Bahamas low socks Fort Lauderdale with record rainfall

Rainfall record
The National Weather Service in Miami posted this record rainfall note for Fort Lauderdale Thursday morning. More rain fell later for a daily total of 3.43 inches.  (Credit: NWS-Miami)

A low pressure system swept into Florida from the Bahamas on Thursday, delivering record rainfall to Fort Lauderdale and impressive totals up and down the East Coast.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport measured 3.43 inches, beating the old precipitation maximum for the date of 3.35 inches set in 2003. Most of the rain fell between 8-10 a.m.

With all the rain and cloud cover, Fort Lauderdale’s high was only 85 on Thursday, a record cool high temperature record for the date. The previous record was 86 set in 2012.

Miami reported 0.94 of an inch and 1.34 inches fell in West Palm Beach, while Naples reported just 0.02 of an inch. An observer in Boca Raton reported 2.76 inches.

In East-Central Florida, Melbourne had 0.13 of an inch; Vero Beach reported 0.95 of an inch. Just 0.05 of an inch fell in Fort Pierce, but more than 2 inches soaked parts of southeastern St. Lucie County.

Up to half an inch fell in parts of Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties on the Southwest Coast, while in the Keys just a trace was recorded at Marathon and Key West picked up 0.03 of an inch.

More rain — possibly heavy — could fall Friday as the low moves slowly north along the Atlantic Coast, forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center was still giving the area a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical system, although forecasters said upper-level winds weren’t favorable.

Meanwhile, tropical disturbance 99L — which has been ambling across the Atlantic for more than a week now — was given a 30 percent chance of development by Sunday and a 50 percent chance by mid-week. Either way, it looks like it will be an out-to-sea storm and no problem for the U.S. East Coast.

The NHC doesn’t have anything else brewing in the Atlantic, and forecast models show a fairly quiet week to 10 days.

As of Friday, we are four weeks away from the statistical peak of the hurricane season, which is September 10.

Gainesville smashes all-time summer rainfall record


Forecast track for Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven. The Yucatan Peninsula was under a tropical storm warning. (Credit: NHC)

UPDATE: The season’s seventh “Potential Tropical Cyclone” was identified Sunday by the National Hurricane Center. It was likely to become Tropical Storm Franklin on Monday before crossing Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and then near hurricane strength by mid-week as it nears Mexico’s East Coast. The NHC track has the storm making landfall very early Thursday morning well south of Texas. Meanwhile, Invest 99L looked rather lackluster in the Central Atlantic. Its potential impact on South Florida’s weather next weekend remained uncertain.


ORIGINAL POST: There are still more than three weeks to go in the 2017 meteorological summer, but it’s already been the wettest season on record in Gainesville.

The city has racked up 34.6 inches of rain since June 1, beating the previous summer period (June 1 – August 31) of 32.55 inches set 52 years ago in 1965, the National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported Sunday.

In July alone, Gainesville measured 16.7 inches of rain, which broke the previous monthly record of 16.65 inches set in 2013. That was the third-highest monthly rainfall total on record right behind June’s 16.86 inches. it was also the second-wettest month on the record books.

Elsewhere in Florida, the main story over the weekend continued to be heat — and record overnight warmth. Key West only dropped to 85 degrees Saturday morning, tying the warmest minimum temperature mark set in 2007.

The low was 84 in Miami, good enough to tie the all-time warmest minimum temperature ever recorded in the city, set on August 4, 1993. It broke the daily record of 83.

Fort Lauderdale’s low of 84 busted the record warm low for the date of 83, set in 2011. Forecasters also said it was the second-warmest low ever measured in Fort Lauderdale.

Melbourne’s Saturday low of 80 beat the old daily record of 79 set in 2012.



Invest 99L in the Central Atlantic could bring rain to Florida next weekend, the National Weather Service said. (Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: Invest 90L in the Central Caribbean showed signs of development Sunday, while 99L in the Central Atlantic continued to struggle.

The National Hurricane Center gave the disturbances 90 percent and 50 percent chances of development over the next five days, respectively.

National Weather Service forecasters in Miami bumped up rain chances starting next Thursday and into the weekend, as two tropical waves — one of them 99L — bring an increase in moisture to the area.

“While it is still too early to tell any potential impacts, long range consensus is for above normal chances for showers and storms through much of the long term period as these features potentially affect the region,” they wrote in Sunday’s forecast discussion.



Miami smashes string of records after searing-hot July

July was a true record-breaker in Miami — it not only the hottest July on record but also the hottest month ever for the city, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

July’s overall average temperature of 85.7 degrees cooked the previous warmest July, which occurred in 2005 with an average temperature of 85.1. The previous hottest calendar month on the books was June of 2010, with an average temperature of 85.5.

