September the globe's 8th warmest on record; heavy rains hit Florida

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:41 PM GMT on October 19, 2011

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September 2011 was the globe's 8th warmest September on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated September the 9th warmest on record. NASA rates the top ten warmest Septembers since 1880 as having all occurred in the past ten years. September 2011 global land temperatures were the 4th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 14th warmest on record for the month of September. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were above average, the 8th or 5th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for September 2011. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

21st warmest September for the U.S.
September 2011 in the U.S. was the 21st warmest in the 117-year period of record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Thirteen states in the West and Northeast had top-ten warmest Septembers on record, and one state, Mississippi, had a top-ten coolest September. On September 4th, Tropical Storm Lee made landfall on the Gulf Coast, and brought torrential rain to most of the eastern United States. While Lee brought drought relief for the Gulf Coast, it caused major flooding in the already-saturated Northeast. Rainfall totals of at least 10 inches were common along Lee's path. Eleven states from Louisiana to New York experienced a top-ten wettest September, and it was the wettest September in Pennsylvania's history. In Binghamton, New York, Lee aided in breaking three all-time precipitation records: most rainfall in a year (57.85 inches to date), most rainfall in any month (16.58 inches), and most rainfall on any calendar day (7.49 inches on September 7th). Dayton, Ohio and Allentown, Pennsylvania both had their wettest September on record. In contrast, five states had a top-ten driest September. Ten percent of the United States was in an exceptional drought--the most extreme classification--in September. Austin, Texas saw its driest September on record, receiving only 0.01 inches of rain during the month.

Weak La Niña conditions continue
La Niña continues in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures remain 0.5°C to 1.0°C below average, qualifying this as a weak La Niña event. During the coming winter, La Niña is likely to bring drought in the South, especially to Texas. Above average temperatures can also be expected in the South. The Pacific Northwest can expect cooler than average temperatures, as well as the potential for another record-breaking winter of snowpack across the western United States. La Niña also tends to bring wetter than average conditions to the Ohio Valley.

Arctic sea ice extent second lowest on record
Arctic sea ice extent was at its second lowest on record in September, behind 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The center said that on September 9th, the Arctic reached its annual minimum extent, which was also the second-smallest minimum extent on record. Sea ice records date back to 1979.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has an in-depth analysis of some of the more notable September global extremes in h is latest post.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated rainfall for the 24 hours ending at 9:20 am EDT over South Florida. Heavy rains of up to 5 inches affected the coast near Naples and portions of the Keys.

Heavy rains continue over South Florida
Heavy rains continue over South Florida due to the lingering remnants of Invest 95L. Key West Naval Air Facility has picked up an additional 4.61" of rain as of 9 am EDT this morning, bringing their 5-day total to 17.42" of rain. Yesterday, 95L spawned three tornadoes over Southeast Florida. One twister damaged 40 homes near Lakeport, and roofs were torn off homes in Sunrise. No injuries were reported from the tornadoes. The severe threat shifts to coastal North Carolina today, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed much of coastal North Carolina and Virginia in their "slight risk" area for severe weather.

None of the computer models predicts tropical storm formation in the Atlantic during the coming seven days. The Western Caribbean is expected to see an increase in moisture late next week and the possible formation of a strong tropical disturbance capable of bringing heavy rains.

My next post will be early Thursday afternoon, after NOAA issues their winter outlook at 11 am EDT that day.

Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz

Invest 95L (oneshotww)
We received rain most of the day yesterday and again today from Invest 95L. The visibility and flooding were pretty bad during the evening commute home. My street is totally under water. Most folks had enough sense to drive slow as conditions made it necessary to take it easy.
Invest 95L

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Quoting Skyepony:
Jed~ Ya'll had the pwats. There was even that vortex coming at you, that had the makings for a cross state long tracking tornado, but the trough knocked that out with dry air before it ever made it to land.

Lot of factors that made timing crucial. Really got shunted south (poor keys), so deep it just keeps streaming from ever farther south. CMC may be on to something.

This has been amazing to watch on the red WV. You can see waves of moisture pulsing away from this leading edge.


Looking at that loop, I wonder if the dry air will push all the way down here.
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Quoting eddye:
could we see a freeze watch for jacksonville


No, not yet. Not quite cold enough.

Some rural areas around Jax may seen temps over the next few nights in the upper
30s but that will not be enough for a freeze, obviously.
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Quoting weatherbro:
If something indeed develops in the Western Caribbean late next week, it'll most likely affect Hispaniola or eastern Cuba since an even more powerful trough will affect the East!


That is what the San Juan NWS has mentioned on the recent discussions.Let's see what occurs to see if the 2011 Atlantic season gets the final hurrah of development or not.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14890
Quoting Jedkins01:


Hey, please don't get get mad at me, please consider what I'm saying...

