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November 2016 Newsletter   

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Dear Florida Climate Center friends,
We'd like to present you with the November 2016 edition of our newsletter. In this newsletter, you'll find our October 2016 monthly climate summary, a brief on the ongoing drought situation in North Florida and adjacent Southeast, an update about the developing La Niña event, information about recent and upcoming appearances by the Center staff, and more.  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
October Climate Summary for Florida 
The Florida Climate Center's October 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 October, statewide temperatures were above normal, ranking 16th warmest on record since 1895.  It was the 46th-driest October statewide:  areas of the state that received rainfall from Hurricane Matthew generally registered near- or above-normal rainfall tallies on the month, but locations along the panhandle and immediate western coast were very dry (more later in the newsletter).  Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean have continued with negative anomalies, leading NOAA's Climate Prediction Center to issue a La Niña Advisory.    
The following table gives October 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 October precipitation departures from normal across Florida.  Image courtesy of the National Weather Service.  
The Center Issues Report on Hurricane Matthew
The Florida Climate Center has issued a report detailing the impacts of Hurricane Matthew.  It can be found on the Center's Web site.  This report is the latest in a continuing series that aims to document the impacts of climatologically extreme or otherwise notable events in Florida.          
Drought Intensifying in North Florida and Points Northward
As mentioned in the monthly summary section, October 2016 was the 16th warmest and 46th driest statewide.  However, these two rankings do no justice to conditions in different parts of the state.  The following maps show the quintiles of mean temperature and rainfall by climate division during October.

Compared to the rest of the state, the Panhandle was much drier and warmer during October.  The dryness there was compounded by a near-miss from Hurricane Matthew because the storm brought subsidence and dry air into the area, thwarting rainfall.  The same scenario occurred in the central and western panhandle when Hermine passed through the Big Bend in early September, meaning that a large part of the panhandle has been affected by this scenario twice this fall.  Long streaks of days without measurable rainfall have tallied up there.  The following table summarizes some of those streaks. 
Location  Recent Streak Length (No. of Days)  Recent Streak Dates  Record (or Previous Record) Streak Length (No. of Days)   Record (or
Previous Record Streak Dates  
 Pensacola 42   28 Sept.-8 Nov.   49   22 Sept.-9 Nov. 1952 
 Crestview 48   27 Sept.-8 Nov.   38    15 Oct. -21 Nov. 2001  
 Niceville 39   30 Sept.-9 Nov.   42   9 Oct.-19 Nov. 1931, 1 Oct.-11 Nov. 1939, 8 Sept.-19 Oct. 1950  
 Chipley 55    ongoing   47    22 Sept.-7 Nov. 1943  
 Marianna 36  ongoing   62    31 Aug.-31 Oct. 2005  
 Tallahassee  38    ongoing   51   16 Sept.-5 Nov. 1961  
These dry streaks in the panhandle reflect conditions in adjacent parts of the Southeast.  For instance, at Birmingham, Alabama, 61 days passed without measurable rainfall until a scant 0.01 inches of rain fell on 18 November.  That was a record-long streak there. The extremely dry conditions, combined with a warmer-than-average summer and fall, have led to widespread and often severe drought across much of the Southeast and lower Mississippi Valley.  The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows the extent of the drought conditions. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), a NOAA program, hosts a bi-weekly informational webinar on drought conditions in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin, which includes sections of the Florida panhandle, western Georgia, and eastern Alabama.  The next webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, 7 December at 1:00 PM EST.  Those who are interested in being added to the mailing list to receive dial- and log-in information for the webinars should contact Eric Reutebuch, who is with the Auburn University Water Resources Center, at reuteem@auburn.edu.             
La Niña Advisory Issued 
In its ENSO Diagnostic Discussion released on 10 November, forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued a La Niña Advisory.  They favor ENSO-negative through the upcoming winter, with a return to ENSO-neutral conditions during the spring. 
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's probabilistic ENSO-phase forecasts by three-month period.  Courtesy:  NOAA Climate Prediction Center.  

For its impacts on sensible weather in Florida during winter, it is important to monitor this La Niña event.  Winters during La Niña events tend to be drier than average in Florida, especially on the peninsula, as shown below.

Such winters also tend to have above-average temperatures, especially during daytime (as reflected by maximum temperature), as shown below. 

The ramifications of these anomalies may be considerable given the current state of drought in north Florida.  However, other climate teleconnections and factors besides ENSO affect Florida winters, so the outcomes shown above are to be taken only as guidance.  

State Climatologist Speaks to American Meteorological Society Chapter
State Climatologist David Zierden was the guest speaker at the November meeting of the West Central Florida chapter of the American Meteorological Society.  The meeting was held on 9 November on the beautiful campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa.  Zierden presented on the very strong El Niño of 2015-2016 and its impacts on Florida.  He also talked about the transition of the Pacific Ocean to La Niña over the summer and what we can expect of weather patterns and impacts during the current fall and winter seasons.     
Staff Member Presents at Fifth-Grade Science Day
Service Climatologist Danny Brouillette presented on 21 November at the Fifth-Grade Super Science Fun Day at Buck Lake Elementary School in Tallahassee.  Four groups, each sporting 25 students, listened to Brouillette present on elementary aspects of weather and climate that are of importance in Florida.  The students also enjoyed watching (and participating in) the ever-popular cloud-in-a-bottle demonstration, which is intended to illustrate cloud formation.          
Florida Climate Center in the News

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

6 December 2016
Wiregrass Irrigation Conference
Dothan, Ala.

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