WEATHER MADE CLEAR FOR ALL TO HEAR

"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday, Blue Sky


We're right on track for two very cool days, warmest right along the eastern waters. Unless you live east of the Banana River, you saw a low in the mid 40s this morning. But over here on the beach it only got down to 51. The sun is full bore out today, all day, so if you're not in the wind it won't be all bad. I'm going around in short and flip flops today, but a light jacket is in order as the wind will make it feel much cooler, and if in the shade...forget it.

WOW! Did you hear the sonic boom as the Shuttle came in?! KaBOOM.

The wind should die down significantly shortly by or after sunset, so although it could get even colder tonight away from the beaches...it won't feel entirely unbearable. Tonight we'll have a case of classic radiational cooling with a northwest drainage flow down the spine of the state. This will again result in the coldest of air to reside just west of the waterways with the coldest morning in store for Saturday. However, at this time I'm reluctant to believe that the beach will break below 50 again. Saturday will be another cool one with less wind and some high clouds streaming overhead, but nothing significant at this time until maybe sunset when they might 'dense up' a bit.

Sunday morning will again be relatively cold inland with the coast starting to see a rebound. The bigger changes are in store for Sunday night into Monday as high pressure shifts off the coast and a hint of southerly flow and more clouds (high ones) dictate that the coast may actually warm a bit during the night, with inland not as obviously so. Monday afternoon, however, will bring warmer conditions for all and the 'cool' snap will essentially be over.

For tonight's activities, if one hasn't figured it out all ready, a jacket is definitely in order (lest you be one of the very hearty ones). Bearing in mind that some folks in the local area will be attending a high school alumni football game and a street party around downtown Cocoa Beach., if you're one of them be prepared to dress accordingly.

Further out? I'm leaving that for another day. We have a solid 4-5 days of essentially dry weather, gradually warmer temperatures, and clouds becoming more of an issue progressively after tomorrow...and rain...perhaps enters the picture very late Tuesday. For now a very quick blurb is in order..being that at this time..and I stress this time..any assured chance of rain in the future stands out..as it did yesterday..to occur during the post sunset to sunrise hours of Wednesday into Thursday morning. With this very progressive southern jet stream pattern in place things change pretty quickly and successive model runs accordingly vary widely; thus, timing on the finer details will continue to be an issue until we can see the 'white of its eyes'.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The rain is over and the clouds will break today for a nice Thanksgiving sunset. The cold front has gone through, but the associated trough at the mid-levels still has to pass over, so the clouds this morning will linger for a while...maybe until noon time. But the clearing line is approaching and will be off the east coast by mid-late afternoon. The high today will reach the low 70s, so it will feel a little cool particularly as we get toward sunset as the truly colder air starts to filter into the area and the sun gets low on the horizon (and winds begin to pick up from the northwest). It's already cold up in the Panhandle, but that real cold stuff won't make it here. Being that it's a holiday and no changes in forecast thoughts are in store since yesterday's thinking...we'll leave this one brief.

Coldest days will be Friday and Saturday...with Friday definitely feeling the coldest due to stronger NW winds. By Saturday and especially Sunday the wind will be much lighter under abundant sunshine..although some sporadic high clouds could put a minor damper on things, especially on Sunday. Expecting a low right along the coast in the upper 40s by Friday morning...and a few degrees warmer on Saturday morning (although away from the coast it will still be much cooler to cold); however, afternoon highs on Sunday will be on the rebound. In general, if you can get past 10am those days..you're good to go in short sleeves. But you might want a jacket if planning on spending much time outside on Friday.

Nothing significant otherwise to discuss. The next weather maker now appears to be a little slower in the making (approaching) than previously thought..so don't expect to hear about rain chances (from the blog at least)..until later Tuesday through the first half of Thursday.

