Extreme Temperature Diary-September 14, 2018/ Topic: Tracking Florence Day Six

Friday September 14th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊.  Here is today’s main climate change related topic:

Tracking Florence Day Six

Today it’s time to start verifying forecasts over the prior five days going through today, Friday, in association with Florence. Of course, Florence won’t leave the Carolinas through Sunday, so we won’t be able to verify rainfall forecasts and exact track after landfall until early next week. What did us forecasters get right, and what went wrong?

To start yours truly and many others were able to pinpoint a U.S. landfall near Wilmington many days out. Unfortunately most of us are only as good as computer models since forecasting has become a “lost art.” Forecasters mainly used weather pattern recognition to judge any rudimentary models prior to 1990. We have a new wrinkle, though, in this day and age of climate change. Traditional weather patterns prior to the turn of the 21st century are becoming unrecognizable due to climate change. Fortunately today’s models were able to successfully predict The 500 millibar pattern that I saw happening across North America at the time of Florence’s landfall is jaw-droppingly warm for mid- September. Anyway, here is a great graphic showing where old Florence made its landfall:

Next time you complain about your local meteorologist blowing the forecast, remember this

Shout out to for getting a good handle on a really tough forecast!

       Well, the accurate track of Florence is what went right. Now let’s look at the main factor for what went wrong. If you had told me that Florence would make landfall as only a CAT 1 with borderline CAT 2 gusts three days ago I would have dismissed you for trying to play down the situation with no real basis for doing so. As late as Wednesday NHC and most forecasters were pretty sure that Florence would make landfall with sustained winds of at least 111 mph (major hurricane CAT 3 strength). Such a strength would have cemented attribution claims being made well before Florence’s landfall. Shoulda, coulda, woulda….I’m thankful for the sake of poor people caught in the path of this thing with property that this forecast didn’t verify. Numerous unpredictable eye wall replacement cycles, some dry air, and light wind shear all worked against Florence once the system got west of Bermuda’s longitude, which state of the art models did not catch. Scientists will need to continue to refine strength aspects of hurricane models, which is a great need for forecasters trying to avoid hype, getting the best information out to the public. We don’t want people to become complacent due to too many dire, busted forecasts. I’m seeing this morning widespread CAT 1 wind damage and storm surge damage that’s horrific enough as is, though.
      One negative factor is that Florence slowed down more than forecast three days ago with models catching onto this trend two days ago with more of a west and southwest track after landfall. Currently Florence is crawling along the coast much like Harvey did in Texas last year, one sign of climate change as Dr. Mann plainly states in this Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/14/florence-climate-change-triple-threat . The longevity of CAT 1 Florence on the coast, and its slow west track towards Myrtle Beach may well rack up more widespread damage than say a major CAT 3 storm that quickly moves inland. That’s why many experts are coming out today with statements like this:

This is what I have been calling Phase B of …the slow movement and stall = major flooding, falling trees, power outages for days…I think many underestimated Phase B in . This is why overemphasis on Category so flawed…

 I’m sure that there will be many an article calling for revisions to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale after this season.

Friday, as expected, will be the worst day for wind and storm surge damage so I will add many reports of this to today’s post. Flooding just from heavy rainfall is becoming horrific as well. Here are some of the many reports that I have seen today:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Older items are at the end of this list, which will be archived on this site.)

This graph captures how bad flooding is right now.  The Trent River at Pollocksville will approach Floyd like or record levels. Graph:

There is a FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY for Carteret/Jones/Craven and Pamlico Counties until 9am. Widepsread flooding is occurring. Please help us spread word of this dangerous situation. Citizens are losing time to evacuate before the flood water become too high.

PLEASE SHARE. Another look at the plea from for help spreading the word to the public about the *life-threatening* flash flooding. Keep in mind NIGHT is falling & another HIGH TIDE is coming.

Little nugget for tonight. Due to hot subsidence on west side of circulation reached 95F…the warmest reading here since 8/18/2016. We’ve had a couple of mild summers in .

More than 7,000 , and , are standing by to assist as hits the .
Read more:

The first fatalities of Florence have been confirmed

Interesting note on imagery/current temp obs/ECWMF forecast data this afternoon. Subsistence (sinking air) from is causing very warm temps in the mid to upper 90’s across S and N . Possibility for record highs! Watch obs:

“Warning of what has already arrived’: Florence is a climate change triple threat” | My latest op-Ed in The :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/14/florence-climate-change-triple-threat

Key point from the article: Beaufort, NC, had its highest water level on record early today–but without sea level rise since the 1950s, that record would not have occurred.

has had it pretty easy so far but thats about to change quickly this afternoon as heads right over you. Max wind gusts predicted in the 90-100 mph range from 5pm to midnight.

Fort Macon at Atlantic Beach has wind gusts over 100 MPH. This is roof damage a couple of miles from Ft Macon. .

This is Crows Nest Marina in Atlantic Beach.

The church in New Bern where I spoke about the coastal threat posed by climate change a year ago () has been flooded by Florence:

‘s 24-hour rainfall totals are obliterating state records, and it’s far from over.

 

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line.)

I’m seeing a few major reports of “ETs” this evening for 9/14/18:

Two high temperature records set today. St. Simons Island tied the record of 95 degrees previously set in 1950. Gainesville also tied the record of 96 degrees, previously set in 1952.

Anniston tied their record high of 96 today. Tuscaloosa hit 97 but fell short of the record of 100 set in 1980. Birmingham and Montgomery both hit 95.

Observed “feels-like” temperatures across the area today. Similar conditions are expected again tomorrow. Stay hydrated!

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The Climate Guy

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