October was wettest month of 2017 in West Palm Beach; dry November in forecast

October weather was a mixed bag around the Florida peninsula, with many areas reporting very wet and warm conditions and other spots bucking that trend.

For example, Miami and West Palm Beach each had a warm and soggy month, while Fort Lauderdale was actually cooler than average and only a bit above average with rainfall.

Miami finished October almost a degree above average and the 12.61 inches of precipitation was 6.28 inches above normal.

West Palm Beach temperatures were about a half-degree above average and the city racked up 15.02 inches of rain in October, 9.89 inches above average. That made it the wettest month of the year in West Palm Beach.

Fort Lauderdale temperatures came in a degree below average and the month’s 7 inches of rain was only 0.18 of an inch above normal.

Naples precipitation was almost an inch below normal with 3.29 inches of rain for October and temperatures were slightly below normal.

The late-month cold snap, of course, drove monthly temperature averages down across the peninsula.

In Central Florida, Fort Pierce was close to average temperature-wise but 5.86 inches above normal with precipitation at 10.90 inches. Vero Beach racked up 9.60 inches of rain, 4.69 above average. Monthly temperatures came in right at the normal mark for the month.

But Melbourne was almost 2 degrees on the plus side and at 13.44 inches, was 8.38 above normal for October.

Orlando had close to normal temperatures for October and was a quarter-inch on the plus side in precipitation, while Daytona Beach came in 1.6 degrees above average and was wet with 7.79 inches of rain in October — 3.58 above normal.

The Keys were slightly warmer and wetter than average

Tampa finished the month 2 degrees above normal and 0.81 of an inch on the precipitation plus side, at 3.07 inches.

In North Florida, Jacksonville was at the top of the peninsula’s pack with abnormal warmth — the city came in 3.6 degrees above average but was just slightly wetter than normal.

Nov forecast precip

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for a dry November in Florida but wet conditions in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal along the East Coast and southern tier of states. (Credit: NOAA/ CPC)

Nov forecast temps

NOVEMBER FORECAST: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its November forecast Tuesday. Forecasters expect above normal temperatures throughout Florida and below average precipitation. This is the first full month of the dry season, so rainfall normally drops off, but with a developing La Niña in the tropical Pacific November may be the first of many dry months to come.

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(Credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center dropped the disturbance it had been tracking in the Central Atlantic — and said there were no systems likely to develop over the next five days.

Wednesday’s run of the GFS had a potent storm developing in the southern Caribbean a week from Monday and then spinning north or north-northeast toward Hispaniola at the end of the week.

The Canadian (CMC) had a weaker system moving through the Central Caribbean next week, but the European model (ECMWF) is not on board with this scenario.

SEASON UPDATE: As of November 1 — with 30 days left to go in the hurricane season — 2017 has been the fifth most active year on record in terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE, a measure of the strength and duration of tropical systems).

That puts 2017 behind 1893, 1926, 1933 and 2005, the National Hurricane Center said in a report published Wednesday.

Three storms formed in October and ACE for the month was 40 percent greater than the average October from 1981-2010, analysts said.

 

 

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Shiver me timbers: Cold temperature records fall from Key West to Vero Beach

Trick or treat Melbourne

Up and down the Florida peninsula, it should be a Halloween night fit for pirates, zombies, and superheroes. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne said: “Nothing frightening in the forecast for trick-or-treaters!” (Image credits: NWS-Melbourne, above; NWS-Jacksonville, below)

Halloween weather JAX

It was so cold around the Florida peninsula Tuesday morning it was downright spooky.

Well it actually wasn’t as chilly as Monday morning on the East Coast, but that’s the obligatory introduction for a Halloween blog.

Lows were in the upper 50s to around 60 in South Florida compared with low- to mid-50s on Monday.

Records for coolest high temperature fell around the state on Monday. Fort Lauderdale’s high was 71, busting the previous coolest maximum temperature for October 30, 72, set 64 years ago in 1953. West Palm Beach broke the 1953 record of 71 with a high of 69, Miami tied the 1953 record with 71. Naples broke a record-cool high with 69, but the previous record of 72 was set in 2012.