Hope you and all your significant others have a wonder day.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Expected Flights Today?...Possible Delay


(latest radar showing widespread rain, as WeatherKitty looks on).
The rain is finally arriving, with no surprise. The biggest challenge for today was figuring whether or not there could be strong/severe storms. Some storms, namely those off shore, have exhibited some weak rotation but not enough to induce a tornado. I think this will be the case for the day as well (at least over the land areas)...with anything stronger than a generic thunderstorm to be extremely isolated. I'll be looking into this more after returning from a morning shopping run...so be advised things could change. Regardless, as you can see by the radar depiction, we have a broad expanse of precipitation covering much of the state. I woke up for a bit around 4 am and the stars were out and there was no rain anywhere nearby except over extreme South Florida, especially over the Keys. My what a difference 5 hours makes.

Don't have time to elaborate much today, but that's okay because nothing really has changed as far as today's outlook goes and as was posted a good two days ago both rain and temperature wise. Expect all of today to have a very respectable chance of rain as I believe the warm frontal boundary will not push north of us but rather reside just over to just south of us. I noted on running a radar animation (loop) that the precipitation is generally moving due north at a pretty good clip which initially lead me to believe the front would push right on through...but high pressure nosing down the spine of the state from the north appears as if it will hold fast and thus block the front from getting north of us (at least at ground level). As a result, we never see a good south wind (which would occur if the warm front were to push north of us)..but instead the wind will be a function of that high pressure area and its clockwise circulation..hence they should remain pretty much out of the east to east- northeast. This is what also leads me to believe that a better chance of thunder will be restricted to the southern tier of the state where southerly wind will work their way to the surface in earnest.

There does not appear to be any one, well defined low pressure system with this mish mash..but rather several smaller weak ones. One appears to be just off the coast of Sarasota...another one just to the NW of Key West..and another seems to be forming along an old inverted trough just to the east of Cape Canaveral - - all of which, when combined, forms a broad area of low pressure across the southern half of the state (and it's here that the most active weather will occur today). The northern periphery of this low pressure area defines the warm front's boundary (at least thermodynamically speaking).

As for Thanksgiving? Right now I'm tempted to reflect back on Monday's post, namely that we could still see some light rain around very early in the day with cloudy skies the rest of the day with the first peak of sun potentially showing its face right near sunset. Temperatures will be comfortable (in the low - mid 70s all day)...as the real cold front will not be punching through until shortly before sunset. And Friday? Again, continuing the same train of thought temperature wise. Namely, the warmest part of the day could very well be in the morning with temperatures dropping a bit the during the pre-noon hour, then holding steady and very breezy as much cooler/cold air is advected into the region under max heating of the day. The fact that the sun will be out on Friday and that the air is trying to warm us at the same time cold air is being shoved in alone will generate a lot of 'mixing' and enhance the surface northwest winds. Saturday and Sunday should be no worse than scattered high clouds and very cool by standards of late with cold mornings and tolerable afternoons with a notable decrease in the wind as day breaks Saturday.

Also keeping in line with the past few days, the warming trend will commence Sunday night into Monday morning as we regain our easterly wind component and marine air is nudged onto the coastal communities overnight.

Things happen fast from Monday to Wednesday as a "Southern Belle" Storm blossoms and moves east across the Deep South with yet another trailing cold front to sweep through which at this time looks like it will be early afternoon Tuesday. Rain with this system appears as though it will be restricted to Tuesday only. At this time, watching for developing of a pre-frontal trough which would pass through a good 3-5 hours before the actually cold front, and it's along that trough we'll be watching for decent thunderstorms beginning the post-dawn hours of Tuesday. But one good thing for a quick blurp, looks like we're going to avoid the coldest of air associated with this system too...courtesy of the ever present subtropical southern branch jet stream which has already been elaborated on in length in previous posts. Until that digs south of us..and then the northern branch digs south of us as well..we'll never get below 45 along the coast (for the most part). And that occurring is no where in sight.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Very Cool Weather - Home For The Holidays




(mid-level stability/instability parameters paint where the boundary is this morning)
With all that's going on during the beginning of a hectic holiday season, its amazing that the weather is staying pretty much right on schedule (no flight delays there); however, it has a slightly different agenda. Rain, lightning/thunder, wind, and clouds are its party favors..and crystal clear blue skies are when it's taking a rest. In this case, it's getting ready to 'party' .
In other words, we still seem to be on schedule for everything that has been discussed for several days now so there aren't any surprises. The only siggy change I'm very tempted to make is to boost the currently advertised chance of rain. Right now based on current/forecasted infromation I'm willing to bet that all (100%) of central Florida from coast to coast will get measurable rain between midnight Tuesday to midnight Wednesday. (not discounting some spotty amounts possible today). That's not saying it's going to happen everywhere at the same time...but it will 'happen'.

