Climate Outlook through 2100 South Florida Ecological Services Office Vero Beach, FL January 13, 2015

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1 Climate Outlook through 2100 South Florida Ecological Services Office Vero Beach, FL January 13, 2015 Short Term Drought Map: Short-term (<6 mos.) mainly affecting agriculture and grasslands. Figure 1 U.S. Drought Monitor for the Southeast Region (Climate Prediction Center, 2014). Synopsis Florida In Mid-December, rainfall deficiencies were concentrated in extreme western Florida Panhandle where 2-4, 4-8, and 6-12 inch deficits were found at 30-, 60-, and 90-days out, respectively. However, abnormally dry (D0) and a bit of moderate drought (D1) conditions were removed from north-central Florida as 5-10 inches of rain fell across this area during the past 30 days. By late December, multiple

2 periods of heavy rain brought large-scale reductions in the coverage of abnormal dryness (D0) and moderate to severe drought (D1 to D2) along the Florida Panhandle. Some of the heaviest rain fell on December 23, when Tallahassee received 7.44 inches and experienced its wettest December day on record. Tallahassee s single-day record for December had been 5.34 inches on December 2, December totals for the city climbed to 8.12 inches with another round of heavy rain. Lake Okeechobee Water Depth Assessment Tool Figure 2 Water Depth Assessment Tool (WDAT) current water depths and wading bird habitat suitability (South Florida Water Management District 1, 2014).

3 Figure 3 Current Lake levels, management bands, and potential forecast levels based on historical data. (South Florida Water Management District, 2014) Everglades South Florida Water Depth Assessment Tool (SFWDAT) Figure 4 South Florida Water Depth Assessment Tool (SFWDAT) with current water depths, muck fire hazards and recession/ascension rates for the Greater Everglades (South Florida Water Management District 1, 2014).

4 Figure 5 Rainfall totals for the month. (South Florida Water Management District 3, 2014).

5 Figure 6 Rain totals for the dry season to date. (South Florida Water Management District 3, 2014).

6 ENSO Status: El Niño-like conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean weakened over the past couple of weeks, after being close to or exceeding El Niño thresholds for several weeks in December. Several indicators have moved back from El Niño thresholds into the ENSO- Neutral category. Sea surface temperatures have cooled by around 0.4 C in the key NINO regions of the central to eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, although temperatures still remain above average along much of the equator. Beneath the surface, temperatures have also cooled closer to average in many areas. The Southern Oscillation index remains negative, but is not currently at El Niño thresholds as occurred during spring. Despite the general step back from El Niño levels, trade winds look likely to weaken once again in coming weeks, which in turn may bring some renewed warming of sea surface temperatures. Climate models generally indicate little significant change over the next two to three months. So ENSO-neutral conditions are likely with still a slight chance of weak El Nino conditions returning over the next month. Afterwards, ENSO-neutral conditions are expected through the remainder of the Florida dry season. The following ENSO indicators were observed last month: Sea surface temperatures Slightly warmer than average (+.4 C). (ENSO- Neutral) Sub-surface temperatures (0-100m depth) Warmer than average in the far eastern Pacific, but average elsewhere. (El Nino) Southern Oscillation Index (measure of air pressure between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia) = Normal ranges are +8 to -8. Sustained values below -8 indicate the development of El Nino. (ENSO-Neutral) Trade Winds (equatorial Pacific Ocean) Above average. If trade winds are sustained lower than average, it indicates the development of El Nino. (ENSO- Neutral) Cloudiness (at the equator near the Date Line) Below average. (ENSO- Neutral)

7 El Nino Conditions ENSO-Neutral La Nina Conditions Figure 8 Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) for Nino 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean (Australian Government - Bureau of Meteorology, 2014) El Nino Conditions ENSO Neutral is ±.5 C La Nina Conditions Figure 9 - All climate model runs. (Australian Government - Bureau of Meteorology, 2014)

8 Figure 10 Latest probabilities of an El Nino development during the Fall (Climate Prediction Center, 2014) Expected ENSO-Neutral effects for Florida include: Average Atlantic Ocean hurricanes in Summer 2015 Average dry season ( ) Average surface water elevations for the dry season ( ) Average fires with average burn areas for the dry season ( ) Average winter temperatures ( ) Central & South Florida Temperature Outlook: January warmer than average February thru April cooler than average May average June warmer than average July thru October much warmer than average November warmer than average December - average Central & South Florida Rainfall Outlook: January average February thru April wetter than average May thru December - average Projections through 2023: The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) The AMO occurs in warm and cool phases lasting years each generally. Florida typically experiences wetter conditions during the warm phase as the Inter-tropical

9 Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moves farther north closer to Florida from the equator. The ITCZ is a global band of convective thunderstorms occurring degrees north and south of the equator. Other than the local weather drivers and ENSO, the AMO highly influences Florida s extended wet and dry trends. Historical and Current Conditions: Since 1900, there have been two cool phases and two warm phases of the AMO with each of these phases lasting years each (see Table 1). The exact year of the phase start and finish is an estimate as each phase goes through a transition period of a few years. Table = 20 years (cool phase) = 38 years (warm phase) = 26 years (cool phase) 1993 Present = warm phase Table 2 Timing and duration of cool and warm AMO phases since The warm phase of the AMO is expected to continue to around the year Thus, wetter overall conditions with active hurricane seasons can be expected. Around 2020, the AMO will go through a transition period. Afterwards, we will be in for a year period of drier conditions and inactive hurricane seasons (Miller, 2010). Projections through 2100 (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2013): Projections are based on the A2 climate model scenario which assumes high emissions of heattrapping gases continue to rise. In this scenario, concentrations of atmospheric CO₂ exceed 800 ppm by the year Today s atmospheric CO₂ concentrations are around 400 ppm. Surface temperatures will increase. Length of freeze-free days will increase by days. Rainfall in central and southern Florida: Winter - will increase by 10%. Spring - will decrease by -5 to -10%. Summer will decrease by -20% for the Kissimmee basin and decrease by -30% in southern Florida. Fall will increase by +10 to +20%. Lori Miller FWS Hydrologist

10 Works Cited Australian Government - Bureau of Meteorology. (2014). Climate and Past Weather. Retrieved from Australian Government - Bureau of Meteorology: Climate Prediction Center. (2014). Retrieved from Climate Prediction Center: Drought Reporter. (2014). Drought Reporter. Retrieved from Drought Reporter: Klotzbach, P. a. (2014). QUALITATIVE DISCUSSION OF ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY FOR Fort Collins, CO: Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University. Miller, L. (2010). Climate of South Florida; Everglades Restoration Transition Plan Phase I Biological Opinion. Vero Beach, Florida: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. South Florida Water Management District 1. (2014). South Florida Water Depth Assessment Tool (SFWDAT) - Everglades Implementation. Retrieved from South Florida Water Depth Assessment Tool (SFWDAT) - Everglades Implementation: nimations/animation365.html South Florida Water Management District 2. (2014). Water Depth Assessment Tool (WDAT) - Lake Okeechobee. Retrieved from nimations/animation365.html South Florida Water Management District 4. (2014). Operational Planning. Retrieved 2014, from South Florida Water Management District: %20release%202/operational%20planning#position_analysis South Florida Water Management District 3. (2014). Weather and Water. Retrieved from Weather and Water: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (2014). SAJ Water Management Graphical Plots. Retrieved from SAJ Water Management Graphical Plots: U.S. Global Change Research Program. (2014). National Climate Assessment. Washington D.C.: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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