In Central Florida, Orlando tied the 1953 record with a high of 67; Vero Beach broke the 1953 mark with 67; and Fort Pierce’s high of 68 beat the 2012 record cool high of 70.

On the West Coast, Sarasota did tie a record low Tuesday morning with 47, previously set in 1963. And Key West broke a record low with 60 — beating the old record of 62 set in 1953.

Now comes the Big Warm-up, with highs reaching the mid-to-high 70s Tuesday and Wednesday, and around 80 on Thursday. With winds swinging around to the northeast, and bringing in warmer air off the 80-degree Atlantic, lows will be in the 70s by late in the week and into the weekend.

The first half of November is forecast to be above average around the peninsula and panhandle, and in fact most of the U.S. should be above normal east of the Mississippi River and into the Southwest from Texas to Arizona. After a blistering hot October in California, temperatures are forecast to be below normal in November, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

One major environmental change that’s certain to come this weekend is sunrise and sunset times, as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end. Tuesday’s sunrise was 7:29 a.m. in Palm Beach with sunset at 6:38 p.m. On Sunday, sunrise will be at 6:33 a.m. and sunset at 5:35 p.m.

TROPICS WATCH: The National Hurricane Center knocked back chances of development for the low in the Central Atlantic to 20 percent. Wind shear and dry air are limiting development, forecasters said. Elsewhere, major forecast models show clear sailing for the next week to 10 days.

Florida temps poised for rebound after cool start to week

Chilly temperatures in the 40s and 50s reigned over the Florida peninsula Monday morning as the cool weather season seemed to kick off in earnest.

Dade City, northeast of Tampa, checked in with a low of 39, according to Weather Underground, with a bone-dry dew point of 19 degrees. It was in the upper 30s in North Florida and there were some mid-30s in the panhandle.

In South Florida, extreme southeastern Miami-Dade was in the low 60s and it was in the upper 60s in the lower Keys.

The National Weather Service said it was 59 in Miami, 55 in Fort Lauderdale, 52 in West Palm Beach, 53 in Naples, 47 in Fort Pierce, 45 in Okeechobee, 46 in Vero Beach, 47 in Melbourne, 48 in Orlando, and 38 in Ocala.

Temperatures should rebound to more normal readings, with highs in the 80s and lows in the low 70s, for the week after winds swing around to the northeast and east on Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said.

Dry season outlook

(Image credit: NWS-Miami)

This week’s shot of cool, dry weather is a taste of the season to come, according to the NWS, which issued its November-April forecast last week. Due to a developing La Niña in the Pacific — cooler than normal water in the tropical Pacific — Florida is most likely to have a warm and dry winter, with precipitation in the 70-85-percent-of-normal range and temperatures 1-3 degrees above average.

In a La Niña year, storm tracks tend to be farther north, keeping Florida dry. Cold fronts still make it into the state, of course, but they usually have less moisture as they move through. The northern tier of states usually have a colder and wetter winter, so forecasts for a La Niña winter are music to the Florida tourism industry’s ears.

“The main concern of a drier and warmer than normal winter and dry season is the resulting likelihood of developing droughts,” the Weather Service outlook says. Each of the last four weak La Niña winters have led to moderate to severe drought by spring over at least parts of South Florida. Droughts in South Florida typically lead to an increased threat of wildfires such as what was experienced last spring.”

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(Image credit: NHC)

TROPICS WATCH: The disturbance in the Central Atlantic being monitored by the National Hurricane Center had a 40 percent chance of developing into a depression, or Tropical Storm Rina, over the next five days. It was expected to meander between the Azores and Bermuda.

Other than that, major forecast models show clear sailing over the next week to 10 days for Atlantic coastal areas. There are 31 days left in the 2017 hurricane season, which has been one for the record books.