But in the short term, just wanted to add a couple sentences about today. It looks like the stationary boundary for the most part was shoved down to the latitude of Lake Okeechobee last night and for the most part has lost all identity other than what is referred to in the world of meteorology as instability and moisture indices in an averaged depth of the boundary layer. In other words, the quality of the air mass over the state paints the boundary but the wind directions are of little help since right at the surface they are out of a northerly component. I've included a graphic of the Theta-E (equivalent potential temperature) as an example. Other parameters such as the lifted index and CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy)..as well as opposing CIN all show this boundary. So despite what I've read that the boundary is way south of here, what's left of it still appears to be closer to home at a level about 8000 feet over our heads. With the ample instability (which is why I brought this up)..comes the possibility of instability type rain showers (convective rather than stratiform) to develop after heating of the day (from 2:30pm - 6:00pm) anywhere across the southern half of the state. Actually, as I type some rain showers are very near the coast of S. Brevard..and they've been progressing this way over the past few hours. The main thing that seems to be inhibiting greater areal coverage of rain for today is a ridge of high pressure nosing down as an extension of the Appalachians (which pushed the old boundary into south Florida at the surface)...but in the mid-levels I think it's still very close to home. I believe the leading edge (or southern extent of this ridge axis) will get eroded during the day...leaving everyone in a straight easterly wind component at the surface and westerly component overhead.

Also note the area of rain in the Eastern Gulf. That area is approaching for later today, and although I don't think it will hold together as currently manifested it does indicate a mid-level disturbance of sorts which could be just enough to stir the pot for later today and brew up more widespread showers. After this passes by we might actually see a break for a good six hours, but it's the bigger and now developing area in the western Gulf (as you can see on radar) that will be the real 'partier' from after midnight tonight through ALL of Wednesday. As mentioned repeatedly before, timing is an issue for exactly when and where the rain will fall...we'll have a better idea by tonight though.

Temperature wise, I observed that it was warmer at this time of day today than it has been for several days (at least on the porch)...and this could be adding some fuel to the fire for today further backing up the reasoning for a greater shower potential today ahead (and during) the approach and passing of that first feature in the Gulf. Not putting a percentage on this potential as it is a 'potential' and not a 'chance' as described yesterday. Let's leave it as a better potential...although I don't think it quite matches up as high for the chance that's being advertised, at least not for our daylight hours.

After Wednesday, in fact by early evening, the cold front will have passed Central Florida but drier air won't be real eager to move in during the beginning of the period Thursday...but enough will be established to fore go the mention of rain on Thanksgiving. Cloud cover could be an issue for at least the first half of the day Thanksgiving Day, but if it clears out sooner than that it's all the more to be thankful for.

Still think we will see little temperature change from morning and through the day Friday..with the warmest temperatures possible first thing in the morning. The coolest days will be Saturday and Sunday with lows in the 40s area wide (even the coast) and highs in the mid-60s. By Monday a slight onshore component to the wind which will have developed overnight should preclude the immediate coast from getting below 64 degrees (unlike our inland counterparts).

Due to the lengthiness of this post already, I'm foregoing mention of future outlooks until we get this one over with...but so far things still look like they could be active (say every 4-5 days for the following two systems).

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Monday, November 23, 2009

What Does a "Chance of Rain" Mean To You?

