Dear Florida Climate Center Friends,
We'd like to present you with the July 2011 edition of our newsletter. In this newsletter, you'll find our monthly climate summary, special events that our staff will be at and attended, and an example of a data request made to the office. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Staff of the Florida Climate Center
Asst. State Climatologist
Each week, an expert from FSU is answering a question related to environmental issues that impact Florida as part of WFSU's new "Environmental Minute" radio program. On June 19, State Climatologist David Zierden's segment addressed the following question: What is the difference between weather and climate, and climate change and global warming? During the week of July 18, Assistant State Climatologist Melissa Griffin will answer: Why do we get so much rain in The Sunshine State?
The program is sponsored by The Florida Climate Institute, The Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences, and the FSU Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science. The segment airs on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:04am on 88.9 WFSU-FM. Archives are posted at http://wfsu.org/environmental.
New 30-Year Normals Released
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released the 1981-2010 Normals on July 1, 2011. Climate Normals are the latest three-decade averages of climatological variables, including temperature and precipitation. This new product replaces the 1971-2000 Normals product. NCDC is required by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to update these Normals every 10 years.
In the strictest sense, a "normal" of a particular variable (e.g., temperature) is defined as the 30-year average, but includes quantities other than averages, such as probabilities, standard deviations, etc.
Over the next few weeks, The Florida Climate Center will be updating its website to include the newest release of the Normals for select stations throughout the state, and comparisons to the previous 30-year (1971-2000) information.
State Climatologist Helps Conduct Climate & Agriculture Workshop for Alabama
State Climatologist David Zierden, along with Brenda Ortiz (Climate Extension specialist with Auburn University) and Clyde Fraisse (Climate Extension specialist with University of Florida), conducted a half-day workshop demonstrating the web-based decision support system known as AgroClimate.org. The workshop was held in Orange Beach, AL, and kicked off the annual meeting of the Alabama Crop Management Association. AgroClimate.org is a web-based decision support system for climate and agriculture in the Southeast U.S., and was developed by scientists and extension partners in the Southeast Climate Consortium. The Florida Climate Center has been involved in AgroClimate's development, maintenance, and outreach since the project beginning. David Zierden opened the workshop by giving a presentation on climate variability and prediction in the Southeast and how we can take advantage of known climate shifts from the El Niņo/La Niņa cycle.
State Climatologist David Zierden at the AgroClimate workshop in Alabama.
In the Press
6/15/11: Bone-dry Brevard sees fire risk rise (Florida Today; with State Climatologist David Zierden)
6/23/11: 'Exceptional' drought areas expand to cover nearly 25% of Florida (Palm Beach Post; with State Climatologist David Zierden)
Example Data Request
Each month, we highlight here recent examples of some of the many public services provided by the Florida Climate Center:
During the month of June, the Florida Climate Center received numerous calls about the lack of rain and the current drought conditions plaguing the state. A few media outlets contacted State Climatologist David Zierden for interviews about how the drought compared to the 1998 drought and the more recent drought in 2007.
In addition to the media, public citizens were calling and emailing the office to find out similar information. One person was interested in knowing about the lake levels of Lake Lanier in Georgia and if the state would be having another 'water war' with Alabama and Georgia. Another individual from South Florida wanted to know if Lake Okeechobee had broken the record low lake level of 8.82 feet set on July 2, 2007. A gentleman from Indian River County wanted to know how he could help officials learn about the drought conditions he was experiencing at his location. He was directed to the Drought Impact Report run by the National Drought Mitigation Center and walked through the process of submitting a report.
While recent rains have eased some of the more severe drought across the state, there is still a large area of the state that's experiencing exceptional drought conditions. You can monitor the state of the drought by going to the National Drought Monitor page for Florida. The Drought Monitor updates every Thursday morning and contains information provided by the State Climatologist, the National Weather Service Office in Florida, and the Water Management Districts across the state.
Find Us on Facebook!
You can now 'like' the Florida Climate Center on Facebook! By joining our Facebook page, the latest Florida Climate Center news items will automatically show up in your "news feed" when you first login to Facebook. To join, click the link below, then click the "like" button on our Facebook page.
The Florida Climate Center is part of a three-tiered system of national, regional, and state climate offices, including NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and the Southeast Regional Climate Center. The Florida State Climatologist and other staff at the Florida Climate Center provide the following information and services to the people of Florida:
· Climate Data:
Historical weather observations for weather stations throughout the state of Florida. We are able to provide data for most stations from 1948-present.
· Climate Information:
Long-term historical averages for various stations, climate divisions, and the entire state.
· Extreme Event Records:
Information and analyses on extreme events such as freezes, droughts, floods and hurricanes.
· Special Analysis:
With their vast knowledge of El Niņo, La Niņa and climate variability, the State Climatologist and staff can offer expert insight into Florida's climate trends.
Activities, presentations, and workshops that inform and educate the people of Florida about current and emerging climate issues. We also coordinate volunteers for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).
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