Philippe dumps record rainfall on Fort Lauderdale; West Palm totals top 6 inches

Sunday Atlantic satellite

Sunday’s Atlantic satellite image showed Tropical Storm Philippe off Florida’s coast with cool air filtering into the peninsula behind it. (Credit: NOAA)

Sprawling Tropical Storm Philippe didn’t look much like a tropical cyclone as it spilled across South Florida Saturday, but it certainly lived up to its billing as a rainmaker.

Fort Lauderdale set a new single-day rainfall record with 2.18 inches, busting a 95-year-old precipitation record for the city, 1.32 inches set in 1922.

Even heftier totals were reported to the north, from around Pompano Beach to Palm Beach. West Palm Beach racked up an official 5.10 inches Saturday, with another 1.3 inches falling during the overnight hours of early Sunday morning for a storm total of 6.4 inches.

But Saturday’s rains were not a record — the single day total of 7.52 inches, set in 1895, remains on the books. As the month winds to a close, West Palm Beach has had 13.40 inches of rain in October, 8.68 over normal.

Miami echoed Fort Lauderdale with 2.18 inches and Naples picked up 1.68 inches. In the Keys, Key West had a relatively tame 0.69 of an inch while 0.78 of an inch fell at Marathon.

In East-Central Florida and the Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce had 2.45 inches; Vero Beach, 2.83 inches; and Melbourne, 0.72 of an inch.

Highest rain totals from Philippe were concentrated in eastern Palm Beach County and northeastern Broward County, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). One observer in western Boynton Beach — where some tornado damage occurrred — reported 10.93 inches through early Sunday morning, and an observer in coastal Deerfield Beach reported 8.21 inches.

On the West Coast, Sarasota County had a maximum storm total of 2.36 inches, Charlotte County, 1.46 inches; and Lee County, 2.24 inches.

Now comes the cool-down, with forecast lows Monday in the 50s at the coast and the 40s inland, according to the National Weather Service. Highs Monday are expected to barely top 70. Temperatures rebound quickly Tuesday and Wednesday to the more normal low 80s and upper 60s to the low 70s.

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Hurricane Sandy at its peak strength with winds of 115 mph. (Image credit: NASA)

TROPICS WATCH: The hurricane season is not over, and the National Hurricane Center is watching a disturbance in the mid-Atlantic, which had a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression, or Tropical Storm Rina, by the end of the week.

Forecast models show nothing else of consequence over the next week to 10 days, although the Canadian (CMC) was still suggesting in its Sunday runs that a system may brew up in the Central Caribbean the second week of November.

NOTEWORTHY: Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey with winds of 80 mph. Sandy was a Category 3 hurricane at its peak with winds of 115 mph.

Tropical Storm Philippe forms, could bring 6 inches of rain to Florida

UPDATE III: Tropical Storm Philippe formed late Saturday afternoon south of Cuba, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was racing north at 29 mph and NHC forecasters said landfall was possible overnight in the Keys and/ or South Florida. Philippe had winds of 40 mph but it was forecast to strengthen to a 60 mph storm within 24 hours. No watches or warnings were changed with the 5 p.m. advisory, however. Coastal Miami-Dade was under a Tropical Storm Watch and Broward and Palm Beach counties were under a Flood Watch.

Rainfall forecast NWS

UPDATE II: A Flood Watch was issued Saturday afternoon by the National Weather Service in Miami until 4 a.m. Sunday for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. (Credit: NWS-Miami)

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(Image credit: NHC)

UPDATE: Potential Tropical Cyclone 18 was upgraded to Tropical Depression 18 by the National Hurricane Center at 11 a.m. Forecasters also posted a tropical storm watch for Miami-Dade County and the Upper Keys. The depression was forecast to become Tropical Storm Philippe before reaching the Florida Straits.

ORIGINAL POST: It’s not very often you see the phrases “wind chill” and “tropical cyclone” in the same forecast, but such is the state of late October weather around South Florida this weekend.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service in Miami and Key West are dealing with the rather uncertain entity called “Potential Tropical Cyclone 18” — a designation that allows the NHC to post tropical storm warnings and watches before a system actually forms into a tropical depression or storm.

