Wunderground launches new Local Climate Change section

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2012

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In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, wunderground has launched a new Climate Change Center, which gives people resources to understand how the climate is changing both globally and in their local neighborhoods. I am particularly pleased with our Local Climate Change feature, which allows one to see how temperature and precipitation have changed over the past 100+ years at the nearest station with a long period of measurements. Predictions from climate models on what the next 100 years may bring are overlaid for each station. Data for most U.S. stations goes back to 1895; we have data for a few stations in Europe that extend back to the 1700s. Berlin has the longest period of record in this database, with data back to 1702.


Figure 1. Screenshot of the Local Climate Change page for Washington, DC. Measured temperatures since 1820 are shown in grey. By clicking on the "Show post-1900 trend:" box, we see that the trend since 1900 has been for an increase in temperature of 1.5°C (2.7°F) per century. Moving the thin vertical red line over the image using the mouse shows that the warmest year on record in Washington D.C. was 1991. Predictions for a future with low emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are shown in yellow; the high emissions prediction is shown in red. Separate tabs are available to examine precipitation and snow.

Skeptical?
Also included in the new Climate Change Center is a section addressing the common skeptical arguments made against climate change. We offer three levels of explanation. The "Basic" level is the default, but one can also see more technical in-depth discussions by clicking on the "See All Explanation Levels" link. The material was developed by physicist John Cook for his excellent skepticalscience.com web site, which is widely referenced in the climate science communication community.


Video 1. I'm featured in this video on extreme weather and climate change done by veteran videographer Peter Sinclair for the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media this month. I'm also featured in Part 1 of this series. Our new Climate Change Center has a section for climate change videos, which includes a twice-monthly feature from GreenTV detailing the world's notable wild weather events of the past two weeks.

Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I'd like to thank Wunderground meteorologist, Angela Fritz for spearheading the creating the new Climate Change Center; it's a product I'll be referring to frequently in the future, and one we'll be updating in the coming months with data on local sea level rise, fire risk, and drought.

Jeff Masters

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The NAM has a current lifted index/precipitable water of -10 directly at the location of the ULL.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hundreds of thousands may lose Internet in July

Can't track hurricanes with no internet..


I had that happen to me. Some program called Win 7 Security Center go on my computer after I torrented some music and seized the whole thing up. Had to get my dad's friend who was a hacker to clean my system out, took forever and mu computer has been slow since. And after that I got like super-high level Norton anti-virus stuff and I have been fine since.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3476
This is a dynamic situation and I am afraid that the SPC is just not ideally structured to handle a weather dynamic precisely like this one.

Here is the problem. Everything that is important about this potential severe weather event is happening over the broad and open expanse of the Gulf of Mexico.
The main low pressure area is north of where forecast, as Reedzone has correctly stated. That presents a bit of a problem in determining just where the most potent activity will likely take place. The computer models were all clearly forecasting a more southerly position and movement for this storm system.

But the upper level low (ULL) is further south and barreling generally to the ESE at present. This will likely bottom out and then begin heading due east. This will be the mechanism which will really fire up severe storms later today and especially tonight. But because the main low pressure system has been forecast to be south of where it actually is, there may be a wide divergence in the placement and the very nature of this severe weather event from what all of the forecasts are currently suggesting. The best example of this will be the possibility that we could see a lot of development of super cells somewhere over Florida during the next 12-16 hours or so but it would be very hard to determine just where, at this point.

What is ironic about this particular situation is that the HPC might be better equipped to analyze this and possibly get a handle on just how potentially dangerous the circumstance is, but their expertise is in tracking and analyzing tropical systems, NOT springtime cyclonic storms systems such as this one.

If this same storm were located maybe 300 or more miles to the north of where it is, I suspect you would not see the SPC remaining so conservative in their thinking about this storm nor would they be so restrained in their language. But their weakest link is in getting a firm grip on storm systems which are rapidly coming together far out over the Gulf of Mexico as opposed to over the CONUS, where they have far more resources to access, such as surface weather stations and the like.

By the time the SPC finally issues their inevitable tornado watches and the like, a lot of Floridians may be asleep at the wheel. Furthermore, Floridians in general, outside of the weather geek population that is, are just not mentally prepared for the approach of severe weather systems as powerful and dynamic as this one appears to be.

This type of setup begs for further development in meteorological tools and skills to be able to get an adequate handle on the situation, in my opinion.
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 726
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop
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Quoting hydrus:
I wonder if that holds together by the time it reaches the coast. If it does, could be some strong winds and intense lightening.
yeah everyone here is watching this closely by me, people outside looking towards the gulf, local weather guys are doing a good job warning people
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Quoting LargoFl:
you still in a drought pat?


