Unprecedented May heat in Greenland; update on 2011 Greenland ice melt

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on May 31, 2012

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The record books for Greenland's climate were re-written on Tuesday, when the mercury hit 24.8°C (76.6°F) at Narsarsuaq, Greenland, on the southern coast. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, this is the hottest temperature on record in Greenland for May, and is just 0.7°C (1.3°F) below the hottest temperature ever measured in Greenland. The previous May record was 22.4°C (72.3°F) at Kangerlussuaq (called Sondre Stormfjord in Danish) on May 31, 1991. The 25.2°C at Narsarsuaq on June 22, 1957 is the only June temperature measured in Greenland warmer than yesterday's 24.8°C reading. Wunderground's extremes page shows that the all-time warmest temperature record for Greenland is 25.5°C (77.9°F) set on July 26, 1990. The exceptional warmth this week was caused by the combination of an intense ridge of high pressure and a local foehn wind, said the Danish Meteorological Institute. The unusual May heat has extended to Scotland, which had its hottest May temperature on record on May 25 at Achnagart: 29.3°C (85°F). Greenland's Narsarsuaq has seen a string of 3 consecutive days over 70°F this week--the 3rd, 7th, and 12th warmest days there since record keeping began in 1941. The ridge of high pressure responsible is expected to stay in place several more days, bringing additional 70° days over Southern Greenland. The warm May temperatures could be setting the stage for a big Greenland melt season this summer--the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is predicting a 50 - 60% that the southern 2/3 of Greenland will experience above-average temperatures this summer. They forecast just a 10 - 15% chance of below-average temperatures.


Figure 1. Difference between the number of melt days in 2011 and the average number of melt days during the period 1979 - 2010. Large sections of the island experienced twenty more days with melting conditions than average. Image credit: Arctic Report Card

Why Greenland is important
If the massive icecap on Greenland were to melt, global sea level would rise 7 meters (23 ft). Temperatures in Greenland are predicted to rise 3°C by 2100, to levels similar to those present during that warm period 120,000 years ago. During that period, roughly half of the Greenland ice sheet melted, increasing sea level by 2.2 - 3.4 meters (7.2 - 11.2 ft.) However, the 2007 IPCC report expects melting of the Greenland ice sheet to occur over about a 1,000 year period, delaying much of the expected sea level rise for many centuries. While Greenland's ice isn't going to be melting completely and catastrophically flooding low-lying areas of the earth in the next few decades (sea level is only rising about 3 mm per year or 1.2 inches per decade at present), the risk later this century needs to be taken seriously. Higher sea levels will cause increased erosion, salt water intrusion, and storm surge damage in coastal areas, in addition to a loss of barrier formations such as islands, sand bars, and reefs that would normally protect coastal zones from battering by waves and wind. Additionally, coastal zones are sites of incredible economic and agricultural activity, which would also be negatively affected by higher sea levels. Currently, melting ice from Greenland is thought to cause about 0.7 mm/year of global sea level rise, which is about 20 - 25% of the global total, according to an international research group led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, in an article published the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1 June 2012. In 2007, the IPCC estimated that Greenland ice melt was responsible for only 10 - 15% of the total global sea level rise. Ice loss in Greenland is accelerating, and if current ice loss trends continue for the next ten years, Greenland's contribution to sea level rise will double to 1.4 mm/yr by 2022. The increased ice loss in Greenland is being driven by a combination of warmer air temperatures, warmer ocean temperatures, and loss of Arctic sea ice. Ocean temperatures surrounding Southern Greenland have increased by 1 - 2°C since 1990 (figure at right.)

Figure 2. Monthly unsmoothed values of the total mass (in gigatons, Gt), of the Greenland ice sheet from the GRACE satellites. On the horizontal axis, each year begins on 1 January. Each small + symbol is a monthly value. Between 2003 - 2009, Greenland lost an average of 250 gigatons of ice per year. In 2011, the loss was 70% greater than that. Image credit: Arctic Report Card

Update on the 2011 Greenland melt season
According to the 2011 Arctic Report Card, it was another very warm year in Greenland in 2011, which led to substantial melting of the ice. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

1) The area and duration of melting at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet in summer 2011 were the third highest since 1979.

2) Increased surface melting and below average summer snowfall in recent years has made the icecap steadily darker. In 2011, the icecap had the lowest reflectivity (albedo) of any year since satellite measurements of reflectivity began in 2000.

3) The area of glaciers that empty into the sea continued to decrease, though at less than half the rate of the previous 10 years.