( Be glad your weekend game didn't end up this way)
Copy-paste yesterday and put it into today and there you go. No matter what perspective one looks at it from everything about today will be similar to yesterday. There are hints that by noon time and points on we might not see quite as many clouds, but we're pulling threads at that point. Suffice it to say that today it will again get into the upper 70s and be mostly cloudy with some partly cloudy breaks. The wind will be variable at 10mph or less. The culprit is a stationary front situated almost perfectly from Central Brevard to just south of the Tampa area, and it is there that the front will remain for the entire day. Believe it or not, there was 1 or 2 severe thunderstorm warnings issued for parts of the Central Peninsula but no where near here. In fact, other than that storm or two, there was very little rain to be found (no counting the stuff that was further north ala yesterday's morning). Also be advised that the official forecast is calling for a chance of rain. But that can be misleading...that chance means that somewhere in the forecast area of responsibility some measurable rain (at least 0.01") is possible. And that's a big area...and given that the chance is low...that means from the optimist's view the majority of the area (basically all of Central Florida from coast to coast) will remain rain free. I guess you could say the chance of getting rain today is the equivalent of winning 2 bucks on a scratch off lotto ticket.

[But what does a 20% chance of rain mean? From how I've understood it, that would mean that 20% of the area under which the area of which your National Weather Service forecast office has responsibility for could experience measurable precipitation at anytime within the forecast time frame...it is not specific down to a city or even a county. So in other words, it's possible that a 20% chance of rain is the equivalent of it raining continuously for 6 hours over only Cocoa Beach and there only (after all, that's less the 20% of all of Central Florida areal coverage speaking).] Of course that would never happen, but the possibility is amusing. (if any one reading this needs to correct me on what this "%-age" means...please do so. Much appreciated).

The same deal looks to be in the offing for tomorrow as well. Sigh. If you want a change then so be it. And at this time it is appearing that such will be in the offing commencing late Tuesday and through Wednesday. Although there is some disparity due to an event that has yet to even materialize, there is consensus that a weak low pressure system will form along our friendly boundary in the eastern Gulf by Monday night that will essentially trace right along or just south of this stationary front. The affects of which could be realized here by sunset Tuesday and anytime Wednesday in the form of rain, and heaven forbid, yes...maybe some thunderstorms around. We'll have to see what becomes of that situation when (or if) this event materializes...but in the interim expect to see more of the same until Thanksgiving morning with an increasing "possibility" of rain from late Tuesday through Wednesday evening.

In the longer term, it still looks like Friday through Sunday might be nearly cloudy free other than maybe some high cirrus clouds (few and far between), with somewhat frisky NW winds on Friday and parts of Saturday. In fact, our chance of rain in the longer term is pretty much zero until we get into the Tuesday to Wednesday time frame of next week. From there on out some really COOL (neat-o) weather is in store for a broad expanse of the southeast states in the form of potentially two severe weather events...one from late next Monday through Wednesday...and then the next ..NEXT weekend (not the one coming up). Way out there, huh? (both in time and perhaps thinking). And for good measure as long as we're at it, nothing tremendously cold is knocking at our chamber door either until at least the second week of December.

In summary, for Thanksgiving: cloudy to partly cloudy with a high in the mid 70s and a slight chance of showers the first half of the day. Clearing overnight into Friday with temperatures varying little on Friday hanging around the upper 60s and maybe even dropping during the day (hence, the warmest part of Friday might actually be in the morning). Saturday and Sunday look for lows in the mid-upper 40s inland and upper 40s to near 50 along the coast with highs in the mid-60s.

Further Extended: If indeed the next two systems develop as mentioned above, a return to warmer (maybe even warmer than of late) is in the offing for Monday night and Tuesday. But holy smokes, we haven't even digested the turkey yet...so let's save more of the investigation for at least until we're eating left over pumpkin pie.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Like a Musical Instrument...Forecasts Need Fine Tuning Too





(above showing fronts, radar, and satellite images as of noon Sunday)

The stationary front that meandered across the central portion of the state yesterday got its long awaited nudge to the north overnight and is now being manifested as a warm front (for the time being) across the panhandle. The area of most likely rain, as mentioned since Thursday, is indeed very close to the forecasted position along the Gainesville to Daytona line as one can see from the included radar depiction and enhanced cloud cover via the satellite image.