In addition, the January-July period was the hottest on record, beating the previous hottest first seven months from 2015.

Finally, the number of days during the first seven months of 2017 in which the temperature failed to drop below 80 degrees was a record 24. That easily smashed the previous 13-day mark set during the Super El Niño year of 1998.

Central FL Emily rains
Lake Mary topped Central Florida cities for rainfall related to Tropical Storm Emily.  Click on the image for link to larger original. (Credit: NWS-Melbourne)

EMILY FOLLOW-UP: As the tropical depression was sliding up the U.S. East Coast Tuesday, more rain pounded South Florida. Naples measured 2.19 inches, breaking a 71-year-old record for most rainfall on August 1. The previous mark was 1.14 inches.

In a morning deluge, West Palm Beach was hit with 1.34 inches of rain streaming up from the southwest. That was considerably short, however, of the record rainfall total for the date — 4.72 inches, set in 1915.

In North Florida, the departure of Emily ushered in unusually cool and dry air. Tallahassee tied a record low Tuesday with 64 degrees, matching a mark set in 1953. Jacksonville had tied a record low Monday with 68.

TROPICS WATCH: Forecasters had been looking for a very active August — and that still may happen — but the month is starting out dead-quiet in the Atlantic. A tropical wave that was being monitored by the National Hurricane Center in the Central Atlantic was given a near-zero percent chance of development; ditto for an area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday runs of the major forecast models suggested an all-clear scenario in the Atlantic over the next seven to 10 days. That puts us into Mid-August — but of course things can change quickly.


The two areas under scrutiny by the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday ran out of gas by the Wednesday afternoon Tropical Weather Outlook. (Credit: NHC)

Rare mid-summer front heads for Florida; East Coast continues to sizzle

Cold front map

The cold front forecast to trigger a week-long rain event over most of the Florida peninsula should push into North Florida on Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Some strong storms and flooding are possible as the front sinks south, eventually stalling around the I-4 corridor. (Credit: NWS-Jacksonville)

Friday was one of the hottest days of the year up and down Florida’s East Coast — and the warmest so far in 2017 in West Palm Beach, where the temperature hit 94 with a heat index of 107.

The temperature topped out at a blistering 97 in Vero Beach, 95 in Fort Pierce and 96 in Melbourne, where the city added an incredible fourth consecutive day of record warm lows with 79, breaking the old record of 78 set in 2011. Record warm lows were also set or tied in Melbourne on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

In West Palm Beach, it was also the hottest day since last August 6, when a high of 94 ended a three-day string of highs of 94 and 95.

Friday’s high was 93 in Miami, 92 in Fort Lauderdale, and 90 in Naples, which tied a record warm low with 79 — matching the mark set just two years ago in 2015.

It was 94 in Jacksonville and Orlando.

Even in the normally milder Keys, the high was 94 in Marathon and 90 in Key West, where Friday’s low of 84 tied the record for warmest low for the date.

It was mostly in the low 90s on the West Coast, with Tampa hitting 93.

Friday’s rainfall totals around the state were light — a very spotty inch or two fell in inland locations from Miami up to Vero Beach — but it was likely the calm before the storm. Five-to-six inches rain are forecast for Central and North Florida over the next week as a frontal boundary stalls over the I-4 corridor, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center says.

The rare July cold front is in connection with the strong low pressure system over the Mid-Atlantic States, which was hammered by storms on Friday. Parts of Montgomery County in southern Maryland reported more than 6 inches, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network reported.

South Florida looks to be in line for at least 2-3 inches next week, and showers developing over the peninsula this weekend will likely dump some needed rain along the East Coast.

TROPICS WATCH: A new tropical wave southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands earned a yellow X on the Saturday morning National Hurricane Center forecast map. It had a 20 percent chance of development by Thursday, forecasters said. The disturbance, which was packing a modest amount of convection, is part of a robust train of waves rolling over tropical areas of Africa toward the Atlantic coast.

Forecast models were all over the place in their Saturday runs, with the GFS showing long-range development in the Gulf of Mexico, the European (ECMWF) off the southeastern U.S. coast, and the Canadian (CMC) predicting a vigorous storm east of the Bahamas in seven to 10 days.

When and where Tropical Storm Emily will pop up is anybody’s guess. But signs are pointing to an active August and September that could bring a few nail-biters to Florida and other parts of the Atlantic Coast.

Miami heading toward all-time heat record: National Weather Service

Miami record heat

The countdown has begun for Miami’s red-hot summer weather. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

Miami is just seven days away from establishing a new all-time record for consecutive highs at 90 degrees or above. The streak stood at 38 days as of Thursday — the last time the high in Miami was less than 90 was on June 19, when the temperature reached 87.

The current record is 44 days from July 10 to August 22 in 2011. There’s some question as to whether the streak might end toward the middle of next week, when rain chances rise into the 50-60 percent range under mostly cloudy skies.