Not that I'm aware of, as we have had a goodly amount o Spring Rains.
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514. unf97
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Conditions in my area:
1008.7mb.
Humidity is 69%.
Dew Point is 66^F.

Also, the sun is out right, seeing it peak through the clouds all day. So the conditions are there, let's see if Tampa gets anything this time. Certainly an impressive line in the GOMEX. The thing that I don't like is the prediction of cooler weather, lows going down to the upper 40s. When I want winter, I want it in winter.. not in April after a non-winter. Hope that changes.


Well, at least for a couple of days, it will be quite cool over interior North Florida in the wake of the intensifying Low Pressure moving up the East Coast. Models are projecting low temperatures on Monday and Tuesday mornings into the low-mid 40s across the Big Bend and Suwannee River basin. A very deep upper level trough will carve out over the Eastern US bringing the cool and dry weather in the first half of next week.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Conditions in my area:
1008.7mb.
Humidity is 69%.
Dew Point is 66^F.

Also, the sun is out right, seeing it peak through the clouds all day. So the conditions are there, let's see if Tampa gets anything this time. Certainly an impressive line in the GOMEX. The thing that I don't like is the prediction of cooler weather, lows going down to the upper 40s. When I want winter, I want it in winter.. not in April after a non-winter. Hope that changes.
LOL teddy
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
801 am CDT Sat Apr 21 2012


Synopsis...


Upper low appears to be closing off over the northern Gulf. Lead
vorticity is south of Plaquemines Parish...with an associated cluster
of thunderstorms moving eastward. A second...stronger...vort has
moved off the Upper Texas coast with convection southeast of Lake
Charles. At the surface...there is not a well defined low
center...although one may be trying to develop south of Morgan
City. Very little precipitation is occurring over land in our area
at this time. Temperatures are generally in the 60s across the
area.


Short term...


As the second vorticity center catches up to the surface
low...significant cyclogenesis will occur over the northern Gulf.
This should keep most of the convection either offshore...or
limited to the southern Louisiana coast. Lighter
precipitation...with a few thunderstorms...will be possible over
much of the area...especially this morning and early afternoon.
Unless significant changes are seen in radar returns in the next
30 minutes or so...anticipate chance probability of precipitation over most of the area.
Precipitation should move out of the area this evening as the
surface low will be well east of the area. As our system moves
toward the Florida Peninsula Sunday morning...a northern stream
vorticity will be charging southeast through the Great Lakes. These
systems will phase near the Carolina coast Sunday
night...developing a major surface low there. This will bring a
reinforcement of cooler and drier air to the area for Monday.


The main weather concern over the next 48 hours will be the wind.
As low deepens a healthy pressure gradient will develop. Sustained
winds to the south of Lake Pontchartrain are likely to be in
excess of 20 miles per hour...with gusts to 35 to 40 miles per hour overnight tonight. A
second period of heightened wind speeds will occur Sunday
afternoon and evening as the Carolina phasing GOES on. Will hold
southshore Wind Advisory in place...although it will be
borderline.


Temperatures will be cooler than normal...especially on
Monday...about 5 to 10 degrees below normal. 35
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Quoting Patrap:
Been a soaka' in Se. La. this am.



you still in a drought pat?
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From the National Weather Service's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService .TampaBay.gov): ...... "At the present time sufficient instability combined with increasing wind shear associated with this system will be supportive of supercells with damaging winds and tornadoes the primary threat from the storms. In addition, locally heavy rains, frequent lightning, and large hail will accompany the storms. While isolated severe storms will be possible across the region this afternoon, it appears that a potentially more substantial severe weather threat will materialize this evening and tonight as both low level convergence and wind shear strengthens in advance of the approaching storm system. All residents and visitors of West Central and Southwest Florida should continue to monitor later forecasts on this developing weather situation."
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Been a soaka' in Se. La. this am.



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The spin south of New Orleans is the Upper Level Low, the area of lowest pressure southeast of Louisiana is the actual low.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
#505


me'so glad..

: )
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Conditions in my area:
1008.7mb.
Humidity is 69%.
Dew Point is 66^F.

Also, the sun is out right, seeing it peak through the clouds all day. So the conditions are there, let's see if Tampa gets anything this time. Certainly an impressive line in the GOMEX. The thing that I don't like is the prediction of cooler weather, lows going down to the upper 40s. When I want winter, I want it in winter.. not in April after a non-winter. Hope that changes.
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Quoting Patrap:


Maybe check the local forecast by using the Search Box at the top O dee page?