Although right at ground level the wind will maintain an east to southeast trajectory today, just over our heads they are shifting to being from the southwest as I write. Believe those winds and moisture amounts at cloud level along with heating from the sunbeams above will keep some midlevel clouds in and out throughout the day. Fear not from the rain though. At least not yet. Animation of that rain area is showing no southward progression as it runs parallel to the front and the jet stream level winds. That surface low is going to have to be close to home before we start to see rain, but forewarned is forearmed...as that time may indeed be approaching from 5pm on...through Wednesday for the most part.

Decided that today I'd take the optimistic (conservative) approach as far as rain goes. Perhaps sticking the arm out too far for comfort, but going for no rain again today until near sunset as mentioned above. Even then, it could hold off (if ever) until after midnight. Suffice it say that the chance is present and can no longer be ignored this evening. The good news is, is that we will have comfortable temperatures for 3-4 more days. Just lots of clouds and the omnipresent potential for rain. Also on the optimistic side, I'm discounting the possibility of hearing thunder despite what I'm hearing on The Weather Channel as I type. For the most part, unless one were to update the blog every 3-6 hours to be 'most' accurate (especially by later this afternoon), I'm leaving it to the reader to be advised of the potentials arising later today. It's often tempting to do an update as I see changes developing to provide the latest, but I believe folks are capable of turning on TV and seeing radar for themselves. You see, forecasting when it comes to the short term variety, is not unlike fine tuning a musical instrument before the show...tighten here...turn a valve there...until perfect pitch is reached. The atmosphere is an ever changing fluid, especially in these situations...so perfect pitch may never be reached...leaving a sour note to the listener's ear. Let it be known that two models I looked at this morning are both indicating a decent chance of rain for east central Florida by 6-8pn tonight, and in one case almost all night (that won't happen, but just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with).

Such will be the case: clouds, rain, and temperature wise through Wednesday. I don't see any big warm up in the offing either with highs in the mid-80s as I'm hearing. Too many clouds combined with the slight onshore wind component precludes that possibility close to the coast, but perhaps inland could see low around 82-83 today with the coast 78-81 (at best). The warmest of air will be found from just north of Lake Okeechobee and points south. Lows to remain near 70 (only got down to 73 on my porch last night).

Thanksgiving will be the big transition day. So probably more clouds to contend with most of the day and envisioning 'sig' clearing near sunset. The forthcoming cold front may actually push through by very early in the day yet linger very close by until a mid-upper level push catches up with this surface feature late in the day. We'll first be hearing about the colder air approaching via our friends in the Central and Southern Plains into Alabama and Mississippi on Wednesday and Thursday..."Thar She Blows!"... and once it does, we'll know it here too.

Okay, here's where I'm going to diverge even futher from everything I've been hearing through the grapevine, that being the temperatures on Friday and Saturday. Numerical guidance is suggesting much warmer than what's being graphically depicted...and that's what I'm buying into. Namely, on Friday we might be hard pressed to reach 65...at best. Maybe not even 60!? This is a good 7-10 degrees colder than what is being advertised.. And that temperature will be combined with a decent NW wind at 12-20mph, so if heading to the Art Festival this Friday or Saturday you're going to want a light jacket or sweater. Basically, cold air advection (or moving in of it) will be occuring all day Friday..so we might start out in the mid's 50s in the morning then barely crack 60 by days end as colder air is filter southward along the leading edge of high pressure building in from the west. Saturday-Monday all look to be very cool, but with afternoon temperatures moderating a bit, but nothing tremendously comfortable. Not a cold blast, but definitely a cool one.

And so it goes as posted a few days ago, "the next two weekends will not be as pristine" as the one we had last week (this week being the cloudy one with looming rain chances, and next weekend being the cool/cold one).

