Oct. 3, 2018 — Though it's getting late in the season, we still need to be vigilant when it comes to the tropics - see "Talking the Tropics With Mike" for daily updates.
Matthew, Joaquin (late Sept.), Sandy, Wilma, Mitch & Opal are just a few that made headlines in past years.
And sure enough we have an area to keep an eye on through mid-month - Caribbean, SE Gulf &/or SW Atlantic which is a classic development area later in the season.
Note the secondary peak for tropical development about Oct. 15th:
Where exactly any tropical system might go when/if originating over the "area of concern" will be dictated by a strong upper level (500 mb) high pressure (see GFS forecast map below) over or near the S.E. U.S. which has been a mainstay of the late summer/early fall & helped produced the hot/dry Sept. for Jacksonville. A stronger upper level high will have a tendency to "protect" Jacksonville & Florida as long as the ridge stays oriented over or near the area. But any weakening or shifting of the upper high changes the "game". A persistent & strong upper level trough of low pressure over the Western U.S. will likely become a player as the trough tries to push east & tries to break down the strong upper level ridge. Still early, but this set-up is something to closely monitor.
September is in the books & will go down as one of the hottest on record. In fact, Sept., 2018 was the hottest on record since the "official" thermometer was moved from d'town Jax to JIA in 1956. Somewhat remarkable, Sept. tied Aug. - 82.4 degrees - as the hottest of the year. That's only happened 4 other times - 1921, 1925 & 1933. The month was also the only Sept. since 1956 (JIA) to have every night warmer than 70 degrees. The avg. high of 91.1 degrees ties the all-time avg. Sept. high (1925). & while the month was drier than avg. as a whole, we have far exceeded the record for the number of t'storm days in a single year with 101 so far which beats the record of 95 set in 1986, 1924 & 1903.
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