"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Review - 2011 Year of Weather Anomalies Continues

Coastal Sprinkles and Perhaps Very Small Measurable Amounts of rain are occurring this morning at the coast from near Vero Beach to NE Palm Beach County. These showers are working down the coast along instability and higher dew point  temperatures associated with where the warm Gulf Stream waters are closest to the coast. These showers could continue toward sunset in the area in white from time to time toward lower Dade/Broward , and possibly a sprinkle could occur as far north as the lavender  drawn in after 4pm to one hour before sunset.
This image shows the low level (surface based) Convective Instability which is helping generate these showers and/or thicker cloud bands per the red lines of constant CAPE (convective available potential energy). As winds become a bit more NNE later today (rather than due north), some of the showers could inch north toward Indian River or South Brevard but be of no impact. The Gulf Stream is further offshore north of Ft. Pierce...and as such will be this low level instability shown by those red line.
TODAY: Outside of that mentioned in the  text contained in the captioned images shown above, low pressure east of Virginia will move very little today until a system moving eastward in a very progressive pattern along the northern tier of states from the upper Midwest south into the South Central Plains moves it out. Surface  High pressure is wedge behind the former system from Maine and down the Appalachians into the North Gulf of Mexico and meets up with mid-level high pressure over the Central Gulf of Mexico. This area is responsible for substantial subsidence (sinking) of air above 6000 ft, so shower tops (of those occurring) are limited to generally that altitude.  The high over the Gulf will lift toward the NNE-NE today and permit a slightly more stacked NNE wind to develop later today.  The second system will move toward the ENE through Friday , with another low pressure area developing over North Georgia by Thursday, accompanied by a pre-frontal trough with no impact to most of the state other than to END the rain chance.  Coastal showers are always possible, especially heading toward Thursday but will mainly dissipate as soon as they reach lower dewpoint air away from the coast. Patches of lower stratocumulus clouds will be the rule from time to time, but otherwise sunny skies prevail under weakening NNE winds by Wednesday and Thursday.

FRIDAY: This could be the coolest morning along the east coast due solely to the fact that the easterly winds will have abated ahead of the pre-frontal trough. Lows in the lower to mid 60Fs near the coast this day, but warmer everywhere in the afternoon, even after passage of that trough. No rain with the trough other than near I-10, with highs in the lower 80Fs most anywhere, possible mid 80Fs far South Florida.

The actual front will cross 'invisibly' the state on Friday, with rain limited mainly toward I-10 as far south as Gainesville near where perhaps a thundershower can eke out (worst case). Otherwise, most rain beyond the Panhandle and interior far north Florida will remain over the Gulf waters and the Atlantic. Perhaps another cool morning Saturday east side (for this area), but otherwise no impacts.  Between the former system and high pressure developing further to the north in the mid-levels behind the second system which will build east well to the north of Florida, surface winds will become nearly due east on Saturday and nearly ESE just above 'the deck'. Morning lows at the immediate coast could warm to sea surface temperatures (mid-70Fs) from Port Canaveral and South, with afternoon highs more solidly warming to the mid 80Fs across the West Side of the state from Cedar Key and South with upper 70F/low 80Fs elsewhere. 

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Deepening easterlies will maintain this temperature regime and increase moisture levels hundredth of an inch by hundredth of inch Saturday, with more assured measurable chances of showers east of I95 overnight Saturday into Sunday as another frontal boundary slowly works into the Deep South. On its approach, the depth of the easterly flow will cease as will the rain chance. In summary, so far Sunday looks to be the best day for rain chances (which will likely change).

BEYOND: No cold fronts are expected to directly impact most of the state (other than toward I-10) for a good two weeks, but that could easily change in the extended. The trend of the long range GFS has been for high pressure in the low and mid-levels to influence most of the state, with most frontal passages to be of the 'back door' variety. Or in other words, fronts mainly sweeping from west to east north of the peninsula then sneaking in from the NNE of the east side of the ridge over the Gulf. These result in little temperature variations from the status quo and occasional wind surges from the NNE accompanied by a cloud deck and sprinkles.

