Rare February disturbance expected to bring rain to Florida

Feb 6, 2012

The following article was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on February 6, 2012:

Disturbance fizzling; rain still expected

By Ken Kaye

A rare February disturbance that initially looked like it had a chance to develop into a subtropical depression is fizzling, the National Hurricane Center Center said Monday morning.

Still, Monday’s forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies, scattered showers and an overall rain chance of 70 percent. Highs in the upper 70s, lows in the mid 60s.

The rain chance decreases as of Tuesday, and the rest of the week should be on the warm side with afternoon temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s.

Orlando also is seeing rain from the system on Monday. The Central Florida Tuesday forecast calls for partly sunny skies, highs in the low 80s, lows in the low 60s and a 30 percent chance of rain.

The disturbance emerged on Sunday in the Yucatan Channel near Cuba. Because it was starting to develop a center of circulation, the hurricane center gave it a 30 percent chance of developing on Sunday night, as the Super Bowl was being played.

However, by Monday morning, the system was interacting with an upper level trough, or area of low pressure, and given a near zero chance of developing.

Whatever rain it does bring will be welcomed, considering virtually all of South Florida had been experiencing moderate drought conditions as of last week.

Had the disturbance developed, it would have been only the second tropical system to emerge in February on record. According to Jeff Masters of Weather Underground:

“The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.”

Find this article here:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/sfl-expect-wet-monday-20120205,0,5830500.story