CoCoRaHS Header
In This Issue
Quick Facts
Let It Snow...
December Rains
December CoCoRaHS Totals
Current State of the Drought
Observer Photos
Observer Corner
Quick Facts
# of registered FL

# of active FL observers

# of reports submitted by FL observers during

Date with the greatest # of FL reports submitted
during 12/10 (406 reports)

Highest reported daily
rainfall from FL
CoCoRaHS observers
during 12/10 (FL-WT-5
on 12/01)

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NewsletterJanuary 2011

Dear Florida CoCoRaHS Observers and Friends,

In an effort to make the newsletter easier to read, we've moved away from the standard PDF to one that can be delivered via email.  Please let me know what you think about the new layout. There's also now an option at the bottom of this email to unsubscribe if you'd like.


If at any time you have questions about CoCoRaHS, reading your rain gauge, or finding a location to setup your rain gauge, please feel to contact a Florida CoCoRaHS Coordinator. We are lucky enough to have regional support from National Weather Service offices across the state, as well as county/local help from several CoCoRaHS volunteers.
Take care,

Griffin Photo
Melissa Griffin
Florida CoCoRaHS State Coordinator
Assistant State Climatologist

Florida Climate Center/Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies
Florida State University 
232 R.M. Johnson Building 
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840

850) 644-0719

Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

One of the things we joke about here in the Southeast is that we don't have to train our observers to measure snow. It's a part of the training slideshow that we can gloss over and say "For more information...". However, the last few weeks have a few coordinators rethinking this. On December 26, various Florida locales saw snow flurries, sleet and graupel. Graupel is when ice forms around a snowflake and is different from hail.


The morning of January 10 saw portions of the Southeast blanketed in white.Reports of as much as 6" are coming in from Alabama, Georgia Mississippi, Tennessee, and the Carolinas... some of those reports are over 10"!

In addition to the snow, December 2010 goes down as the coldest December on record at numerous locations across the state. Similar to January 2010, the cold temperatures are due to a negative Arctic Oscillation. It's been dominating our weather patterns, dampening what we would normally experience temperature wise during a La Niņa. However, we are still extremely dry, and will continue to be dry the rest of the winter.

December Rains

Rainfall totals for December were below normal in all areas of the state (Table 1). Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Key West all received less than one inch of rain during December. In contrast, a daily total of 1.87 inches at Melbourne on the 18th broke the previous record of 1.68 inches observed in 2009.
 Table 1

December CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the rainfall totals for December from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state.Note that the color scale has changed from the previous month, due to the lack of rainfall.

CoCoRaHS Rainfall Totals - Dec. 2010

Current State of the Drought

Looking at the drought monitor, there's been very little change since the last newsletter.The most impacted portions of the state are still the Northeast and East Coast. Parts of Monroe and Dade counties, mainly near the Everglades, have continued to dry out. For more information about the ongoing drought, check out the National Drought Monitor.

FL Drought Monitor

Observer Photos

Lakeland freeze photo

Lakeland freeze photo

Lakeland freeze photo

Lakeland freeze photo

"This morning's [12/28] freeze event here on the south side of Lakeland. Unfortunately my digital camera did not really catch the contrast of the very heavy frost against the blue sky. (1) Front Yard- Is actually looking across the street. (2) Is my 160 meter inverted L with the open 5 acre pasture behind my house. The pasture is approximately 3-5 feet lower in elevation than the location that my weather station is mounted. It is usually 5-8 deg colder than at my weather station location on clear calm nights. (3) Indoor LCD unit in my radio room. (4) Outdoor ISS temperature/humidity sensors on the SW corner of my property to get away from the trees in my backyard."

- Thomas (FL-PK-18)



lunar eclipseLunar eclipse 2

"These pictures record a historic day in Astronomy, December 12, 2010; on this day the Total Eclipse of the Moon (Lunar Eclipse) occurred on the first day of winter (Winter Solstice). The last time this event occurred was on December 21, 1683, and the next one will be on December 21, 2094. We hope you enjoy these historic photos which we took with our Nikon COOLPIX P100 Digital Camera, full Optical zoom and Fireworks settings."
- Richard and Lorene (FL-LK-6)
Observer Corner

Over the holiday break I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with a fellow observer who wanted to know about other CoCoRaHS observers who are snowbirds like him.I managed to talk Norman into writing up a little bio about himself and the two places he calls home:

"I'm a native of the northern most county of New Hampshire, Coos, (NH-CS-3) which is bordered by Quebec Canada to the north, Maine to the east and Vermont to the west. The 45th parallel is but a few miles north of my northern home and where moose are as common as cold freezing days in January. I became a "Snowbird" some six years ago and this year my wife and I bought a house in Clewiston Florida in Hendry County (FL-HY-5). My interest in the weather comes from watching my father writing down the morning temperature on his calendar on a daily basis. I've experienced some fairly extreme weather conditions living just 25 miles north of Mount Washington where the world wind speed record of 231mph was held until a couple years ago. During the winter of 68/69 the immediate region around my town experience weekly snowstorms exceeding 36" from Christmas until the end of February. Roofs collapsed, roads and schools were closed and using snowshoes, one could walk up on to rooftops. The coldest I've ever experienced has been -51F and as you might guess my car didn't go even with an engine block heater. At those temperatures the oil in the transmission gels. (Tires go flat too) My wife and I plan on migrating back to the 45th parallel in April (1875 miles) spend the summer with the song birds that make northern climes their breeding ground and then return south in late October after the hurricane season has passed in south Florida. I do miss the mountains of northern New Hampshire, but I don't miss the below zero temperatures."

- Norman [FL-HY-5; NH-CS-3]

"Because every drop counts"