This subject has been touched on more than once in posts since earlier this year. To name a few (and I wish I could recall all of them)...the anomalies began last winter from the Floridian prospective with freezing temperatures along the Florida Beaches well before Christmas during a phase of the negative NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) . History has just repeated itself with record snowfall in New England creating power outages to over 3 Million residents and snowfall exceeding two feet in some interior areas. Temperatures were not record breaking cold (thank goodness). In fact, during this anomaly the temperature the day after the snow fall in Crestview, Florida was 32F whereas in NYC it was 36F. This phase of the negative NAO (which can last up to two weeks only per my observations and not official), seems to be shifting just far enough offshore now to not have an impact to soil bound earthlings. We seem to be normalizing now, and as such temperatures over Florida will be close to climatological  for a good 10 days at least, if not a few degrees above them.

1. Anomalies first became evident best I recall with the big cold spells that occurred twice over Florida In December, but was preceded by yes, Drought , at this time beginning over Florida. Perhaps this was the fore-bearer of the drought in Texas as the pattern in the lower latitudes retrograded in that direction to the west. It might have been over the Gulf during spring per lack of rain or even clouds there as fronts came through during latter portions of that period. The drought over Florida continued from time to time until summer, with fires such as the Iron Horse but others toward SE Florida and smaller ones of big impact toward SE Georgia which left NE Florida and cities such as JAX in days of smoke. UGH.

2. Snows in the Deep South, including cities such as Atlanta.

3. Tornado Outbreak in the Deep South over Mississippi, Alabama, NW Georgia which worked into South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania (briefly). Two separate events within a 10 day period which began over SE Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas.

4. Flooding in the Mississippi River Valley Basin

5. Drought by this time had already developed over Texas. Continuing. Record or near record breaking days of temperatures of 100F degrees in Texas and parts of Oklahoma during the summer.

6. LACK of tornadoes west of I-35 for the entire Tornado Season in Tornado Alley, but made up for by the Joplin, Missouri Tornado early into that season (east of I35). Other tornadoes toward Ada Oklahoma and a significant day in other parts of Eastern OK before Joplin, but east of I35.

7. One big tornado day in Southern Kansas and Western OK all WEST of I-35 which mainly croaked after crossing that Magic Dividing Line which was odd all by itself. Other storms early in the season from Dallas and west toward Abilene and S. Central Texas toward the Mexican Border.

8. Tornadoes in Arizona mainly just east and north of Phoenix, as well as late spring tornadoes in West Central California. 

9. Drought continues in Texas.

10. Large number of tropical systems, most of which missed land, with the only big impact being from Irene. But note, hurricane force sustained winds were never measured from Irene on land.

11. The No-Name storm over Florida, which by all purposes the True no-named portion occurred on the last night from Brevard County toward the WNW near Ocala (over a fairly large area). The rest of this event was pressure gradient winds from blowing across very warm ocean waters under a cold layer of air aloft. The Not Named portion of which should be restricted, in my opinion, from the disturbance that evolved over the Northern Bahamas which moved NW-WNW-W-NW and land-fell per the lowest barometric pressure at Port Canaveral. All of the weather with this system occurred on the North Side of the system as it made landfall as it combined with the other conditions that had already been in place for two days. Biggest impacts over Osceola, Indian River, Brevard, Polk Counties, as well as Dade, Broward, a part of Collier and toward Naples along the SW Coast. 

12. Drought continues in Texas.  

13. Lack of a substantial Monsoon Season over the Desert SW. Yes, there was some good Haboobs (dust/sand storms) related to thunderstorm outflow, but a long range period of monsoon rains barely existed long enough to call it a "season", although they did occur for two periods that come to mind off the top of my head.