4) Total ice sheet mass loss in 2011 was 70% larger than the 2003 - 2009 average annual loss rate of -250 gigatons per year. According to satellite gravity data obtained since 2002, ice sheet mass loss is accelerating.

Resources:
Wunderground's Greenland page.
Wunderground's sea level rise page.
Danish Meteorological Institute's extremes page for Greenland.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
4W at time of first warning a few hours ago



Now



The banding that it has developed is starting make it look like the classic RI setup. The storm starts spinning, the first thing to develop that looks like a strong hurricane is the banding, then the CDO develops and then an eye appears out of nowhere.



We'll see how long it can continue to show these signs though.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Oh it's hurricane season?.Because that started for me two weeks ago.

Yeah June 1st is so much less special this year because of the 2 pre-season storms...
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Oh it's hurricane season?.Because that started for me two weeks ago.
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4W at time of first warning a few hours ago



Now

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According to WU, it's hurricane season now UTC time.

Break out the Fresca's, popcorn, HeadOn, troll spray, iggy button, because THE 2012 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON has arrived.

Naming list:
* Alberto (used)
* Beryl (used)
* Chris
* Debby
* Ernesto
* Florence
* Gordon
* Helene
* Issac
* Joyce
* Kirk
* Leslie
* Michael
* Nadine
* Oscar
* Patty
* Rafael
* Sandy
* Tony
* Valerie
* William.

The current total stands at 2-0-0.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24546
I am glad to see the GRACE mission returning so much valuable scientific data. When I first heard of the project I thought it was going to mainly benefit the military, as a large part of the spatial error in earth-observing satellite data comes from the uncertainty in the true satellite position as a function of time. The military aspect of the GRACE mission was to refine modeling of true satellite position using more accurate data on the Earth's gravitational field.

The data on the changing ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica from GRACE is a fantastic bonus of the project that returns a large and exciting public benefit. GRACE is providing more data to guide climate scientists and glaciologists, and additional hard evidence to bury the insincere deniers and their poor misled followers. Go GRACE!
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42 RitaEvac: According to the Navy... [2 "After the Total Meltdown Flood" maps]

I can't imagine which navy other than one that exists solely within the imagination of the writer of the beforeitsnews.com article.
Those maps look like s/he's using a 300metre(1,000foot)* sea-level rise AND
a naive(r than "spherical cow") increase in the gravitational^equipotential in the NorthernHemisphere while ignoring the accompanying decrease in the SouthernHemisphere AND
a highly selective extra300metre isostatic rebound on Greenland and Antarctic continental masses as well as the AntarcticOcean seabed all the way up to the tip of SouthAmerica.

* Which is ~4 times as much as any rise that could be reasonably expected from a total meltdown... assuming that there's non-thermophilic multicellular life left on Earth.
^ ie Simplisticly, the (new) height of sea-level taking into account the (changing) gravitational effects of continental masses and (disappeared) ice-masses on seawater.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yes. I believe that you are referencing the BEST report conducted by a team at the University of California-Berkley. A well know physicists, Richard Muller, was skeptical of the temperature data for the past 100 years and executives of the oil industry help to fund Muller's research to verify/disprove the temperature data. Richard Muller found that the warming is probably greater than previously thought to be. You can read more about this here - Berkley Report Disappoints Climate-Change Skeptics


The BEST analysis is one of many that came to very similar conclusions.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3288
Quoting ScottLincoln:


What on radar suggested that?

You may not have been on last night so you might not have seen it... Rotation was unreal, the velocities were very tight and strong.
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Quoting weatherh98:


What is this? The hunger games? Nah it's cane season


May the odds be ever in your favour!
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Very true... Though I believe if that tornado from last night had gone over a populated area it would have taken that award... Has that one been given a rating yet? Radar indicated it was probably at least EF 3.


What on radar suggested that?
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3288
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
any one want to chat about our W-Pac storm or anything else in tropics chat?


What about the strong storms in Alabama? Not really much happening there though...


Since the Hurricane Season is based on Zulu time, the Atlantic Hurricane Season 2012 has officially started.


Happy Hurricane Season! Let it be a "peaceful" one for residents of coastal areas.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Officially Hurricane Season! Lets have a good year, and let the odds be forever in your favor.


What is this? The hunger games? Nah it's cane season
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Officially Hurricane Season! Lets have a good year, and let the odds be forever in your favor.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6692
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


There is very little evidence proving that global climate change is man made. I have seen terabytes of data over climate change (my friend works at Johnson Space Center), and I only have found a very minute correlation (r=.05) between human activities and temperature variance.


