Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Here Comes a June Monsoon! Downpours and Water Spouts Move Into Florida

May went in the books as one of the stormiest ever and after a quiet start to June get ready for Florida's version of a June monsoon. Already this morning strong storms are hitting the Florida Panhandle with water spouts near Panama City. The picture above was a water spout taken near Miami Beach a couple weeks ago with the last deluge of rain to hit the state of Florida. While I do not expect a repeat of record rainfall like we saw in May, most parts of Florida should end up with another one to three inches of rain over the next five days. This is good news, especially for areas of southern Florida where there is still a moderate drought. Here is the latest drought monitor available.

This map shows a huge turnaround of almost historic proportions. Since May 19th the state of Florida has gone from 80% drought coverage to just under 10%. The severe and extreme drought that covered 37% of the state now stands at 0%. Here closer to home there are no more drought conditions and parts of Flagler County went from a ten inch deficit to a ten to fifteen inch surplus in rainfall. This is truly amazing! Now we do average high evaporation rates this time of year in the hot Florida sun which comes out to close to five inches of water a week. So our plants and trees can dry out quickly even after record-setting rains. The good news is you can keep saving on your irrigation needs and help the Floridan aquifer. We will not need to water thanks to nature sending us a June monsoon, Florida style.

Usually this time of year we are used to a nice refreshing southeast wind off the ocean around a Bermuda high pressure offshore. So even on our hottest days, the nature offers some free air conditioning like we saw yesterday as highs dropped from near 90 to the lower 80s by early evening. It made for some great beach and pool weather and that Chamber of Commerce weather is quite common this time of year. My daughter Lauren shows us just what Chamber of Commerce weather is by enjoying the water slide. This weather pattern has even had one of my other daughters Abbey doing backflips as you see below. She still has no fear, except when it comes to severe weather.

Abbey knows the power of nature and we need to be on guard when the wind switches from the typical southeast direction to the opposite direction! Over the next couple of days our wind flow at all levels of the atmosphere is turning to the south and southwest. My Florida weather saying today is, "When the wind turns southwest, meteorologists have no rest. It usually correlates with some of our stormiest weather this time of year and the next few days will be no exception. So even though this monsoon will not last for a few months like we see out West or on the Arabian Peninsula we will have a mini version of it right here at home over the next few days. Be ready for more rain. You can see the stormy clouds taking over Florida this morning on the latest satellite picture.

We have a frontal boundary to the north moving south and an upper-level disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico moving our way. This is drawing up a lot of moisture and helping to turn our winds to the south and southwest.

As of early afternoon the forecast is on target as thunderstorms are popping along the two sea-breezes as you see above. It will be a day where I pick up my kids at the bus stop. Eventually both of these fronts will converge and work their way back to the east by this evening and as a Gulf disturbance moves our way we could even see a few showers and storms through the First Coast overnight which is not too common for this time of year. We may not see this pattern break until at least Sunday. Check back on the blog tomorrow for more on the June monsoon and your June Outlook to see if this will be a recurring pattern over the next few weeks. Have a great day and stay safe in the thunderstorms.


Anonymous said...

I have wondered how Abbey has done with the storms in FL. I feel for her as I was scared to death of storms as a small child. I laid awake all night with my ears plugged to shut out the lightning and thunder. now I fear the WIND.


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