13. Heavy snows over the Sierras in California and flooding in the Northern Plains in North Dakota. Snow skiing in July. 

14. Blizzard like conditions around Chicago and more heavy snows in the NE states, with the New York City being the highlight since so many individuals were impacted in this region, including the Baltimore and Washington DC zones...Del-Mar-VA to NYC.

15. Lack of a solid thunderstorm season along the I-4 corridor in Florida (Lightning Alley). Most of the storms this past summer occurred near NW Brevard (Mims/Titusville) and near the Lake Okeechobee Effect zone (east side) in Indian River/St Lucie/Martin Counties.  The Vero Beach area had its DEFINITE fair share of storms this year, as did Ft. Pierce.  The Barrier Islands of Brevard maintained their status quo 'storm drought' (along with the Keys , which is normal) other than north of SR 520 where mainly Cape Canaveral had more storms than usual, much to this writer's delight! 

Steering for storms this year when it wasn't neutral was toward the East the higher percentage of the time, which is in reverse to the norm. As such, the Tampa bay area didn't have the 'big season" normally expected, but still big (always is). This is not to say that all areas did not eventually receive the pre-requisite summer storm, it was where they occurred most consistently and direction that they moved that was a bit of an anomaly. 

16. The recent EF2 tornado in South Florida and EF0 in South Central, both near the coast. Not sure these should really be included in the overall scheme of things though, since both were indirectly related to sub tropical factors which are consistently abnormal to start with in any year. Overall though, Florida has been in a Tornado and Hurricane Drought, but there was some activity toward Tampa/Lakeland in early spring with one of the several QLCS Squall lines that crossed that state this year.

17. Finally, record rainfall for the Vero Beach area this past month, surpassed since record keeping began only once before. This area received just a little more than one inch of rain shy  last month than that received during the Hurricanes (Frances/Jeanne)debacle of 2004. This area received several inches just yesterday, as well as during the No Name Event (which is where the whole thing started). They also received a good thunderstorm season as noted above. So much for the drought there, man your life boats.

Which reminds me, remember the insane record flooding in Australia? Sorry if I missed something, which is likely.

FINALLY, what's next? Will these odd ball events continue into the winter? We are forecast to be in a La Nina this winter. That pattern as well the El Nino pattern have led people to believe (at least by way of that overly publicized by the fabulizing media (have to earn a buck some how), with the help of some less scientifically inclined meteorologists, that the climatological norms of such patterns leads to a predictable long range, seasonal outlook. 

This is far from the reality. There are other factors such as ENSO, the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) to name only a few, as well as other patterns (and yes, I expect we will be hearing about new ones as time passes and more data can be assimilated during the next 10-25 years)...that some schools of thought will be re-defined while newer ones evolve.

 Realize, climatology beyond the past 50-75 years is largely based on poor record keeping (at least that which can be of any use), archaeology,  and geology. Satellites have provided a tremendous view of the earth's weather at all locations simultaneously as well as  has improved communications (continuing). There has likely been big changes in the earth's climate since the planet began, and there's no reason to believe that changes will not continue through eternity or as long as earth exists, a.k.a. Space Weather. Thus, this will be a continuing saga for 'a while' longer.

With that, not even going to touch what the Tornado Season and next year's Hurricane Season will be like...but that does not stop the forecasts for these seasons from being made.  Hey, some folks earn a living that way . It happens every year for both, and sometimes they are correct...but far from always. Recall, even for the tropics..the number of predicted tropical storms is meaningless unless they are steered toward land. Every once in a Golden Age, those two factors for the tropical season over-laps, but when that will be is never known in advance.

Word of final warning, all hurricane prone areas are over due now for "The Big One"..or even "any one " for that matter. Biggest concern at this point at this time of year is , "When will the temperature get so cold that an actual 'coat' will have to be exhumed and the A/C turned off. Small price to pay...but boring.

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