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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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.

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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.

Eye on the tropics: Atlantic storms brewing; 1909 hurricane brought martial law to the Keys

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UPDATE: Subtropical Storm Melissa came to life off the Mid-Atlantic Coast on Friday with 65 mph winds, but the storm is expected to be short-lived. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted Melissa would become post-tropical by Saturday night as it moves away from the U.S. Coast. (Image credit: NHC)

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1909 Hurricane

HURRICANE HISTORY: Friday is the 110th anniversary of the 1909 Key West Hurricane, which slammed the island city with winds of up to 94 mph and destroyed 500 homes. Conditions were so chaotic after the storm that Mayor Joseph Fogarty declared martial law and had guards patrolling the streets. (Image credit: NWS-Key West)

TROPICS WATCH: The long-range GFS forecast model had been suggesting development in the southern Caribbean in mid-October, pushing a system into Central America. Now, the National Hurricane Center is on board with the scenario, forecasting a low to form early next week near the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.

Friday’s run of the GFS shows the system emerging back over water in the Bay of Campeche by the middle of next week, then taking a more north-northeasterly turn toward the Central Gulf of Mexico Coast.

This is echoed by the Canadian model (CMC), which puts a much stronger hurricane in the Gulf toward the end of next week.

The European model (ECMWF) seems to be keeping whatever weak low develops over land.

The disturbance off the coast of the northeastern U.S., designated Invest 93L by the NHC, was close to becoming Subtropical Storm Melissa Friday morning, but the window for intensification was closing, according to forecasters. Upper-level winds over the system were expected to disrupt the storm as it begins to move away from the U.S. Coast.

And in another interesting development, the NHC said a tropical wave was expected to slide off the coast of western Africa on Sunday.

“Although the far eastern Atlantic is not climatologically favorable for tropical cyclone formation this late in the hurricane season, some development of this system appears possible early next week while it moves generally northwestward near or over the Cabo Verde Islands,” NHC forecaster Andy Latto said Friday.

The next two names on the Atlantic storm list are Melissa and Nestor.

Based on climatology from 1966-2009, two named storms form in October and one in November.

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ABOVE: For the upcoming week, the map shows points of origin for Atlantic tropical cyclones since records began in 1851. BELOW: Friday morning’s Tropical Weather Outlook map. Invest 93L off the northeast coast had a 60 percent chance of development. The NHC said advisories could begin later on Friday. (Image credit: NHC)

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RAINFALL REPORT: A CoCoRaHS observer near Melbourne reported 1.68 inches of rain on Thursday, but overall coverage across the peninsula was far short of the shellacking that some areas received Tuesday and Wednesday. The National Weather Service officially reported 0.28 of an inch in Melbourne.

An observer near Hialeah in Miami-Dade County reported 1.04 inches. Miami International Airport officially measured just 0.7 of an inch.

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RECORD WATCH: Sarasota posted a record high Thursday with 94, besting the old record of 93 set in 1962. Naples tied a record high with 93, matching the mark set in 2007.

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.

September was driest on record in Florida, new report says

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(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.

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

ECFL rainfall forecast

(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.