That even just sounds like nonsense without having to look into it further. It's not like we're comparing two temperature records here looking for correlations or variances. That's not how you are going to show human activities' roles in climate. The proof is in the physics, not some guy staring down sets of data he gets from a friend. We know the physical properties of greenhouse gases, we know how they behave when their concentrations change, we know that the concentration is increasing rapidly in comparison to similar timescales in our reconstructions, we can see that the source of the greenhouse gases are due to human activities.

Because of the physics, not some correlation of data you got from a friend, we would be able to see the human impact on climate even if natural forces were enough to counter-act most/all of it and cause cooling.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3288
Quoting yqt1001:


Maybe..



If that little crack in the MW is indeed an eye forming it has the possibility of RI...and it's under an anticyclone in 5kts shear.


Td to typhoon in hours
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
516. xcool
18z gfs quite interesting in the Gulf ...384 hrs
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any one want to chat about our W-Pac storm or anything else in tropics chat?
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Since the Hurricane Season is based on Zulu time, the Atlantic Hurricane Season 2012 has officially started.
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galvestonhurricane sez:


There is very little evidence proving that alcohol consumption causes drunkenness. I have seen terabytes of data over drinkinig (my friend works at the bar down the street), and I only have found a very minute correlation (r=.05) between drinking alcohol and being drunk.




I agree! Gimme a beer.
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Quoting ncstorm:


look like the models are trending towards warm core..its been edging ever so slightly towards the warm core



and wasnt Alberto and beryl intialized by the models as cold core as well?
Beryl was cold core, Alberto could've easily been one too
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539








04W is in amazing conditions for RI. O_o Seems possible we will get our first NHem category 4 out of this. It's moving out of these decent conditions quickly though.

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NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

Good news! NHC's Storm Surge Unit has joined Twitter. Stay on top of storm surge news and information @NHC_Surge.

There will be information and updates for emergency managers, the media and general public. For example, our first tweet was the peak measured surge during Tropical Storm Beryl.

Here is the link: http://twitter.com/#!/NHC_Surge/followers
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
We may have some rapid intensification starting here



Maybe..



If that little crack in the MW is indeed an eye forming it has the possibility of RI...and it's under an anticyclone in 5kts shear.
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While we're discussing global warming here's a quick arctic sea ice check... You can see we started the year at record low levels but bounced back to near normal in April due to a lot of young, thin ice. This proceeded to melt and we took a big dive towards the end of April and since then it has declined at a normal pace, remaining slightly to moderately below average.

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Quoting ncstorm:
People who don't agree with the "agenda" are called fools and uneducated from the "so called respected" bloggers on here and they call other people trolls? Im really out this time!
Don't let people get to you, the arrogant my boast and have loud mouths but foolishness always self destructs in the end and the wise though frequently bombarded have victory in the end.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7951
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


You are to be commended for making an effort to plant trees at every oppotunity you have. However, if you have children or grandchildren who are toddlers, I would hope that you are concerned about the world you are leaving for them. I can understand you are worried about paying the bills. You must understand that the lifestyle you now leading has been provided by the access to cheap energy from fossil fuels. First it was coal and then beginning in the early 1900s it was petroleum. These carbon based resources provided the energy to fuel the industrial revolution, agri-business and the population explosion. By most estimates, 90% of all of the accessible coal, oil and gas resources will be exhausted by 2070. We have already hit the peak production of cheap fossil fuels. Any time oil prices exceed $100/barrel it has a recessionary impact on the entire world's economy. That's why you're having trouble paying your bills. Also, by burning burning these fossil fuels, we have drastically altered the world's climate.

If you care about the future for your children or grandchildren you must care about climate change and begin transitioning away from using fossil fuels.


There is very little evidence proving that global climate change is man made. I have seen terabytes of data over climate change (my friend works at Johnson Space Center), and I only have found a very minute correlation (r=.05) between human activities and temperature variance.
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We may have some rapid intensification starting here

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419 PlazaRed: So here the next calculation of the Greenland ice melt theory, (with the pocket calculator of course.)...According to aspectre's comment at...295, Greenland is loosing about 425 cubic kilometers of ice a year...