Ok, so here the deal, I wasn't here to really discuss this last night, but when I said yesterday that the Tampa Bay area was going to miss out on all the heavy activity, it wasn't because the atmosphere didn't support it, I just saw a trend in the atmosphere and went with it.
The fact is, there was no dry air over Tampa Yesterday the warm front did move well north of us, in fact, Central Florida had massive amounts of moisture, including saturation on multiple levels. We had a PWAT up to 2.4 inches yesterday, which is a VERY moist atmosphere. Furthermore, we had all the strong dynamics in place, to support strong thunderstorms and an isolated tornado, as well as strong vorticity from a 999 mb low.

So why was there a gap over Tampa Bay? I have really no idea, all the parameters supported 2 to 4 inches of rain, actually 2 to 4 conservatively, and very strong thunderstorms.
Yet it didn't happen. In a way though it makes sense how the forecast was so wrong, all the atmospheric ingredients came together to support wild weather in Central Florida, just like the models predicted, and just like forecasters expected. The problem is, NOTHING actually became of it, despite everything favoring widespread intense convection.

That is the tricky thing about the atmosphere, you can get all your numbers right, and still be dead wrong.


If your convinced it was cause of dry air, I urge you to do a rewind and find out for yourself. Even if we had half the moisture in the air of what we did yesterday, it would have been well more than enough to support torrential rain and strong thunderstorms, due to strong dynamics. However, we had the atmosphere of a healthy tropical cyclone pulling up over Florida.



Ive also seen cases here where we had low chances of storms in the forecast due to unfavorable conditions for convection. However, for whatever reason, there were massive amounts of showers and storms contrary to what the atmosphere would support.



Now I'm not saying either situation is common, but it does happen occasionally. Personally, I think it reminds us there is so much more going on in weather that we don't understand very well.


It wasn't that hard to figure out why central Florida was void of convection. The MCS that fired over south Florida basically "stole" the available moisture and just condensed into a more specific area. While the atmosphere was highly unstable over central FL, there was also quite a bit of subsidence due that MCS to the south. The dry air punching in didn't help much either, although you can argue the dry air at the mid levels sometimes will contribute to severe weather. Granted, mets down there should have seen the trends by late yesterday, sometimes when the forecast is already out and folks are waiting on a possible severe outbreak, its best just to leave as is. You don't want to "back" pedal and then have an isolated event that catches someone off guard.
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42. Skyepony (Mod)
Jed~ Ya'll had the pwats. There was even that vortex coming at you, that had the makings for a cross state long tracking tornado, but the trough knocked that out with dry air before it ever made it to land.

Lot of factors that made timing crucial. Really got shunted south (poor keys), so deep it just keeps streaming from ever farther south. CMC may be on to something.

This has been amazing to watch on the red WV. You can see waves of moisture pulsing away from this leading edge.
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could we see a freeze watch for jacksonville
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
...Key West Naval Air Facility has picked up an additional 4.61" of rain as of 9 am EDT this morning, bringing their 5-day total to 17.42" of rain.

My, my... my fuzzy Island math figures that is 'bout a foot and a half of RAIN!

Those poor folks in Key West may need to start drinking copious amounts of water instead of rum
etc.



Showers building up again. Thought we were done with this one.
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Another very warm year and another very high precipitation event while the historic Texas drought worsens.
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Thanks for the updates Dr Masters
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Gotta run.....everyone have a great day!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Hey, please don't get get mad at me, please consider what I'm saying...

Ok, so here the deal, I wasn't here to really discuss this last night, but when I said yesterday that the Tampa Bay area was going to miss out on all the heavy activity, it wasn't because the atmosphere didn't support it, I just saw a trend in the atmosphere and went with it.
The fact is, there was no dry air over Tampa Yesterday the warm front did move well north of us, in fact, Central Florida had massive amounts of moisture, including saturation on multiple levels. We had a PWAT up to 2.4 inches yesterday, which is a VERY moist atmosphere. Furthermore, we had all the strong dynamics in place, to support strong thunderstorms and an isolated tornado, as well as strong vorticity from a 999 mb low.

So why was there a gap over Tampa Bay? I have really no idea, all the parameters supported 2 to 4 inches of rain, actually 2 to 4 conservatively, and very strong thunderstorms.
Yet it didn't happen. In a way though it makes sense how the forecast was so wrong, all the atmospheric ingredients came together to support wild weather in Central Florida, just like the models predicted, and just like forecasters expected. The problem is, NOTHING actually became of it, despite everything favoring widespread intense convection.

That is the tricky thing about the atmosphere, you can get all your numbers right, and still be dead wrong.


