Up to 3-4 inches of rain is possible through Sunday west of Jacksonville, the National Weather Service says. (Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)
FRIDAY UPDATE: A drier weekend is in store for most of the central and southern peninsula, while Northeast Florida remains wet. The National Weather Service is calling for 3-4 inches of rain in some areas west of Jacksonville.
Thursday’s heaviest rain was in Central Florida, with more than 3 inches falling in parts of Sarasota County, according to the community observation network, CoCoRaHS. Observers in northern Hillsborough County reported 1-2 inches. Across the state in Brevard County, coastal residents reported between a quarter of an inch and 1.5 inches.
An observer east of Ocala reported 2.22 inches.
Rain returns to South Florida on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, and rain chances remain high through mid-week.
Two areas of interest in the Atlantic — one in the Central Atlantic and one near the Lesser Antilles, ran out of steam this week. Nothing is on the horizon in the Atlantic for at least the next two to five days, according to the National Hurricane Center. (Image credit: NHC)
ORIGINAL POST : There’s roughly a 50-50 chance that La Niña conditions will be present in the tropical Pacific Ocean for the peak of the hurricane season from August through October, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said in the latest ENSO report released this morning.
Forecast models “lean toward La Niña, along with ocean conditions that are somewhat favorable for the development of La Niña,” the CPC said. “However, enough uncertainty remains that the chance of La Niña remains lower than 50%, and it is unclear whether oceanic and atmospheric anomalies will lock in and persist.”
Forecasters said there’s a 60 percent chance of neutral conditions this summer, followed by a 40-50 percent chance of La Nina during autumn and winter. La Niña is characterized by cooler-than-normal water in the tropical Pacific, and indeed water temps have been decreasing, forecasters said.
The cooler water results in lower wind shear in the tropical Atlantic, which accommodates the development of tropical storms. The trend is a key reason why hurricane experts have predicted a busy 2020 hurricane season.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said Tuesday: “Tropical Pacific cooling expected to continue during winter.” (Their winter is our summer).
“The Bureau’s ENSO Outlook is currently INACTIVE,” forecasters said. “However, if further cooling is observed in coming weeks, and any additional models suggest La Niña development, the ENSO Outlook will be raised to La Niña WATCH,” forecasters said. That could happen as early as June 23, the date of Australia’s next ENSO Outlook.
NEW AREA OF INTEREST: A robust tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles was given a 10 percent chance of development by the National Hurricane Center today as it moves west toward the islands.
Forecasters said wind shear would probably keep it from becoming the next named storm. The area of interest in the Central Atlantic was no longer a threat, the NHC said.
DROUGHT UPDATE: Drought conditions in Florida have been completely wiped out afer last week’s pounding rains from Tropical Storm Cristobal, the U.S. Drought Monitor said this morning. All that’s left is some Moderate Drought and Abnormally Dry designations in two far western panhandle counties.
“Moderate long-term drought is designated for the greater Mobile Bay area east to Pensacola due to continued precipitation deficits dating back to 90 and 180 days,” the Monitor said.
‘END OF AN ERA’: Weather Underground’s Category 6 blog is shutting down June 19, the company says. The blog was launched during the record hurricane season of 2005 and has been a focal point for weather enthusiasts, with hundreds of comments for each post, for 15 years. The founder of the blog, hurricane researcher Jeff Masters, left Weather Underground last year.
The Weather Company, the parent of Weather.com, bought Weather Underground, which was started by Masters and others in the mid-1990s.
Last fall, Masters handed the blog over to a team of other meteorologists including Bob Henson, who announced the closing late Tuesday night, calling it “The end of an era.”
The Category 6 blog has been a vital resource during hurricanes, attracting professionals as well as weather enthusiasts. But this expertise apparently won’t be completely lost, since both Masters and Henson will be writing a new blog for Yale Climate Connections.
Masters “expects to continue blogging frequently – often daily – as Atlantic hurricanes threaten the U.S.,” the YCC website said Tuesday. “As have his earlier blog activities, his posts for Yale Climate Connections will provide for healthy reader exchanges and comments. In the past, his Weather Underground and related blog activities frequently have attracted thousands of visitors and comments daily.”