La Nina expected to shift south Florida rainfall from feast to famine.

Three rain episodes in October made less of an impact on the northern half of the state than to our neighbors downstate. Deep tropical moisture sheared from tropical storm RINA in combination with a slow moving cold front caused parts of central and south Florida to receive up to 4 times as much rainfall as the Jacksonville area. While our area averaged around 4 inches, Vero Beach, 200 miles to the south received 21.93 inches.

Other rain totals were 21.34 inches at Miami Beach, 17.14 inches at Key West, 16.47 inches at Ft. Pierce, and 15.23 inches at Ft. Lauderdale. These rains more than made up for the October deficit the previous year. October 2010 was the driest October ever in that part of the state.

For the second winter in a row, the Pacific La Nina will play a part on our weather.

La Nina conditions usually mean below average rainfall for Florida and the southern U.S. This is indeed bad news for Texas which has been plagued with wildfires and duststorms in 2011. Temperatures for our area average near or above normal; however, during the past two winters the Arctic Oscillation has injected periods of extreme cold. This year’s untimely October snowstorm in the northeast U.S. may lead some to believe we are in for another extremely cold winter. This may, or may not, be true. As far as this month is concerned, temperatures are expected to average warmer than normal.

The tropics have been quiet since RINA. I grow uneasy when November temperatures average warmer than normal. We had one of our warmest Novembers on record in 1985 when hurricane KATE moved westward from the Bahamas and the northern coast of Cuba in order to swing northward across the eastern Gulf into Apalachicola and Tallahassee. The storm moved across southern Georgia before dissipating off the coast of the Carolinas. We’ll continue watching the tropics since the hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30.



  1. 1 Diana November 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    It’s amazing to read about the rain down south when we’ve been so dry. If only they could share some with us.

    You’re the absolute best meteorologist ever!

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