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The National Weather Service in Hanford provides the following forecast for the Tehachapi area: This afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 66. East wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tonight: Clear, with a low around 43. East wind 5 to 10 mph, w... more.
Water temperature at Molasses Reef off Key Largo was 87 degrees this week, 88 degrees at Long Key Light and 90 degrees in Key West Harbor, said Bill South, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West.
With little forecasted rain in sight and more than a month of hot summer-like conditions, the situation can only become worse. This year has been the 12th hottest year on record since 1872, South said.
The conditions improved by early Sunday, and while spending long hours in choppy water would have been difficult, the warm waters off the Keys were survivable, said Bill South, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West.
But Sandy's trail of devastation could have far-reaching impacts on how forecasters present tropical storms to the public, said Bill South, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service on White Street.
"One of the lessons we learned from (Hurricane) Sandy, as an agency, is that we're shifting to more graphical depiction of storm surge," South said. "The inclusion of the storm surge watch and warning -- along with the graphics people are used to seeing with storm tracking -- will be used maybe as early as next year." Most Keys and South Florida residents are familiar with the "cone" graphic and storm surge warnings, but forecasters found people living in areas with little to no exposure to such powerful storms, such as the New York Tri-State Area, largely ignored or misunderstood the warnings, South said. Scientists hope that maps depicting how far inland saltwater is expected to reach will be weighed with the same seriousness as other warnings, South said, citing that forecasters need to bridge the communication gap given the flooded subways in New York that many scientists predicted, but seemed to surprise many residents. "Surge warnings for us in the Keys are not as groundbreaking as, say, along the East Coast, because people are more conditioned to pay attention to those warnings here," South said. Many forecasters were in conferences this week developing new surge warnings guidelines and deciding how they will look, South said. The 2012 season produced 19 named stormed, 10 of which became hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration press release. Meanwhile, it's been seven years since a major hurricane made landfall in Florida, South said.
"We have had squalls move through producing wind gusts about 50 mph late Saturday and Sunday, and we are expecting that trend to continue," said National Weather Service meteorologist Bill South.
On Monday afternoon, he said there was some good news associated with Debby, that the storm is weakening. The system has been sucking the heat from waters near the panhandle and the Florida Gulf Coast for energy, and might soon run out of steam. "We forecast landfall Wednesday night or Thursday morning near the northwest coast of Florida," South said. A small craft advisory, South said, will remain in effect at least until Wednesday for local waters.
The conditions improved by early Sunday, and while spending long hours in choppy water would have been difficult, the warm waters off the Keys were survivable, said Bill South, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West.-AP