warning was still in effect from Jupiter Ponte Vedra Beach.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning was still in effect from Deerfield Beach to Jupiter.

ECFL winds

(Image credit: NWS-Melbourne)

ORIGINAL POST: Dorian has been stationary for almost 20 hours, its southern eyewall hammering Grand Bahama Island, with rain and wind bands getting flung off from the storm and raking the Florida coastline.

Incredibly, the National Hurricane Center has maintained more or less the same language on the track of the hurricane, which is still forecast to move north-northwest and eventually north and northeast over the Atlantic.

“Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, users are reminded not to forecast on the exact forecast track. A relatively small deviation to the left of this track could bring the core of the hurricane near or over the coastline.”

The wind field has expanded in Dorian, but not that much: Hurricane winds extend 45 miles out, and tropical storm winds now expand 160 miles out. Eastern Palm Beach County has been getting tropical storm wind gusts.

Even watches and warnings remain the same, although a Tropical Storm Warning was extended north into coastal Georgia.

The impacts on Florida have been mostly low-key, but squally weather and the threat of stronger winds have hung over the East Coast since Sunday.

From the National Weather Service in Miami Tuesday morning:

“Dorian should move closer to the Florida east coast going into Tuesday. While the center of Dorian is still forecast to remain offshore, periods of tropical storm force winds with some gusts to hurricane force are expected over Palm Beach County through Tuesday night, with the greatest chances over the northeastern portion of the county. Occasional tropical storm force wind gusts from squalls are possible over the rest of South Florida through Tuesday evening.”

NWS Melbourne: “Squalls associated with outer rain bands will produce stronger winds, with potentially damaging wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph likely during today as the bands pivot ashore and well inland. With Dorian approaching a little closer to the area, coverage and intensity of squalls will increase. Beach and coastal zones will see the highest gusts due to proximity to the marine area, however tropical storm gusts in squalls will remain a possibility well inland.”

Winds have been gusting into the low- to mid-30s mph range at Florida’s major airport National Weather Service reporting stations, but there was a gust of 61 mph at the Juno Beach Pier in northern Palm Beach County, and a gust of 44 mph at the Frost Science Museum in Miami.

A little more than 2,000 Florida Power & Light customers along the East Coast were without power Tuesday morning, but that’s out of more than 5 million.

RAINFALL REPORT: A CoCoRaHS observer in Lake Worth, Palm Beach County, reported a 24-hour total of 1.71 inches as of Tuesday at 7 a.m. An observer on Singer Island measured 1.53 inches. An observer in Cocoa reported 1.93 inches.

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(Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven was being tracked in the western Gulf of Mexico by the NHC. Forecasters predicted it would become Tropical Storm Fernand late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The northeastern coast of Mexico was under a Tropical Storm Warning.

Three other systems in the Atlantic could become Gabrielle, Humberto and Imelda over the next five days. The statistical peak of the hurricane season is seven days away.