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.

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September was driest on record in Florida, new report says

September FL rainfall

(Image credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

HOW DRY WE WERE: Florida had its driest September on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported Tuesday. Normally, September is the wettest month of the year — along with June — in South and Central Florida. But dry air enveloped the state from the panhandle to the Keys, causing drought conditions to move into the panhandle and northern tier of counties.

By county, Palm Beach, Collier, Lee, and Hendry counties had their driest September on record, as did all of the counties in the western panhandle. No county in the state had an above average, or even an average, month for rainfall.

In the southeastern U.S., Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia also had their driest September on record.

September was also the third-hottest on record in Florida, a trend that continued into October in the northern parts of the state and the panhandle.

Broward and Indian River had their hottest September.

RAINFALL REPORT: Some decent rains have fallen across the peninsula in the last few days — which should be enough to prevent drought from spreading south from the northern tier of Florida counties. However, dry conditions with abnormally low rainfall is in the new 6-10 day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center.

Wednesday morning 24 hour CoCoRaHS totals: 3.33 inches near Deerfield Beach; 1-1.5 inches Miami-Dade; 2.44 inches northeast of Tampa in Hillsborough County; 3.12 inches west of Orlando; and 3.5 inches near Daytona Beach.

“A weak front, deep moisture and support aloft will produce a high coverage of rain with embedded storms today,” National Weather Service forecasters in Melbourne said. “Bands of heavy rain initially along the Volusia coast this morning will develop south and west during the day. Up to 3 inches of rain possible in a short time. Motorists, slow down in heavy rain to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.”

COOL-DOWN COMING? The weekend of the 18-20, the GFS shows lows edging down into the low 50s in the western panhandle, with upper 60s across the peninsula. It’s not exactly Currier and Ives weather, but we’ll take it.

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center is continuing to watch three systems in the Atlantic. None of them are a threat to Florida, and development chances have been decreasing. The GFS is still showing longer-range development in the southern Caribbean, but it shoves the systems to the west into Central America.

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.

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 story: side-stepping storms, searing heat, and bone-dry weather

Tampa area driest

(Image credits, above and below: NWS-TampaBay)

Tampa records

Wasn’t that an interesting month? After staring down the barrel of one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded on the planet, Florida ended up with a wildly hot and dry September.

Eight tropical cyclones spun up in the Atlantic Basin during September, but Florida managed to dodge them all, and the only significant rains from Hurricane Dorian fell right at the coast.

As Dorian moved out of the way — followed later by Hurricane Jerry — the peninsula settled into a dry air flow that clamped down on precipitation from North Florida to the Keys.

Toward the end of the month, high pressure settled over the panhandle and brought record high temps that are forecast to continue well into October.

Tallahassee highs

(Image credit: NWS-Tallahassee)

September was record dry in Tallahassee with only a trace of rain all month, and the precipitation deficit topped 7 inches in Fort Lauderdale.

Sarasota had its hottest September on record while Tampa had its second-hottest behind 2018. And yes, it is in fact disturbing that many areas are beating, or falling just short of, records set just last year.

For example, Plant City had its second hottest September with an average temperature of 83.8 degrees — 80.3 is normal. But last September, Plant City turned in a final average temp of 84.9.

Incredibly dry conditions were recorded all over the peninsula. Chiefland, Punta Gorda, St. Petersburg and Venice all had their driest September ever, with Chiefland checking in with just 0.43 of an inch all month.

Tampa managed to squeeze out 1.46 inches, the sixth driest since record keeping began there in 1890.

Weather patterns appeared to be changing as October began, but the more interesting shifts may be coming next week, when a cold front moves into the state from the north, and deep tropical moisture streams up from the south.

“The end of the forecast period is very uncertain and will need to be monitored as the week progresses,” the National Weather Service in Miami said Tuesday.

RECORD WATCH: The low in Miami Monday was 80 degrees, which tied a record warm minimum for the date, set in 1989. Fort Lauderdale tied a record warm low with 79, matching the mark set in 2015.

two_atl_5d0

(Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center began watching two disturbances on Monday night, one in the western Caribbean and one just north of Hispaniola. They were each given a 10 percent chance of development.

The Caribbean system is apparently headed for the Gulf of Mexico, but it could play into Florida’s weather during the coming week, and possibly beyond, according to forecasters, by pumping tropical moisture into the peninsula.

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.