NOAA Hurricane Season Forecast Update

57 minutes ago

An active season is still the most likely outcome when the 2021 Hurricane Season comes to a close according NOAA's updated seasonal forecast.

The parent agency of the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center says 15 to 21 named storms, 7 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes are forecast. These numbers include the 5 named storms and 1 hurricane that have already formed in 2021: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, and Elsa.

Stormy Pattern Ahead After A Steamy Weekend

Aug 2, 2021

Florida is about to see some relief from the excessive heat that was over a large part of the state this past weekend, but it will come at a price.

Heat Advisories continued for one more day on Monday from Highlands county southward into interior Collier county where the heat index is expected to reach 110 degrees.

A frontal boundary sliding into the Southeast will begin to enhance thunderstorm activity across North Florida late Thursday and Friday, then potentially produce more widespread rain and thunder across portions of Central and South Florida Saturday and Sunday.

The storm system might also acquire tropical characteristics as it moves offshore into the Atlantic Ocean by early next week.

Saharan Dust Helping to Keep Tropics Quiet

Jul 20, 2021

This time of year winds from the Sahara Desert in Africa ramp up and can carry the dust all the way to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The dust can be seen reflected in hazy skies and Florida’s colorful sunrises and sunsets this time of year. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Saharan Air Layer, or SAL, has unique properties of warm, dry air and strong winds that can work to suppress hurricane formation and intensification.

FEMA Seeks Public Input on Climate Change

Jul 14, 2021

With the number of large-scale and increasingly severe disasters in the U.S. growing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is reevaluating its programs, and is especially seeking feedback on climate change and underserved communities.

A week after Tropical Storm Elsa moved through Florida, there are no new tropical developments expected across the Atlantic basin — for now.

But Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Jeff Huffman says the already busy season is likely to continue, as researchers at Colorado State University have updated their forecast.

Florida is no stranger to strong afternoon thunderstorms in July, but they’re likely to be more widespread than usual Monday afternoon and evening.

The greatest risk for widespread thunderstorms is over west-central Florida, centered on the Tampa/St. Pete metropolitan area. However, these strong storms may also occur as far south as the Fort Myers area and as far north and east as the Orlando, Gainesville, and Jacksonville areas. Scattered thunderstorms are likely over the Big Bend and Panhandle areas, but widespread severe weather is somewhat more unlikely in those areas.

Duke Gets Ok To Recoup Storm Costs

Jul 8, 2021

Without comment, the state Public Service Commission on Thursday approved Duke Energy Florida’s request to recoup $16.7 million from customers stemming from the utility’s costs in responding to two tropical storms last year.

Duke residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay an additional 55 cents a month starting in August. The charge is slated to remain in place for a year.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department / Via Twitter

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was responding to a fatal accident in Ortega Wednesday afternoon.

As Tropical Storm Elsa continues to move away from the Tampa Bay Area, only minimal damage has been reported to officials.

Debris and fallen trees

People have reported fallen trees in the middle of roads or on their cars and power outages throughout the area.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, there have been a few reports regarding road debris in Brandon, Town ‘n’ Country, Riverview and Carrollwood.

Scattered Power Outages Remain In Jacksonville After Elsa

Jul 7, 2021

Utilities are responding to power outages caused by Tropical Storm Elsa.

Columbia County Sees Damage From Elsa

Jul 7, 2021

When tornado warnings for areas including Columbia County expired  Wednesday morning, residents of one Columbia County town came out to find their deck and fence was blown away, a large tree down and several trees snapped.

Residents in the greater Tampa Bay region woke up to find the remnants of Elsa moving through the area.

The storm weakened slightly overnight and was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.

Flooded streets, downed trees and power outages were being reported all along the storm's path.

But there were no reports of major storm damage.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported that the agency did not conduct any rescues overnight due to high water or flooding. Access to the county's barrier islands and beaches reopened at 6:30 a.m.

Jacksonville Tornado Confirmed As Elsa Moves Into Georgia

Jul 7, 2021

Last updated at 5:38 p.m. Wednesday: The National Weather Service says the tornado warning has now expired but damage reports are coming in, including at least one confirmed tornado.

City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Western Duval County is under a Tropical Storm Watch as the city prepares for Tropical Storm Elsa.