If your convinced it was cause of dry air, I urge you to do a rewind and find out for yourself. Even if we had half the moisture in the air of what we did yesterday, it would have been well more than enough to support torrential rain and strong thunderstorms, due to strong dynamics. However, we had the atmosphere of a healthy tropical cyclone pulling up over Florida.



Ive also seen cases here where we had low chances of storms in the forecast due to unfavorable conditions for convection. However, for whatever reason, there were massive amounts of showers and storms contrary to what the atmosphere would support.



Now I'm not saying either situation is common, but it does happen occasionally. Personally, I think it reminds us there is so much more going on in weather that we don't understand very well.


Bro, i am never mad or upset with you......YOU are a heck of a lot smarter than this dumba_s i am about this stuff. Ya, know what u are saying, but it seemed the dry air was in place in Tampa on WaterVApor........so heck i don't know. Jed thanks for the insight and keep up the great info on the blog.
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Good Evening all.
I have a curious question. Cyclones normally transfer head from the Equator to the poles. How long has this higher than normal activity been going and what is this higher than normal activity is it having on the polar regions?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
so u see upper 30 for jacksonville and frost tampaspin
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Just a thought........But you that have been around enough knows what can happen at the tailend of these cold fronts that stall in the Caribbean......that might be our next system....Just sayn!
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Morning all.........what a great day in Tampa.....NICE! What a weather Bust for this area....the dry air was in place but, the models keep thinking the warm front would move North.......that simply did not happen. We hardly got a drop of rain. But, this should not be over shadowed what has happened South of here. I knew it was gonna be bad with all that energy coming.


Hey, please don't get get mad at me, please consider what I'm saying...

Ok, so here the deal, I wasn't here to really discuss this last night, but when I said yesterday that the Tampa Bay area was going to miss out on all the heavy activity, it wasn't because the atmosphere didn't support it, I just saw a trend in the atmosphere and went with it.
The fact is, there was no dry air over Tampa Yesterday the warm front did move well north of us, in fact, Central Florida had massive amounts of moisture, including saturation on multiple levels. We had a PWAT up to 2.4 inches yesterday, which is a VERY moist atmosphere. Furthermore, we had all the strong dynamics in place, to support strong thunderstorms and an isolated tornado, as well as strong vorticity from a 999 mb low.

So why was there a gap over Tampa Bay? I have really no idea, all the parameters supported 2 to 4 inches of rain, actually 2 to 4 conservatively, and very strong thunderstorms.
Yet it didn't happen. In a way though it makes sense how the forecast was so wrong, all the atmospheric ingredients came together to support wild weather in Central Florida, just like the models predicted, and just like forecasters expected. The problem is, NOTHING actually became of it, despite everything favoring widespread intense convection.

That is the tricky thing about the atmosphere, you can get all your numbers right, and still be dead wrong.


If your convinced it was cause of dry air, I urge you to do a rewind and find out for yourself. Even if we had half the moisture in the air of what we did yesterday, it would have been well more than enough to support torrential rain and strong thunderstorms, due to strong dynamics. However, we had the atmosphere of a healthy tropical cyclone pulling up over Florida.



Ive also seen cases here where we had low chances of storms in the forecast due to unfavorable conditions for convection. However, for whatever reason, there were massive amounts of showers and storms contrary to what the atmosphere would support.



Now I'm not saying either situation is common, but it does happen occasionally. Personally, I think it reminds us there is so much more going on in weather that we don't understand very well.
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Thanks Doc!

From the previous blog;

615. Quadrantid and the great majority of whom stopped their scientific education at 15.

I almost blew coffee out my nose.... Quad, you rock. I am enjoying the muscle flex of common sense and intellect. Please do not get discouraged and leave.

732. aspectre Plus there'll be the Alabama coast, where the inhabitants claim to be Floridians despite their lack of any ties to either the watersheds or the culture of Florida.

Haha, maybe that's because at one time, West Florida extended to the Mississippi River east of Nawlin's and the soil under their feet was FLORIDA soil. They ARE Floridians stolen away.... [cries]... perhaps more interesting to them is they were their own Republic.

Originally part of La Florida, the Spaniards claimed everything from Newfoundland to Mexico as theirs. 1559 Pensacola was attempted to prevent the French settlement in West Florida. It failed or IT would be the oldest city, not St. Augustine. The French occupied La. and gained control until 1763, the end of the 7 Year War, when the territory passed to the Brits. Then back to the Spaniards 1783 when we won our Independence. Secret treaties, the Louisiana Purchase, and unrest of the remaining English and new Americans with Spanish administration led to another rebellion.

1810 the Republic of West Florida was born.



The Bonnie Blue

They even had a marching song;

West Floriday, that lovely nation,
Free from king and tyranny,
Thru’ the world shall be respected,
For her true love of Liberty.