Not mine -- Dr.JeffMasters: ...Between 2003 - 2009, Greenland lost an average of 250 gigatons of ice per year. In 2011, the loss was 70% greater than that. -- 70% of 250 = 175 ; 175 plus 250 = 425
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting LargoFl:
How do we in this time period, know that in 3 generations time the earth wont cool again? the earth goes thru these changes time after time, hot,cold and hot and cold, all thru time, so the people IN those times adjust..or perish, be we today have more things to worry about in my view, like how to pay the bills next month or..how to pay the huge doctor bills etc..just my take on things, no one in my view is right or wrong on this..plant some tree's and be happy


You are to be commended for making an effort to plant trees at every oppotunity you have. However, if you have children or grandchildren who are toddlers, I would hope that you are concerned about the world you are leaving for them. I can understand you are worried about paying the bills. You must understand that the lifestyle you now leading has been provided by the access to cheap energy from fossil fuels. First it was coal and then beginning in the early 1900s it was petroleum. These carbon based resources provided the energy to fuel the industrial revolution, agri-business and the population explosion. By most estimates, 90% of all of the accessible coal, oil and gas resources will be exhausted by 2070. We have already hit the peak production of cheap fossil fuels. Any time oil prices exceed $100/barrel it has a recessionary impact on the entire world's economy. That's why you're having trouble paying your bills. Also, by burning burning these fossil fuels, we have drastically altered the world's climate.

If you care about the future for your children or grandchildren you must care about climate change and begin transitioning away from using fossil fuels.
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Quoting LargoFl:
How do we in this time period, know that in 3 generations time the earth wont cool again? the earth goes thru these changes time after time, hot,cold and hot and cold, all thru time, so the people IN those times adjust..or perish, be we today have more things to worry about in my view, like how to pay the bills next month or..how to pay the huge doctor bills etc..just my take on things, no one in my view is right or wrong on this..plant some tree's and be happy


Obviously we can't know for sure. Science is all about gathering as much data as possible in order to form the best possible guess.

So, let's think about this for a moment. What could cause the Earth to abruptly cool?

A series of volcanic eruptions located close the equator. There's some evidence/thought that three eruptions over a half dozen or so years kicked off a cooling period known as the Little Ice Age.

http://www.livescience.com/18205-ice-age-volcanoe s-sea-ice.html

A meteor strike could kick up a tremendous amount of dust and junk which would block incoming sunlight for a number of years.

A large scale nuclear war could do the same.

Then there's the "black swan", something happening that's never happened before. The Sun could suddenly decease it's output.

I can't think of another event which could cool the Earth quickly. And we have no reason to suspect that any of those things are likely to happen. So I'm going to suggest we don't count of any of them to save us.

--

Yes, the Earth has warmed and cooled multiple times. When the Earth was at its hottest and at its coldest we would not have been able to live as we now do.

During the hottest we would have had much less land due to rising seas and many of our food crops would not have grown.

During the coldest we would have had much land to live on because much would be frozen and many of our food crops would not have grown.

The years that humans and most of the animals and plants living along side of us have been a 'sweet spot' in between the hottest and coldest.

If we don't do something we are almost certain to force ourselves to live on less and less land and have a much harder times feeding ourselves.

--

Is it wise to ignore what is happening? Even if you care nothing about the world in which your children will live you might want to worry, no, do something.

Just a few years ago about 50,000 people in Europe died during a heat wave. About 30,000 in France.

Why? Because, in general, Western Europe did not have air conditioning and did not have heat wave emergency procedures.

Why? Because they had never needed them before.

Old people dropped like flies.

Recently we've been getting hit with massive floods and incredible droughts. Should we worry about that?

You betcha we should. Even if you, like me, live far above where a flood could ever reach or in an area that gets far more rain that it needs to get by we end up paying our tax dollars to fix the problems those floods and droughts cause. And we will end up paying more for our food as crops and livestock get wiped out.

--

I wish planting some trees was enough. I've planted thousands in my life and I'd quickly plant a few more thousand.

But, unfortunately, it's not enough....
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What a milestone... Mesoscale Discussion 1000!

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1000
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0530 PM CDT THU MAY 31 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...MUCH OF KY...MIDDLE TN...NRN AL

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 328...329...

VALID 312230Z - 010030Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
328...329...CONTINUES.

SUMMARY...WATCH STATUS UPDATE: SEVERE THREAT CONTINUES OVER KY WITH
WIND AND HAIL LIKELY. LESS OF A THREAT EXISTS OVER TN AND AL...BUT
ISOLATED...MARGINAL SEVERE IS POSSIBLE THERE AS WELL.

DISCUSSION...STORMS CONTINUE TO INCREASE ALONG THE COLD FRONT...FROM
THE OH RIVER SWWD INTO ERN AR. A LEADING BAND OF STORMS IS ALSO
MAINTAINING INTENSITY FROM SWRN TN INTO ERN MS.

SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWS A DIFFUSE WARM FRONT ACROSS NRN KY...WITH A
MESOLOW REFLECTED AT THE SURFACE NEAR THE RELATIVELY STRONG CLUSTER
OF CELLS APPROACHING LOUISVILLE. FAVORABLE DEEP LAYER SHEAR AND FLOW
AS WELL AS SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY ALONG AND S OF A DIFFUSE WARM
FRONT SHOULD MAINTAIN A CORRIDOR OF SEVERE WIND AND HAIL ACROSS MUCH
OF NRN KY. OTHER CELLS MAY FILL IN ACROSS CNTRL AND SRN KY AS THE
COLD FRONT PROGRESSES.

TO THE S...VISIBLE IMAGERY SHOWS THE PRESENCE OF BOUNDARY LAYER CU
FROM THE AL BORDER NWD...SUGGESTIVE OF A MORE PRISTINE AIR MASS AS
OPPOSED TO AREAS FARTHER S WHERE SKIES ARE CLEAR. ISOLATED CELLS ARE
DEVELOPING AHEAD OF THE LEADING LINE...SUGGESTING THIS LINE MAY HAVE
A FEW HOURS OF A MARGINAL WIND THREAT. OUTFLOW MERGERS FROM THIS
LINE AND THE COLD FRONT MAY EVENTUALLY RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN
STORM COVERAGE OVER MIDDLE TN...WITH A THREAT OF MAINLY STRONG TO
SEVERE WIND GUSTS.

..JEWELL.. 05/31/2012
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Quoting LargoFl:
.......................................Tampa bay forecast for tomorrow,they are saying these storms might turn bad,we will see huh..but we could really use this rain around here..shields Down Tampa lol
Yeah for real with the shields down, I expect when I wake up in the morning for it to be raining.
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.......................................Tampa bay forecast for tomorrow,they are saying these storms might turn bad,we will see huh..but we could really use this rain around here..shields Down Tampa lol
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**REPOST**


**Added advisories**
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's cold-core...not tropical.


Sorry - wrong blog - lost my head... ;-0
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Quoting yqt1001:


Must've been miserable getting rick rolled every day. :P
Well internet wasn't really that available beck then :).But I do love the song.Even 20+ years after it came out.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's cold-core...not tropical.

Hey TWX13, how you doin?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's cold-core...not tropical.


look like the models are trending towards warm core..its been edging ever so slightly towards the warm core



and wasnt Alberto and beryl intialized by the models as cold core as well?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16208
Quoting yqt1001:


Must've been miserable getting rick rolled every day. :P


Was a hipster, got Rick Rolled before it was cool -__-
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Quoting LargoFl:
How do we in this time period, know that in 3 generations time the earth wont cool again? the earth goes thru these changes time after time, hot,cold and hot and cold, all thru time, so the people IN those times adjust..or perish, be we today have more things to worry about in my view, like how to pay the bills next month or..how to pay the huge doctor bills etc..just my take on things, no one in my view is right or wrong on this..plant some tree's and be happy


I agree with the statement above. I think we need to take steps to preserve what we can however we don't need daily "doom and gloom" updates. The earth moves in cycles and some longer than others on different weather events including tropical cyclones and Ice in greenland and Anartica. I feel its counterproductive in alot of ways to always point out the bad things going on ....RECORD HEAT this and ABOVE NORMAL HURRICANES here and TOO MUCH ICE MELT....

We all know what the problems are and we don't need more educated people telling us....Better spending of time would be finding ways to remedy the problems and implement them!!! My soapbox for the day!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I remember them playing this on the radio in the late 80's early 90's.When I first saw the video I couldn't believe what the guy looked like.

By the way some of his relatives live in Virginia.


Must've been miserable getting rick rolled every day. :P
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484. xcool
;;;
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HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
232 PM EDT THU MAY 31 2012

...HEAVY RAINFALL POTENTIAL THROUGH EARLY THIS WEEKEND...

A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE WILL CONTINUE TO SET UP OVER THE CENTRAL
UNITED STATES ALLOWING FOR DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE TO SPREAD NORTH
ACROSS THE KEYS AND INTO SOUTH FLORIDA TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY.
TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH THIS PERIOD ARE FORECAST TO
RANGE FROM 2 TO 4 INCHES OVER SOUTH FLORIDA. AS TYPICALLY
OBSERVED DURING THESE EVENTS...LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL
CERTAINLY BECOME A POSSIBILITY WHERE THE HEAVIER ACTIVITY BECOMES
CONCENTRATED. INTERESTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO MONITOR LATER FORECASTS
FOR UPDATES THROUGH THIS TIME. AS CONFIDENCE CONTINUES TO
INCREASE...A FLOOD WATCH MAY BECOME NECESSARY PORTIONS OF SOUTH
FLORIDA.

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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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