It aint hard to do.


it dunt tell ma the anser to me inkwiry.
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This line may end up being (to the disappointment of many bloggers) the only round of severe weather. It all depends on what kind of convection can get going in the south eastern quadrant quadrant of the upper level low as it approaches the state.
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Quoting LargoFl:
Look at all that red and yellow,headed right for us, getting a bit breezy now along the coast.................................
I wonder if that holds together by the time it reaches the coast. If it does, could be some strong winds and intense lightening.
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Hundreds of thousands may lose Internet in July

Can't track hurricanes with no internet..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
WPB

Nowcast as of 9:48 am EDT on April 21, 2012
Widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms continue across the eastern half of South Florida and adjacent Atlantic waters. The most active area is the Atlantic waters east of Miami Dade County. These showers will move northeast near 10 knots and produce occasionally heavy showers...gusty winds to near 25 knots with the heavier showers and occasional lightning strikes.
Flood Watch in effect through Sunday morning...
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
What time do you all think the weather in West Palm Beach will be like @ 3:30 p.m.? We have a big outside event going on at work. Does it look like strong storms will be in the area, or will that occur later on in the day/evening?


Maybe check the local forecast by using the Search Box at the top O dee page?

It aint hard to do.
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What time do you all think the weather in West Palm Beach will be like @ 3:30 p.m.? We have a big outside event going on at work. Does it look like strong storms will be in the area, or will that occur later on in the day/evening?
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Local weather guy just said when this line hits us, expect real gusty winds,heavy rain and hail possible.
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Quoting reedzone:


Doesn't make any sense from where it's at.. Unless it takes a dive to the southeast..



The actual low is north of the ULL,however with the ULL moving South east that would lead me to believe that it may draw the real low slightly more south JMO
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That first line is moving E at ~50-60mph...
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2686
494. 7544
live cam for ftlauderdale beach looks nasty outthere Link
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Look at all that red and yellow,headed right for us, getting a bit breezy now along the coast.................................
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Will set the ol DVR for dat un Dr. Masters, thanx.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



wow this low is coming together nicely, the upper low looks really impressive! It looks like the low will be nearly vertically stacked as it comes across Florida. Powerful MCS is developing in the Central gulf and racing toward Florida. Oone thing I've noticed is that MCS getting stuck down in the keys, if convection continues to fire down there it will spread high clouds and more stable air northward towards us and severe will be limited. However, if it breaks up enough to channel more surface instability northward and allow more heating, uh oh, look out...


The sun is breaking through the thin veil of high clouds overhead right now. As you know, this high overcast is the debris from those storms you mentioned in the Keys. But enough sunshine is getting through to raise the temperature and elevate the surface humidities sufficiently for optimal severe development later on today and especially tonight.

The only question now is just where will the most optimal conditions develop and just when will this happen. That is tricky at this point. Ordinarily with a setup similar to this I would expect inland areas of Florida to have the greatest potential for powerful cells to develop but in this case I am not so sure about that.
Member Since: October 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 726
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The NAM4 on GREarth takes it inland near Tampa this afternoon.


Doesn't make any sense from where it's at.. Unless it takes a dive to the southeast..
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
488. JeffMasters (Admin)
Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Jeff Masters
Maybe a Severe Storm/Tornado Watch soon for Central Florida for Round One.

It's heading this way..


Round Two (the dangerous one) should develop later this afternoon just to the west of the ULL.

Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
what can we expect in terms of weather here in Hillsborough County, Tampa ?
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for Se La.

Wind Advisory
Statement as of 4:21 AM CDT on April 21, 2012

... Wind Advisory remains in effect from 7 PM this evening to
10 am CDT Sunday...

* timing: winds will be strongest tonight and Sunday morning.

* Winds: sustained speeds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph
will be possible.

* Impacts: unsecured objects such as trash cans may be blown
around. Driving conditions may be difficult for operators of
high profile vehicles... especially along east-west oriented
highways. Large trees will sway and some tree limbs may be
blown down. Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds
this strong can make driving difficult... especially for high
profile vehicles. Use extra caution.
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the initial squal line is moving much faster than it appears on sat keep that in mind
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:



that BIG spin (ull) is not the actual low, go to the NHC website and loop the GOM sat the press "fronts" on the top and you will see were the real low is located


Thank you...and to the others who answered...
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Realy raining alot in south florida,this should ease their drought for awhile...........................HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR SOUTH FLORIDA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1039 AM EDT SAT APR 21 2012

AMZ610-630-FLZ063-066>075-168-172>174-221030-
LAKE OKEECHOBEE-BISCAYNE BAY-GLADES-HENDRY-INLAND PALM BEACH-
METRO PALM BEACH-COASTAL COLLIER-INLAND COLLIER-INLAND BROWARD-
METRO BROWARD-INLAND MIAMI DADE-METRO MIAMI DADE-MAINLAND MONROE-
COASTAL PALM BEACH-COASTAL BROWARD-COASTAL MIAMI DADE-
FAR SOUTH MIAMI DADE-
1039 AM EDT SAT APR 21 2012

...STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING...
...FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING...
...COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY FOR COASTAL COLLIER COUNTY...
...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES IN EFFECT...

