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October 2016 Newsletter   

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Dear Florida Climate Center friends,
We'd like to present you with the October 2016 edition of our newsletter. In this newsletter, you'll find our September 2016 monthly climate summary, news of the Center's participation the Florida BRACE project, briefs on Hurricane Matthew and ENSO, and information about recent and upcoming appearances by the Center staff.  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
September Climate Summary for Florida 
The Florida Climate Center's September 2016 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 September, statewide temperatures were again much above normal, ranking second warmest on record.  It was the 40th-wettest September statewide, but whether it was wetter or drier than normal varied across the state; areas that received substantial rains from Hurricane Hermine early in the month tended to have the highest positive anomalies, and locations in the western Panhandle tended to be driest. Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean have recently tended more toward negative anomalies, raising again the specter of La Nina (ENSO-negative) conditions later this fall and winter (more later in the newsletter).    
The following table gives September average temperatures and departures from normal (˚F) for selected cities. 
Average Temperature 
Departure from Normal 
Key West
The following table gives September precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
Total Rainfall
Departure from Normal
Key West 
The following schematic maps September precipitation departures from normal across Florida.  Image courtesy of the National Weather Service.
Florida Climate Center to Participate in $1M Grant on Climate Impacts on Health 
State Climatologist David Zierden and Service Climatologist Danny Brouillette, in a collaboration with other investigators in the Florida State University Departments of Geography and Urban and Regional Planning and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, will be starting their participation in a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This five-year grant is under the auspices of the CDC's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework.  Florida's BRACE project will seek to provide expertise to county health departments across the state to aid their development of plans and practices to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate, and its changes, on public health.  
Major Hurricane Matthew Impacts Florida
MODIS imagery from NASA's Terra satellite of Hurricane Matthew as it approached the Florida east coast on 7 October.   
The center of Hurricane Matthew tracked just east of Florida's Atlantic coast on 7 October.  It did so after quite a spectacular history in the Caribbean Sea.  Attaining Category Five strength in the southern Caribbean Sea at a latitude of 13.3 degrees north of the Equator, it was the strongest hurricane on record at such a low latitude.  Matthew also maintained Category Four or Five strength for the longest duration of any hurricane in the eastern Caribbean Sea on record.  It made landfall Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas, making it the only storm on record to make landfall on all three of those nations as a major hurricane (Category Three or greater).  Ultimately, having maintained Category Three strength or greater for 7.25 days, Matthew was the only hurricane on record to have done so in the Atlantic basin after 25 September.

Interestingly, Matthew, even though it was a major hurricane that had numerous impacts on Florida, never made landfall on the state, which means that the record-long streak of no landfalls of major hurricanes on Florida, and the entire United States coastline, which stretches back to Hurricane Wilma's landfall on 24 October 2005, continues. 

Matthew's major impacts on Florida were moderately heavy rainfall of up to 10 inches, winds of tropical-storm to hurricane strength in the eastern half of the peninsula north of Miami, and historically high storm surge along the First Coast. 

We are currently developing a detailed special report on Hurricane Matthew to be released soon.  Look for it on our Web site, and we will announce its release on our Facebook and Twitter pages.    
State Climatologist Participates in Drought Panel at Apalachicola 
On 28 September, State Climatologist David Zierden participated in a panel discussion at the Apalachicola Community Center with Auburn University water resources expert Puneet Srivistava.  The discussion was supported by the Seafood Management Assistance Resource and Recovery Team ( SMARRT) and the National Integrated Drought Information System ( NIDIS) program for the Apalachicola-Chatahoochee-Flint river basin.  Discussion focus was on climate trends, particularly ongoing and developing drought in the region, that affect the fisheries essential to the economy in that region of Florida.    
La Niña Is Back in the Picture...
In its ENSO Diagnostic Discussion released on 13 October, forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center re-issued a La Niña Watch after cancelling it in their last discussion in September.  They now favor ENSO-negative conditions during the ongoing fall, with a trend back toward ENSO-neutral conditions during the upcoming winter, as shown in the figure below. 
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's probabilistic ENSO-phase forecasts by three-month period.  Courtesy:  NOAA Climate Prediction Center.  

Indeed, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean have recently taken a decided turn toward greater negative anomalies, as shown below. 
Courtesy:  NOAA Climate Prediction Center 

La Niña tends to be associated with warmer- and drier-than-normal conditions during winter in Florida, especially on the peninsula.  However, this association is strongest later in the winter, when the ENSO-negative conditions may be becoming less pronounced.  Given the its impact on winter climate in Florida, we will continue to monitor the evolution of ENSO this fall.  

Florida Climate Center in the News

Upcoming Events 
9 November 2016
Meeting of the West-Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society
University of South Florida - Tampa, Fla.

30 November 2016
Meeting of the Tallahassee Rotary Club
Tallahassee, Fla.

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