On Saturday morning, PTC 18 was an odd meteorological duck whose center of circulation was difficult to find. Another Air Force Reconnaissance plane was on its way to find out what was what with the system as it began moving north-northeast toward Cuba at 10 mph.

The 8 a.m. NHC advisory had 18 brushing South Florida’s East Coast at 2 a.m. Sunday, but Hurricane Specialist Robbie Berg said: “Even though the track forecast has shifted a little closer to South Florida and the Florida Keys, the strongest winds are expected to be well to the east and southeast of the center over the Atlantic waters and the Bahamas. Therefore, tropical storm watches or warnings do not appear necessary for Florida at this time.”

In Miami, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Robert Molleda said:  “A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Atlantic waters and Biscayne Bay, but unless a significant westward shift occurs in future forecasts, TS Warnings for land are not anticipated.”

The official NHC forecast had the system becoming Tropical Storm Philippe late Saturday afternoon.

NWS Forecasters, meanwhile, were predicting up to 4 inches of rain for South Florida — with isolated amounts of 6 inches possible — as the system scrapes the peninsula. Maximum wind gusts of around 30 mph were expected.

“The primary threats from the strong storms will be lightning strikes, gusty winds, and heavy rainfall. A tornado or two is also possible over South Florida this afternoon into this evening,” they said in their Saturday morning forecast discussion.

“At this time, it looks like a Flood Watch will not be needed for South Florida due to the fast-moving Potential Cyclone. However, if the Potential Tropical Cyclone slows down, then a Flood Watch may be needed later today for South Florida.”

Whatever ends up swiping South Florida and the Keys — whether it becomes Philippe or not — will be pushed out of the area early Sunday by a strong cold front that is forecast to bring some downright chilly temperatures on Monday morning.

Monday’s forecast low in West Palm Beach is 52, with wind gusts out of the northwest at 24 mph, so it will be time to put away the umbrellas and rain coats and pull out the jackets and sweaters.

“Lows are forecast to cool down into the mid to upper 40s north of Alligator Alley and down into the 50s south of Alligator Alley Monday morning,” forecasters said. “However, the wind chill readings will be able to get down into the lower- to mid-40s north of Alligator Alley and to around 50 south of Alligator Alley Monday morning.”

In other words, we’re looking at a wild weather mix that takes the peninsula from tropical conditions to wind chills in the low-40s in less than 24 hours.

By Tuesday, though, the pattern settles into something more typical of early November, with lows around 70 in South Florida — and the peninsula’s East Coast in general — and highs in the low 80s. Conditions will also be dry as we leave October and head toward Thanksgiving, and in fact NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicts below normal precipitation for most of the Florida peninsula through at least November 10.

November temperatures, though, are forecast to be above normal through the Thanksgiving holiday.

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TROPICS WATCH: Will PTC 18’s exit on Sunday mark the end of the 2017 tropical weather season for Florida? Too early to tell, but Saturday’s run of the GFS had a couple of weak systems forming in the Atlantic the week of November 6, ditto for the Canadian model (CMC) — which also suggested something brewing in the Caribbean around that time.

As Yogi Berra (and Lenny Kravitz) said: It ain’t over till it’s over.

South Florida braces for stormy weekend; Fort Pierce logs record low

Forecast rainfall

Parts of South Florida could get drenched with up to 5 inches of rain over the weekend with gusty winds, especially in thunderstorms. (Credit: NWS-Key West)

TS force winds

(Image credits: NHC)

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UPDATE II: The National Hurricane Center identified Potential Tropical Cyclone 18 late Friday afternoon and predicted it would become Tropical Storm Philippe by early Saturday morning as it moves north toward Cuba. Forecasters expected it to top out as a 50 mph storm as it threads a needle between the Upper Keys and Andros Island in the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for western Cuba and the Northwestern Bahamas, and forecasters added: “Interests in the Cayman Islands, South Florida, and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of this system.”