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR SOUTH FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

THUNDERSTORMS: SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TODAY AND
TONIGHT ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA. STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE
POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT. THE MAIN IMPACTS FROM
STORMS WILL BE FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING, HEAVY RAINFALL
WITH LOCALIZED FLOODING, AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS.

TORNADOES: ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON AND
TONIGHT.

WIND: ANY SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT
WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WINDS GUSTS TO 70 MPH. SOUTHWEST
WINDS OF 20 TO 25 KNOTS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE ON THE LOCAL ATLANTIC
AND GULF WATERS, INCLUDING LAKE OKEECHOBEE.

HAIL: SMALL HAIL MAY OCCUR IN THE STRONGEST STORMS THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH TONIGHT.

RIP CURRENTS: STRONG ONSHORE FLOW WILL RESULT IN A HIGH RISK OF
RIP CURRENTS AT THE GULF BEACHES.

FLOODING: ANY THUNDERSTORMS OR HEAVY SHOWERS TODAY AND TONIGHT
WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING FLOODING OF LOW LYING AND POOR
DRAINAGE AREAS. THERE IS A FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF SOUTH
FLORIDA THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. IN ADDITION, WATER LEVELS ALONG
THE COLLIER COUNTY COAST MAY REACH 2 TO 4 FEET ABOVE REGULAR HIGH
TIDE THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT, WHICH MAY LEAD TO MINOR COASTAL
FLOODING.

WAVES: SEAS WILL BUILD TO 5 TO 7 FEET THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS THE
GULF WATERS. SEAS WILL BUILD TO 5 TO 7 FEET LATE TONIGHT ACROSS
THE GULF STREAM.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH SUNDAY
MORNING AHEAD OF A STRONG DEVELOPING COLD FRONT. IN
ADDITION...HEAVY RAINFALL MAY LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLOODING OF LOW
LYING OR POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

HAZARDOUS MARINE CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE SUNDAY INTO MONDAY
MORNING ACROSS THE LOCAL GULF AND ATLANTIC WATERS BEHIND A STRONG
COLD FRONT. SEAS WILL BUILD TO 7 TO 10 FEET OVER THE GULF WATERS
SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND THEN SLOWLY SUBSIDE SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY
MORNING. SEAS OF 5 TO 7 FEET WILL CONTINUE OVER THE GULF STREAM
SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY MORNING.

A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR
COLLIER COUNTY. MINOR COASTAL FLOODING IS POSSIBLE THROUGH SUNDAY
AFTERNOON ALONG THE GULF COASTAL AREAS OF COLLIER COUNTY AS WATER
LEVELS MAY REACH BETWEEN 2 AND 4 FEET ABOVE REGULAR HIGH TIDE.

A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MONDAY MORNING
FOR THE GULF COAST BEACHES BEHIND A STRONG COLD FRONT.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL BE NEEDED. PLEASE REPORT HIGH WIND, HAIL
AND FLOODING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN
MIAMI.

FOR MORE INFORMATION...VISIT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN
MIAMI WEBSITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/MIAMI.

$$
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earlier,12Z

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Quoting LargoFl:
Rain and Snow head towards to Northeast,from the weather channel........................................Link

Spring is the new Winter I guess...
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Quoting reedzone:


Compared the where it was forecast to develop.. Big error on the models.

The NAM4 on GREarth takes it inland near Tampa this afternoon.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
Quoting Patrap:


Round one headed to Florida
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Sometimes the RUC analysis in GREarth can have issues with new/weak low pressure areas. It seems to find them quite a bit; I wish GREarth had the ability to use contours from actual obs to compare.

I'm still trying to get used to having the product. There's a lot of stuff to play around with. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
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Rain and Snow head towards to Northeast,from the weather channel........................................Link
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The low pressure area is really broad at this time...centered southeast of Louisiana.



Compared the where it was forecast to develop.. Big error on the models.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
The low pressure area is really broad at this time...centered southeast of Louisiana.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32335
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Surface Mean Level Pressure shows the beginnings of a low pressure area centered near Baton Rogue, Louisiana.



Sometimes the RUC analysis in GREarth can have issues with new/weak low pressure areas. It seems to find them quite a bit; I wish GREarth had the ability to use contours from actual obs to compare.
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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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