Elsa Could Bring Heavy Rain And Tornadoes In Jacksonville Wednesday

Jul 6, 2021

Last updated at 8:55 a.m. Wednesday: 

Heavy rain is expected to arrive in the Jacksonville area and last through the day today.

Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to bring wind, rain and storm surge to the greater Tampa Bay region starting Tuesday.

It's causing cancellations and closures as people prepare for the worst.

Here's a list of what we know so far:

Power Outages

Update: As of 5 AM Friday, Elsa has strengthened a bit overnight and now has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. The storm should pass over the Windward Islands today, and enter the Caribbean Sea tonight. Additional strengthening is possible during this time and Elsa could near hurricane strength. Though the forecast track remains highly uncertain, Elsa's motion is expected to gain some northward component by the end of the weekend.

Tropical Storm Elsa formed early on Thursday morning, making it the fifth named storm of the 2021 Hurricane Season. The system is located about 780 miles east of the Windward Islands, and is racing westward at 25 miles an hour. Although it is too soon to tell, Elsa could pose a threat to Florida early next week.


Update Wednesday 5 pm: The first advisory was issued on Potential Tropical Cyclone Five (formally Invest 97L) in the central Atlantic, as it is likely to become the season's fifth tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands Friday. Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the island nations of Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

An active wave pattern in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the approach of an unusually strong front for this time of year could coalesce to produce several days of soggy weather across portions of the Sunshine State through the upcoming holiday weekend and beyond.

Update as of 9:30 AM Friday:

The National Hurricane Center has decreased the chances of tropical storm formation from 40 percent to 20 percent over the tropical Atlantic over the next 5 days. The strong tropical wave near the coast of Africa could still develop next week, but it will be slow to occur, if it happens at all. It remains no immediate threat to land areas.

Update as of 9:30 AM Thursday:

Several clusters of strong thunderstorms are likely Tuesday, some of which may produce strong or locally damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours.

Heavy thunderstorms dumped about 3 inches of rain over the Pensacola area Monday night in a relatively short period of time, prompting Flash Flood Warnings there. The storms weakened for a time late Monday night but are re-strengthening again Monday morning, where the National Weather Service issued Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in the Tallahassee area. 

When hurricane Laura hit Louisiana in 2020, the leading cause of the death from that storm was generator accidents. That has emergency officials urging people with portable generators to make a plan now.

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Claudette Moves Away, But Unsettled Week Ahead

Jun 21, 2021

Claudette regained tropical storm strength early Monday morning over eastern North Carolina just hours before moving offshore into the Atlantic waters. Tropical storm conditions are mainly expected offshore, so the National Hurricane Center discontinued Tropical Storm Warnings for North Carolina.   

A heightened risk of flash flooding is expected this weekend ahead of the arrival of a slowly developing subtropical or tropical storm in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters have been monitoring the area of disturbed weather for much of the week. The National Hurricane Center says development is unlikely on Thursday because of its proximity to Mexico. A northward motion into the open waters of the Gulf make development more likely late Thursday night or Friday.

The deadline for residents recovering from Hurricane Michael to apply for money from a state program that helps cover the cost of housing repairs, reconstruction or replacement is fast approaching.

Low-to-moderate income homeowners and rental owners have until June 16 to begin an application for state and federal housing assistance through the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program. After residents have started an application, they have until June 30 to submit it.

The second named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season could form in the next 24 hours off the North Carolina coast.

However, it is forecast to move northeast and away from the U.S.

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression 2 emerged Monday morning around 105 miles east of Cape Hatteras in the Atlantic Ocean.

As of 11 a.m., it had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is moving northeast at 21 mph.

Monday 11 pm Update: The tropical depression east of North Carolina strengthened into Tropical Storm Bill. Maximum sustained winds were estimated to be at 45 mph and the storm was moving northeast at 23 mph. The forecast track of Tropical Storm Bill remains largely unchanged, and the season's second tropical storm is not a threat to South Carolina.

Rain chances will be on the rise this weekend across the Florida Panhandle and northern third of the peninsula, where abnormally dry conditions have recently been observed. Tropical moisture may also spread across the rest of the state early next week, although a significant threat from a tropical storm is unlikely.