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ruskinPalms

Rainy season

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palmsOrl
5 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

In South Florida we had a few really wet days in JUNE. SInce then the rains have been sporadic. Until recently, very few actual sea breeze thunderstorms. Very odd for a summer here. What has fallen has been sporadic and the storms send out the outflow bounderies that stablize the atmosphere as opposed to igniting other storms like they usually do.

 

The forecast calls for more rain starting tomorrow through the period. I hope you guys in Central Florida can get in on it (if it actually materialized here). So far this rainy season the NWS has overestimated rain chances consistently and then scale them back last minute. Not sure what has been going on.

Exactly the case in my location near Orlando.  While some nearby areas have clearly gotten far more rain and consistently so, like east and south of town, the rains have been sporadic.  I was out of town yesterday and checked the radar and yesterday actually featured a very robust round of seabreeze thunderstorms for inland Central FL but a relatively lackluster 0.4" in Winter Park and far less in the gauge at home.  Granted, my "gauge" is just a mug and it is near a wall just to its east and the storms came from the east with gusty winds (plants tipped over), so it may not reflect an accurate measurement.

Still, overall, this rainy season has been sporadic and inconsistent and it really seems like most rainy seasons tend to be these days.  Basically, cycles of deep moisture and days of heavy storms and rain with good aereal coverage followed by hot dry periods and it seems like these hot dry periods are often longer than the wet periods.

I've always heard in the 1980s that you could set your watch by the seabreeze storms here.  I do recall that 2012 was virtually daily rain from mid-May to October 10th.  The entire garden and every plant loved it and the need to water was virtually non-existent.

-Michael

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chinandega81

I always assumed the inland areas (like Orlando, Lakeland, eastern Tampa Bay) got pounded by frequent summer storms. Whenever I see the weather they seem to have storms daily in the summer.

Here on the SE coast...almost all of out storms are in the far west suburbs...and of course they then drift and develop towards the inland and west coast areas. I know someone who told me in Sebring it rains less than at the coast. I was shocked. I wonder if it's because we get nocturnal 2 minute downpours in the late night and early morning hours? He said the intensity of rain in storms near the beaches was greater as well but I am not sure about that. Key Biscayne, Miami Beach and the Keys are pretty dry...but aparently Central Florida isn't as wet as it seems to be from afar. I wonder where all of these storms we are all missing are actually falling...lol

 

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ruskinPalms

Getting a good downpour tonight. My A. Cunninghamiana really needs it...

CFF39772-2E24-4812-8A94-3B8185B51C64.jpeg

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AnTonY

The sporadic nature of rainfall people have been observing recently probably has to do with recurrent deep mid-latitude troughing patterns along the US East Coast, which have been occurring deeper into summer in recent years than in previous decades. It's the reason why the US had the "hurricane drought" during the late 2000s -  early tens (2009 - 2015).

People in the Midwest and Northeast will describe recurring bouts of heavy-rain that have been occurring more often in summer, when they would ordinarily be more of spring features - that is due to MCS/disturbances rounding through the trough pattern. On the flip-side, the right-side quadrant of the trough would be drawing moisture up the East Coast from southwest-northeast, inflating rainfall totals in the Carolinas, while putting peninsular Florida under a persistent "west-wind flow" pattern. The increased mid-latitude influence disrupts the barotropic conditions necessary for sea-breeze storms during the summer, while simultaneously redirecting any tropical moisture surges in re-curves, or straight into Mexico (hence the occasional heavy rain events).

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ruskinPalms

What’s the rainy season without some rainbows :D

568C9CB1-A3CB-4F0D-A3A9-749ED2D2176A.jpeg

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ruskinPalms

Last one as the sun sets 

 

89A61A8A-FF4C-4EC6-B84B-E81849AED552.jpeg

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ruskinPalms

Last glow of the sun while this afternoon’s storms drizzle and fizzle out for the next hour or two.

 

77558070-588B-48C5-924E-0E0B6D744DF9.jpeg

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ruskinPalms

Have been having almost daily afternoon storms here lately and the bangalow has been loving it blowing in the wind and mist!