On a P.S. - the weather radio alarm just went off. Seems a waterspout was spotted well offshore the coast of Ft. Pierce just about 5 mintues ago. Neat!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ruffles And High Pressures Have Ridges


(First image: forecast stationary front position and little surface ridges emanating from the High pressure center over Lake Erie this evening. Note how one is a relflection of the Appalachin chain at ground level. Second image...300mb - jet stream level - winds for the same time frame)
Today like yesterday and the day before ...no change. The weather around here lately has been about as exciting as a game of tiddly winks (actually, that would be more exciting). Not going into ifs, ands, ors, buts, whatever...today. But suffice it say that nothing has changed from previous discussions, and nothing much will change, at least not substantially through the coming week. However, that's not saying that things are cooperating. It appears the frontal boundary depicted over our area this evening will be lingering around until at least Thanksgiving day leaving the cloud coverage forecast somewhat problematic but temperatures a given. It beening stationary is largly a function of the depicted southern branch jet stream (a classic position during an El Nino year). What is shown above is for later tomorrow...but it's looked that way for a few days now.

For east central Florida it will be just what we've been experiencing for the past couple of days with lows in the upper 60s and highs in the upper 70s with lots of high and off and on mid level clouds. There are periods in the outlooks depicting a slight chance (and I stress "slight") of rain, but for the most part there won't be any worth mentioning.

Oddly, things seem to come more together for after Thanksgiving for the 'all's clear'..but that is so far away and with the flick of a switch this could change as well. I know lots of folks want to know what the Thanksgiving Weekend will be like, but we have to be realistic here. That is five days out...and unless we were under some extreme conditions one way or another things tend to move little, so the best way to look at it is that things will kind of ooze into transition. A very 'sketchy' outlook for now is 'painting' the scenario for 'Art' Festival goers of slightly cooler temperatures (high just near 70 and low in the mid 50s) for Friday and Saturday...gradually moderating after that. Clouds and rain wise? Probably lots of clouds around until the day after Thanksgiving...maybe longer (and this is where it really gets sketchy). For simplicities sake no elaboration is going to be made as to all the reasons why things are so...it would be like trying to describe how to assemble a Rubik's cube in two sentences.

Bear in mind, anything you hear or see on The Weather Channel or the news is subject to change..quite literally...because frankly forecasting out that far under our current set up is beyond the scope of reality and purely fictional (despite what they'd like to lead a person to believe). Just being honest. The only thing I can say with a very high degree of confidence is that it won't be windy (no gusts above 20mph) and it won't be cold and it won't be a wash out (of rain).

A word of the wises, be prepared for surprises. For the next forecast, perhaps we should consult the O.I.U.J.I. model.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fall Closing In (in earnest) - Inch by Inch

(shown-one model's forecasted position of our future low and fronts Saturday morning)
Cyclogensis (development of a surface low) does indeed appear to be in full swing along the Texas southeast coast this morning, as was forecast by the models for many days. Kind of amazing when one thinks about it. This will be the 'story' of the day through the weekend as far as the weather around Florida is concerned. It was mentioned Wednesday that a post probably wouldn't be necessary for Thursday...thus, no post. Actually, today isn't really necessary either but now that changes are looming (developing) just across the 'small pond" (Gulf of Mexico) its worth a blurb or two to get the weekend started.

Today: Temperatures, wind, and clouds all pretty much status quo with the past two days. Many areas had fog this morning so as that burns off expect to see some of the lower stuff around until late morning at least (maybe until the 12-1pm time frame)..but a high/mid level cloud mix will be the most prevalent throughout the day. Wind again to maintain a northerly component at 10mph or less but primarily NNE-NE, and maybe a bit stronger across and near the big rivers. There are some rain showers just off the coast this morning, but at this time it does not appear they will penetrate the coast. Tonight will be another night with the potential for fog development sometime after midnight across all of Central Florida, but this will be of little to no impact to anyone other than the very early riser who needs good visibility, but of no impact for taking the dog for a walk.

Saturday: Other than the morning fog and low clouds, Saturday will again be a low-end weather impact day. Wind should start to gain more of an easterly component though...and eventually a southeast component as we head toward sunset. More clouds to stream overhead in advance of the currently developing surface low, which by late Saturday will have developed and be somewhere near the southern border of Louisiana as it shifts ENE. We may see a big increase in clouds as somewhat of a warm front wraps northward up the state ahead of this feature, and shower activity shouldn't be entirely discounted, especially from Sarasota south to Ft. Myers during the day. Believe at this time that any such activity that could affect us will refrain from doing so until after sunset Saturday. Over night we lose the onshore component of the wind altogether and get into a moist, gooey feeling SW wind with more clouds and maybe a shower.

