This season’s super-strong El Nino is making itself known with a “parade of systems” rolling through the U.S. and bringing South Florida another cool front early next week.
Floridians are accustomed to seeing hurricanes barrel off the coast of Africa as if on an Atlantic Ocean conveyor belt. Well El Nino’s bringing storms in from the west coast as can clearly be seen on this satellite image from 6 a.m. this morning, or 11 UTC.
While El Nino worked to protect Florida from hurricanes during storm season, its strongest effects are felt during the winter months as the super-heated Pacific Ocean produces strong storms to soak California and the western states.
For Florida, it means more cloudy, cool weather, which is what we’ll get another dose of come Saturday into Sunday as another cold front dips deep into the peninsula.
National Weather Service forecasters in Miami expect temperatures to heat up to 80 degrees Saturday, but then dip back to a more seasonal 70-ish on Monday and Tuesday.
“An active southern jet stream and larger east coast trough continues to crank out the systems across the Gulf through next week,” forecasters wrote. “The parade of systems continues as the sub-tropical jet remains well established across the southern tier of the U.S. into the Gulf and deep South.”
Upper level winds are like waves rolling across the U.S. The strongest is the jet stream – a swift current of air that can travel as fast as 124 mph in the winter. The recent weather pattern includes a split jet stream – a polar jet to the north and sub-tropical jet to the south.
Areas of low pressure spin counterclockwise embed themselves along the jets. The spin, sucks up moist air into the upper atmosphere, causing it to cool and for precipitation – usually rain in Florida, but sometimes snow up north.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said a storm moving out of California Friday will lift to the northeast and force a cold front through South Florida.
“We have these dramatic weather pattern changes in El Nino years like this,” Kottlowski said. “We’re going to have a teeter-totter effect, where the storm comes into Southern California, a high builds over the west coast, and the subtropical jet dips.”
Today, the sun is expected to burn off this morning cloud cover hiking temperatures into the seasonably-normal mid-70s.