 

F3E3625E-CCFC-48E6-9409-FD42C8CFEA56.jpeg

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palmsOrl

We have still been getting some rain about every other day here, though we have been getting at least a trace every day lately.  The totals have been relatively modest though and have been just enough to keep watering to a minimum.  Also, it has been about as consistently humid day and night as it has been all summer.  Let's hope this pattern continues through the remainder of September so we can get maximum growth out of the palms for a bit longer before the cool and dry season begins.

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JLM

All thanks to the tropics @palmsOrl! TD19 is causing a moisture surge. I might end up with too much rain from 19, one model showed 20 inches of rain. The official WPC QPF 7-day puts 4-8 inches in my area. Not to mention the wind threat, could be a bad situation.

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Moose

2.81 inches in my garden over the previous 24 hours

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palmsOrl

We ended up getting just over 3" of welcome rain in the gauge over the past few days, mostly thanks to Tropical Storm Sally.  It appears that the high rain chances continue for the next few days.  The garden looks happy, although the grass looks a little waterlogged and the bougainvillea clearly miss the long, hot, sunny days.

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palmsOrl
On 7/20/2020 at 1:37 PM, AnTonY said:

The sporadic nature of rainfall people have been observing recently probably has to do with recurrent deep mid-latitude troughing patterns along the US East Coast, which have been occurring deeper into summer in recent years than in previous decades. It's the reason why the US had the "hurricane drought" during the late 2000s -  early tens (2009 - 2015).

People in the Midwest and Northeast will describe recurring bouts of heavy-rain that have been occurring more often in summer, when they would ordinarily be more of spring features - that is due to MCS/disturbances rounding through the trough pattern. On the flip-side, the right-side quadrant of the trough would be drawing moisture up the East Coast from southwest-northeast, inflating rainfall totals in the Carolinas, while putting peninsular Florida under a persistent "west-wind flow" pattern. The increased mid-latitude influence disrupts the barotropic conditions necessary for sea-breeze storms during the summer, while simultaneously redirecting any tropical moisture surges in re-curves, or straight into Mexico (hence the occasional heavy rain events).

AnTonY, far from an expert and with no formal education in meteorology or related fields, I would consider myself a somewhat seasoned weather enthusiast of 25 years (i.e. weather-nerd since 10 y/o).  That said, I had no idea as to any of the above.  Thank you for sharing this information.

I wonder what effects the shift in the aforementioned rainfall patterns are having on the ecology of the vast expanses of temperate forests in the Midwest and the Northeast.  Surely, the forests (and farmland) benefit from ample (but not excessive, especially farmland) summer rainfall, but if this means that said areas are getting less Spring rainfall, during the time when growth initiates, does this cause the increase in biomass to occur more slowly from the beginning of Spring onward?  We are already aware that the initiation of Spring is tending to occur earlier in general, on account of warming temperatures.  As to not turn this into an AGW discussion, let me just throw out there that the warming trend discussed could merely be a result of naturally occurring, (not anthropogenically-driven) multi-decadal or multi-centurial cycles in climate.  I would be interested to hear any anecdotal observations of these changes from Palmtalkers residing in the Midwest, Northeast (or anywhere else for that matter).

As a longtime resident of East Central Florida, I will say that, pretty much since I first remember noticing weather in the mid-1990s, rainy seasons here vary quite a bit and seem to feature drier 5-7 day periods interwoven with wetter periods of similar length.  Occasionally, we will have a rainy season that features pretty much consistent, almost daily rains from start to finish, like 2012 and 2017 and then, on the other extreme, we can endure extreme droughts like that which occurred during the first half of the 1998 summer.  That was just...awful. 

I have heard from multiple sources that during the 1980s one could almost set one's watch to the timing of the daily summer rains, which I heard would occur around 3pm in the Orlando area pretty much every day.  Whether the rains were indeed much more consistent (and punctual) during this decade or if the human memory tends to somehow oversimplify when recalling past patterns, I have no idea.  I suspect a combination of both, personally.

How I would generally describe our rainy season to the uninitiated?  Daytime temperatures begin to get hot in mid- to late-April and the first half of May tends to be hot and mostly dry with an increase in humidity.  Then, typically in Mid- to late-May, the beginning of robust sea breeze formation and increased moisture levels start leading to the formation of isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms.  The coverage, duration and intensity of these storms tends to increase from mid-May through early-June and most sources I have seen state that June is Orlando's wettest month on average.  Also, anecdotally, June tends to be the dreariest summer month here. 