“Given the disorganized initial state of the system, the track forecast uncertainty is larger than usual,” Senior Hurricane Specialist Michael Brennan said.

Southeast Florida had 5-20 percent chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds from the storm, according to the NHC.

PM UPDATE I: Tropical storm watches and warnings may be issued as early as late Friday for Cuba and the Bahamas as tropical disturbance 93L continues to strengthen, the National Hurricane Center said.

“Interests in the Florida Keys and South Florida should also monitor the progress of this disturbance,” forecasters said in their mid-afternoon Tropical Weather Outlook. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft was on its way to assess the system, and data collected should help forecasters figure out where the storm may be headed.

It was given an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression, or Tropical Storm Philippe.

Afternoon forecast models had it moving south and east of the Florida peninsula, although the Canadian model (CMC) had it just off-shore of Miami early Sunday morning. Ditto for the Navy model (NAVGEM), but much weaker.

ORIGINAL POST: In a sign that the hurricane season is not over even as we head into November, disturbance 93L ramped up in the western Caribbean late Thursday and early Friday. The National Hurricane Center upped chances of tropical development to 60 percent by Sunday.

The lion’s share of Friday’s forecast models showed the system crossing Cuba and skirting Florida’s southeast coast as a cold front sweeps in from the north on Sunday. The Canadian model (CMC) and many of its ensemble members showed it crossing Florida’s southern peninsula, though, as did a couple of the GFS ensemble members.

The GFS itself had it heading for Andros Island in the Bahamas on Sunday as a tropical storm, as did the hurricane model HWRF; but the European (ECMWF) had it much farther north, off Florida’s West Coast on Sunday as a weak low.

An Air Force reconnaissance plane was slated to investigate the system Friday afternoon, which should provide further clues on where the low is headed and how strong or weak it might be.

A key factor working against strengthening or even development is that wind shear is very high near the Florida peninsula, and it’s expected to increase as the cold front approaches on Sunday.

From the National Weather Service in Miami: “Potential for 3 to 4 inches of rain is increasing, with localized heavier amounts and flooding possible.” Rain chances jump from near zero on Friday to 90 percent Saturday and Saturday night.

Cool conditions from Sunday’s cold front will be short-lived, forecasters said. They predicted that highs will be back into the mid-80s by Tuesday and Wednesday, with lows in the low and mid-70s.

RECORD WATCH: Fort Pierce tied a record low Thursday with 49, matching a mark set in 2005.

Naples sets cool temperature record; rain in weekend forecast

Tampa area temps

The coolest temperatures since April moved into the Tampa area — as well as the entire Florida peninsula — on Thursday morning. (Credit: NWS-Tampa)

After a blistering hot summer that lingered well into October, Wednesday’s cold front packed a surprisingly potent punch up and down the Florida peninsula.

Naples smashed a 10-year-old record cool high Wednesday with 74 degrees. That broke the previous record of 78 set on  October 25, 2007.

Thursday morning temperatures around South Florida: 55 in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale; 57 in Naples; and 62 in Miami. These are not official low temperatures but if they hold, they’ll be short of records.

It was mostly in the 50s on Florida’s West Coast and in East-Central parts of the peninsula, with a few upper 40s in the interior. It was in the mid-40s in North-Central Florida and the low 40s in North Florida with a few upper 30s sprinkled in.

A surge of tropical moisture is still in the forecast for Saturday preceding the next cold front on Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center was giving the low pressure system that will be responsible for the moisture surge — Invest 93L — a 30 percent chance of tropical development over the next two days.

“Localized heavy rainfall is possible with accumulations in the 3 to 4 inches possible, even isolated higher totals,” the National Weather Service said.

Sunday’s cold front is expected to bring much drier air as Florida’s dry season settles in — and forecast highs Monday are only in the low 70s around South and Central Florida, with breezy conditions.