Sunday: This day will be primarily a "here comes du front" day...with SW-WSW winds all day..getting up to 15-20mph in gusts at times...mostly cloudy and some showers around. Don't know about thunder though. Still think that potential will only provide such generosities to the latitude of Gainesville to Daytona and points north as delineated on Wednesday. The front will drag its mucky heals attained by crossing the wet Gulf across us until at least mid-day Monday.

After that, say the Monday-Thanksgiving day time frame..we will influenced mostly by high pressure planted across the southeast states with a return to northeast winds. ..the windiest of which my actually be Thanksgiving Day. Just exactly how much cloudiness and maybe even a rain shower along the coast will be associated with the wind is still out for the jury to decide, but let it be known that at this point Thanksgiving Day could very well not be pristine or anywhere close to it. But most of the day is usually spent inside anyway...so let nature do its thing.

As for the title of today's post? It seems that although no cold air will be associated with this coming front/low pressure couplet, it will reinforce what we already have over us...that is to say...coolish air (pleasant temperature wise)..with no sight of what some would consider 'uncomfortably warm' in sight.

Post-Thanksgiving?: Still appears a good 'snap' of air below the 'cool threshold' is in the offing. Just as it did a few days ago. Being as this is a week away, it would be irresponsible to provide a definitive assertion of just exactly when and how noticeable the change will be. Suffice it say though, that the likelihood of fall impinging upon us even further its gentle reminder that summer is GONE looms in the macrocosm of the atmospheric realm (i.e., to those that wish for eternal summer).

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh So Serious Cirrus (Seriously?)

("Now Showing!"... all about a down storm chasing day somewhere in Texas..I think)
That sums it up for today and tomorrow. High level cirrus clouds associated with both the southern branch jet stream (not to be confused with the Gulf Stream) and the ever diffusing frontal boundary in the vicinity of the Florida Panhandle. High pressure is bridging the gap and cutting right through the boundary which will only go to continue its assertion over our weather through Friday. Thus, a no holds barred no precipitation forecast is in place with a high along the coast near 77 degrees with winds 10mph or less out of more or less a north to northeast direction. I think the high temperature will be a held down a degree or two due to both the wind coming off water and high clouds cutting out the strongest beams of sun during the critical hours of max heating.

Not much change for tomorrow either other than that the high clouds might not be as prevalent. Otherwise, tempted to not even bother with a post tomorrow...hmm..if it wasn't for the fact that the next 'weather' system (note I didn't refer to it as a 'storm' system)...comes into play Saturday. This system has actually not even developed yet, but has been in the forecast models' calculations for a couple of days now. At this time, it appears that, given such a system does develop, that its influence will not be sensed in our area until later Saturday. This will be mainly in the form of the winds coming from a much more southerly direction and ever present high and mid level clouds. But for the most part, this next system appears as if the only part of the state that will truly realize its existence will be along the latitude of Gainesville and points north of there.

Temperature wise, no changes...even after the system moves on by. It appears that our warmest day for the immediate coast could be Sunday when we lose the sea breeze just ahead of the system...but that will be short-lived and a return to a NNE flow will quickly be re-established with very moderate, seasonable temperatures to prevail. The thing is, even though the wind direction would favor some warmer air here, that could very well be offset by thicker cloud coverage. So it all averages out in the wash. As for rain, with the area from Gainesville north to see the greatest likely hood of seeing any rain...it wouldn't hurt to throw in a CYA chance anytime closer to home from after sunset Saturday through all of Sunday...for 'excitement' purposes. But for the most part any rain, at this point, will be of the light and widely scattered variety. Nothing worth changing plans over. But this is going to be watched, contingent upon the evolution of the yet to exist system.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Ida the Indestructible" Haunts Puerto Rico

(waterspout near Shuttle Columbia...many years ago)
Thought the "I" word was over and done with? Well not so for the folks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "Ida the Indestructible" has carried its ashes into portions of the Caribbean. Remember the other day when I mentioned that the remnants would be way out in the Atlantic east of Miami (?)...well it didn't stop there. Flood watches are up for all of Puerto Rico for all of today. From last I saw...they are currently on their second wettest November ever up to this point in time of the month. Just some interesting factoids I wanted to share, now closer to home.