Further, many years feature the formation of a large, typically disorganized, sloppy subtropical or tropical low pressure system or cyclone, originating in the NW Caribbean and typically travelling north and/or NNE, often providing the Florida Peninsula with much needed rain at the beginning of the wet season.  Sometimes this feature seems to initiate the rainy season here.

During June, July and August, we then seem to (as mentioned above) have cycling wetter and drier 5-7 day periods throughout most of the remainder of the rainy season and as days shorten and daytime heating and instability gradually wane, the rainy season typically ends in mid-late September on average.  Sometimes a "cold front" will herald this change, with lows in the 60s and sometimes the conditions favorable for diurnal shower and storm activity just fade as September progresses.  Not this year!

Also of note, while any and all of our summer months can feature spectacular, frightening and dangerous lightning, in my experience, July seems to bring the scary stuff at the most frequent rates.  The kind where you see the blinding flash in the corner of your eye and you hear a massive "crack" or boom simultaneously that sends a deep shudder through your whole body followed by the utterance of a four letter word.

Finally, tropical cyclone activity has a significant impact on our rainy season pattern.  While tropical cyclones passing close enough to our area can provide substantial and even copious rainfall totals, oftentimes (the majority of the time, in my opinion) the area ends up getting less rainfall during the period of time during which we are within the range of the storm's influence on our weather pattern than we would get if we had no storm and just our normal rainy season pattern.

To elaborate a bit, if the tropical cyclone is intense enough and/or far enough away even at its point of close approach (but still close enough to influence our overall weather pattern) not only does the storm itself provide no rainfall, but the "sinking air" on the periphery of the system suspends our usual diurnal thunderstorm activity and we end up with anywhere from 2-5 days of drier than normal (often completely dry AND hot) weather.  Sometimes, we get some rain (and wind) when the system is at its closest and sinking air as it is coming and going.

With tropical lows and cyclones, at least in the northern hemisphere, the area to the east (right) of the low pressure center (and especially the area to the northeast of the low) tends to be the area with more convection (rain, storms, squalls, higher winds, etc.) and of course the opposite is true as well, generally speaking.  This is why Sally, for example, a tropical depression as it crossed Florida 200 miles to our south then a mid-strength tropical storm as it has moved westnorthwest off the West-Central Florida coast, provided us with over 3" of rain at my location.  Sally's point of closest approach to Orlando was about ~200 miles and we picked up over 3" of rain in two days from the system.  On the flip side, most tropical cyclones passing the same distance to our east would give our location little to no rainfall.

To sum it up, I am not sure if I can really draw any conclusions as to any changes I have noticed in our summer rainy season pattern from 1995 until now.  The observations I have posted above seem to apply more or less evenly throughout the past 25 years.

As for the rest of the year, it seems like we have fewer Spring severe weather outbreaks in the past 15-20 years versus what I remember having occurred in the 1990s.  Perhaps the 1990s were the anomaly.  In-fact, it seems like the Spring season in general is more warm and sunny, with less active weather than it was during the decade of the 1990s.

Clearly, the winters have become noticeably warmer, with much less frequent freezes, frosts, fewer chill hours and higher annual extreme low temperatures.

-Michael

 

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PalmatierMeg

Got 5.5"+ rain from Sally so far. Barring late season tropical storms, rainy season usually ends abruptly around Oct. 15 here.

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ruskinPalms

It seems the rainy season starts a little later closer to the west coast of FL as compared to inland areas or the east coast. I’m not sure what my wettest month is here in Parrish but it seems the rainy season has been a delayed start the past few years. Probably just normal variation. Anyway, it has been good so far overall. I’ve seen a lot of growth in August and thus far in September. Hopefully no more big hurricanes for this area this year.

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PalmatierMeg

The FL East Coast has a longer rainy season than SWFL - starts earlier, ends later. Our rainy season generally is 4-1/2 to 5 months long. Dry season takes up the rest of the year - a long haul esp. by mid-March

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