Fort Lauderdale and Naples have had eight days each under 90 this month and West Palm Beach, one.

RECORD WATCH: Melbourne tied a record warm low again Thursday — the third day in a row a record was tied or broken. Thursday’s low was 79, matching a mark set in 2010.

TROPICS WATCH (UPDATED): Showers decreased in the area of disturbed weather in the Central Atlantic, and the National Hurricane Center removed it from its tracking map on Friday afternoon.

5 day rainfall

UPDATED RAINFALL FORECAST: More than 3 inches of rain could fall in parts of the Florida peninsula through Wednesday, NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center says. South Florida could see up to 2 inches.


TOPIC TAMPA: As we prepare to enter the peak of hurricane season, the above graphic shows all Atlantic coast landfalls from 1950-2011, and the strength of each storm.  Click on image for link to original. (Credit: NOAA/ NCDC)

The Washington Post published an in-depth story Friday on how prepared the Tampa Bay area is (or isn’t) for a hurricane. A major hasn’t struck the area since October 25, 1921.

Florida heat index forecast to soar this week; Jacksonville logs record rainfall

Heat index value rose as high as 102 degrees Saturday in southeast Florida metro areas, and warmer temperatures are yet to come during the work week, the National Weather Service said Sunday.

The heat index hit 100 Saturday afternoon at Palm Beach International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, and 102 at Miami International.

Forecasters say high pressure and drier air will slide into the peninsula through mid-week, bringing actual temperatures up to as high at the mid-90s even in some of the western East Coast metro areas, with heat index values topping out as high as 107 in the Everglades.

Winds will be south to southeast, forecasters said, which may keep temperatures right at the beach and in some of the beach communities below 90. Still, Palm Beach hit 91 on Saturday near the Par 3 Golf Course, although it was 88 on the beach in Juno Beach while Virginia Key in Miami-Dade County had an almost moderate high of 86.

RECORD WATCH: Jacksonville smashed a 115-year-old single day rainfall record Saturday with 2.79 inches, beating the old mark of 2.5 inches set in 1902.

The low temperature Friday in Key West was only 85, busting the previous record-warm low of 84 degrees set in 1989.


Sunday Atlantic satellilte

The Atlantic was quiet on Sunday, typical for late July. (Credit: NOAA)

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center in Miami is forecasting no tropical development in the Atlantic over at least the next five days, and major forecast models show nothing of consequence forming for at least the next seven to 10 days.

Although it was an alarming start to the month — with several potent waves coming off the coast of Africa with model support for development — things have settled into the usual July lull. The only exception was minimal Tropical Storm Don, which lasted only 24 hours.

Nature generally flips a switch around the middle of August, and we’ll have to watch the models in the two weeks ahead to see if that begins to show up in the long-range forecasts.

Don fizzles in Caribbean; Orlando socked with record rainfall

Caribbean satellite

The remnants of Tropical Storm Don were well west of the islands Wednesday morning, while 96L, right, was struggling to get its act together. (Credit: NOAA)

Short-lived Tropical Storm Don dissipated late Tuesday night after surviving for just 30 hours. Its remnants were in the eastern Caribbean, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said regeneration was not expected due to the brisk pace of the system and higher wind shear.

An observer from the island of Grenada for the Caribbean Hurricane Network said Don didn’t have much of an impact on the area. “The only evidence we had of Don passing, was the calm before the storm, followed by the anticipated picking up of wind as it passed. The rain was no worse than any other tropical wave passing through.”

East of the islands, Invest 96L was still being given a 30 percent chance of developing. The system looked ragged overnight on Tuesday and early Wednesday, but appeared to be firing up some fresh convection by mid-morning.

In any case, 96L — which would be called Tropical Storm Emily if it powers up enough to earn a name — was expected to move north of the islands.


WET WEEK CONTINUES: Orlando broke a 67-year-old rainfall record on Tuesday, with the airport officially picking up 3.09 inches. That easily smashed the previous daily record of 2.47 inches set in 1950.

Orange County was where most of the precipitation action was on Tuesday, although to the northwest, parts of Alachua County also reported in excess of 3 inches.

In South Florida, Miami International Airport measured 1.15 inches, but some areas of Miami-Dade checked in with well over 2 inches.

In fact, Miami’s official July rainfall total of 8.59 inches is almost double the normal for this point in the month.

The wet weather is forecast to continue in both South Florida and Central Florida, according to the National Weather Service, before drier air and high pressure moves in for the weekend.

Rain chances range from 40-60 percent through Friday before falling to around 20 percent on Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures have continued to be summertime hot — that’s a given, of course. But it’s interesting to note that Palm Beach International Airport hasn’t had a high below 90 since June 23, and Miami since June 19.