It lasted 90 days until President James Madison annexed the territory of the Republic claiming it part of the Louisiana Purchase, and we Floridians lost "that" part of West Florida. [cries again]
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Quoting eddye:
so u see another cold front after this one when tampa


See the tail extending really far south into the Pacific ......that would be next Cold front.....maybe 7 to 10 days out from the East Coast i would say.
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tampaspin i think it will be a cold year for the south this year colder then last year
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting weatherbro:
If something indeed develops in the Western Caribbean late next week, it'll most likely affect Hispaniola or eastern Cuba since an even more powerful trough will affect the East!

I believe timing of the trough will play a significan role in where it goes if something forms JMO...
Member Since: November 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
Dr. Masters is correct about the disturbance in the Caribbean in 5-7 days as the models are showing. I don't put a lot of thought into that far out......but, gotta say it is nearly every model showing it. That does mean something.
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so u see another cold front after this one when tampa
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting eddye:
tampaspin how cold does that show u posted
Quoting eddye:
tampaspin how cold does that show u posted


That just shows the dips-see-do's in the jet stream is what i use it for........i am not qualified to use it but anything more than that. I use it to see when another front could be coming and how strong it might be. Sorry.
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If something indeed develops in the Western Caribbean late next week, it'll most likely affect Hispaniola or eastern Cuba since an even more powerful trough will affect the East!
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tampaspin how cold does that show u posted
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386



LOOKS like another Cold front coming in about 7 days......Winter is coming.
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"Earlier at the Willis Tower, a window on the 29th floor in an air conditioning mechanical room and a window in an unoccupied office on the 25th floor blew out, said Chicago Battalion Chief Michael Gubricky. A window in an unoccupied office on the 28th floor and a window in an occupied office on the 12th floor cracked, he said."

That was with 77 mph reported winds, proberbly 107 at the 29th floor. Borderline bad design or sloppy installation.

Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3838
...Key West Naval Air Facility has picked up an additional 4.61" of rain as of 9 am EDT this morning, bringing their 5-day total to 17.42" of rain.

My, my... my fuzzy Island math figures that is 'bout a foot and a half of RAIN!

Those poor folks in Key West may need to start drinking copious amounts of water instead of rum etc.
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Quoting aerojad:
Question to those smarter than I :)

Here in Chicago today we have a rather major autumn gale passing by today. Downtown the forecast (NWS) sustained wind is 30 - 40mph, gusting to 55mph today and 40mph, gusting to 60mph tonight.

That's at surface level, right? What's the translation if you head up in these skyscrapers? Say 800 feet? Is there a hard and fast rule for x-feet up = y mph?

Thanks.


Generally 20 to 60 mph more depending on the height and the actual storm. Most windows are rated to 110 mph.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3838
Question to those smarter than I :)

Here in Chicago today we have a rather major autumn gale passing by today. Downtown the forecast (NWS) sustained wind is 30 - 40mph, gusting to 55mph today and 40mph, gusting to 60mph tonight.

That's at surface level, right? What's the translation if you head up in these skyscrapers? Say 800 feet? Is there a hard and fast rule for x-feet up = y mph?

Thanks.
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As mentioned in the other blog over 5" at my location in S. Ft Myers.
Strong winds 40-50mph last night with a line of storms about 11:30 pm.
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From the previous blog entry:

I live right near the tip of that "spear" of rain pointing into northern Collier/southern Lee. My not-very-reliable home rain gauge says a bit over 6" fell at my place from noon yesterday until now. That's only a bit more than half of what Key West saw this week, but I'll take it...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13797
We escaped all the bad weather and I'am thankful for that. My thoughts and prayers with those already affected and still affected by this bad weather conditions in South Florida. Now waiting the Cold Front that could drop our temps 10 to 15 degrees below normal.
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Yer why mention the top 8th...lol.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3838
Was here for all 17+ inches of that rain in Key West. Talk about picking a bad week for a vacation, but it was an interesting event to withness. The locals just take it in stride. A bit tough on the merchants at the north end of Duval who had some flooding and the ocean charters.
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where is the other site
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
If it aint the top 3, it aint supposed to be mentioned.
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17 inches it was no dude troughs can sure put out the rain
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dr masters is the best and one day i could see him working for the nhc
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Thanks for all you do, Dr. Masters.
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let go miami heat and it looks like jacksonville is going 2 see some good frost
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Thanks Dr. Masters!

Nice post, but I don't agree with your La Niña information regarding drought and above average temperatures in the south. People focus on ENSO too much when it comes to Winter predictions. I strongly believe there's more factors out there than La Niña that will factor into the south's winter. Could be really cold.
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To what extent are the weak La Nina conditions responsible for this unusual hurricane season?
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Thanks Dr. Masters.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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