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March 2017 Newsletter   

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Dear Florida Climate Center friends,
We'd like to present you with the March 2017 edition of our newsletter. In this newsletter, you'll find our February 2017 monthly climate summary with news, information about a push to recruit new citizen rainfall observers across the state, and other news about activities in which the staff have been engaged or will be engaged.  If you have any questions, please send us an e-mail message at climate@coaps.fsu.edu.
The Staff of the Florida Climate Center
David Zierden
State Climatologist
Danny Brouillette
Service Climatologist
February Climate Summary for Florida 
The Florida Climate Center's February 2017 Florida Climate Summary  is now available.  The summary provides an analysis of temperature and precipitation patterns during the past month across the state, along with data on hazardous weather, drought, the impacts of the weather, and any records tied or broken for the month.  During February, statewide temperatures were considerably above average, averaging 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit and ranking 4th highest on record since 1895.  The statewide-averaged rainfall total was below the historical median, coming at 1.89", making for the 26th-driest February on record.  Neutral ENSO conditions continue in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.  Abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions continue in most of south Florida and have expanded northward to the I-10 corridor.  For the next month, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlooks Florida for increased chances of above-normal temperatures and equal chances of below- near-, or above-normal rainfall.  The present dry conditions and likely warmer-than-normal temperatures fuel concerns about an active wildfire season this spring, especially on the peninsula.       
The following table gives January average temperatures and departures from normal (˚F) for selected cities.
Station  Average Temperature  Departure from Normal 
Pensacola   63.6    +8.9  
Tallahassee    62.1     +7.4  
Jacksonville    62.3     +5.9  
Gainesville    63.1      +5.6   
Orlando     68.0      +5.0  
Tampa    68.8     +5.4  
West Palm Beach    70.8      +3.0   
Miami    73.1     +2.9  
Key West    74.7    +3.7 
The following table gives December precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities. 
Total Rainfall 
Departure from Normal 
 Pensacola      3.62    -1.44
 Tallahassee   2.72 -2.13
 Jacksonville   1.35 -1.84
 Gainesville   0.39   -2.81  
 Orlando   0.95 -1.43
 Tampa   2.06 -0.75
 West Palm Beach    2.54
 Miami   1.31   -0.94  
 Key West 
The following schematic maps February precipitation departures from normal across Florida.  Image courtesy of the National Weather Service.  
Recruitment Push for Rainfall Observation Program is Underway

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network has been a fixture in Florida's rainfall-observation array since 2007.  CoCoRaHS observers are citizen volunteers who report daily rainfall accumulation as well as instances of hail and snow (rare in Florida) via the Internet.  The program is of value to end users of the data in various fields including meteorology, climatology, hydrology, etc., for the high-density observations that it produces.  The value of a high-density rainfall-observing network cannot be underestimated in a state like Florida given the extreme spatial variability in rainfall produced by thunderstorms. 

Each March, CoCoRaHS has a push for observer recruitment called March Madness.  March Madness pits the 50 states among each other to recruit the most new observers.  This year, we are trying to emphasize recruitment from rural areas of the state, especially the panhandle.  So far, 58 new observers have been recruited in Florida, and Florida leads among the states in number of new observers recruited. 

We are trying to keep the momentum going so that Florida wins outright!  If you are interested in becoming an observer or have ideas for recruiting them, please contact Danny Brouillette at dbrouillette@coaps.fsu.edu or 850-644-0719. 

Climatologist Presents at AMS Chapter Meeting 
Florida Climate Center service climatologist Danny Brouillette gave a presentation on 7 March to members of the North Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society at their regular monthly meeting in the Love Building on the Florida State University campus.  Nearly 25 members of the chapter were present at the meeting, and most of them were undergraduate students in FSU's Meteorology Program.  Brouillette gave an overview of the functions of the Florida Climate Center, including its service, research, extension, and outreach activities, as well as a summary of highlights in Florida climate in 2016.  Special note was made of the potential for research opportunities in the Center for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in applied climate topics. 
Center Participates in COAPS Open House

The Florida Climate Center participated in the open house organized by the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) on Saturday, 25 February.  The Center is a unit within COAPS, and COAPS holds this open house annually in conjunction with National Magnetic Laboratory's open house.  Service climatologist Danny Brouillette was assisted by COAPS graduate students Renee Richardson and John Steffen in providing a showcase of extreme weather events in Florida's climate.   
Florida Climate Center in the News

Upcoming Events

FSU Day at the Capitol - Tuesday, 4 April 2017 - Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee

University of Florida's Environmental and Global Health Seminar Series - Tuesday, 4 April 2017 - Gainesville  

About Us 

The Florida Climate Center is part of a three-tiered system of national, regional, and state climate offices, including NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI - in Asheville, North Carolina) and the Southeast Regional Climate Center (in Chapel Hill, North Carolina). The Florida State Climatologist and other staff at the Florida Climate Center provide the following information and services to the people of Florida:


· Climate Data:

Historical weather observations for weather stations throughout the state of Florida. We are able to provide data for most stations from 1948-present.


· Climate Information:

Long-term historical averages for various stations, climate divisions, and the entire state.


· Extreme Event Records:

Information and analyses on extreme events such as freezes, droughts, floods and hurricanes.


· Special Analysis:

With their vast knowledge of El Niño, La Niña and climate variability, the State Climatologist and staff can offer expert insight into Florida's climate trends.


· Outreach:

Activities, presentations, and workshops that inform and educate the people of Florida about current and emerging climate issues. We also coordinate volunteers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).


More About Us