Might as well take yesterday's charts and run them through a copy machine, as today will be an instant replay of yesterday...cloud, wind, rain, and temperature wise. And while we're at it, save those dimes because we'll need them to run more copies for Wednesday, Thursday, and most of Friday as well. Low temperatures will moderate somewhat inland overnight, but the immediate coast will stay totally the same with the low between 68-71 and the high between 76-79. The high temperature each day is very much contingent upon how much of the clouds will be around during the noon-3pm hours. The more clouds..the cooler it will be. Tomorrow may actually be the most likely to be a degree or two cooler, namely because those high level clouds that have been mentioned to be moving in for days now may very well become a reality. We'll be under, or very close to, the southern subtropical jet stream branch which should spread a lot of high level cirrus clouds overhead thus shutting out the sun from its greatest beaming potential. These clouds will be a function of the jet stream itself as well as the deteorating frontal boundary to our west spreading the moisture associated with it (well aloft) overhead.

There actually is a cold front in the extreme western Florida Panhandle this morning, but it will never make it here courtesy of high pressure building eastward across the Gulf faster and stronger than the front can assert itself. Thus the high pressure will continue to reign supreme through Thursday. After Thursday things get 'fun' (or at least a tad more interesting).

Seems a low pressure system may very well start to form in the extreme NW Gulf in the next few days and move east along the Gulf shores area...finally migrating the cold front into the Central Peninsula Saturday through Sunday. No cold air behind this one...just a lot of clouds, maybe some rain showers, and brief wind shifts around every angle of the compass. But when all is said and done, by Monday we'll be right back to where we started. I think by Thursday morning the upcoming system will be much more worth elaborating on.

And yet further out?! The crystal ball is foreboding another not so great weekend in store (already assuming this upcoming one won't be)...this time in the form of much cooler/cold air (depending on what one considers cold). So there are some things to look into the future for...but for the next 3 days it looks like we're good to go.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Will it REALLY Clear For Today's Launch?




So what happend to all that blue sky? (you ask). It's still there, just above this deck of stratocumulus clouds clouds hanging over all of East Central Florida between us on the ground and the blue sky above it. The big complexity for today is attempting to determine if the clouds will clear enough for ample launch viewing. The clear skies came to an abrupt end between 2-3am as a deck of stratocumulus moved in over almost the entire Florida east coast at the same time. And its been here ever since, and as of 8:45am doesn't show signs of going anywhere fast. Last nights temperature bottomed out at 67 on the porch as a result of the blanket of clouds moving in, so thermally speaking it's pretty nice out there today. Inland, it was a good 10 degrees cooler.

But will the clouds remain? That's the $100,000 question to which I'm sure all the launch forecasters are sweating bullets over. As of this writing, the official forecast is looking 'predominantly' good..but not entirely. In my blog though, for the sake of having the opportunity to disagree by virtue of 'freedom of speech' without the political hammer coming down on me, I'm going to say the clouds will still be around. You can see from the little graphic above how the low level moisture is even more concentrated just off the coast, and per those little arrows higher values are pointing the more concentrated moisture (clouds) in our direction.

After looking at what meager resources are available on this little home based PC with Windows ME on it...I'm slowly convincing myself that the clouds may very well be here to stay. The only irony in the whole thing is that from all appearances from various models, if the clouds are going to make a decent break at all today it will be within one hour before to one hour after the scheduled launch time. That would be a breath of fresh air for all those officially involved. They're giving it a 70% "go" right now..but even as of right now I'm going 50/50. As for viewing in the south end of the county, not as good even if it does go. So this begs the question, "will that break be enough?". For NOW..I'm committing to "no"..at least not enough for great viewing (that is, even if it goes it won't be a 'Kodak moment').

Unrelated, I've also included a temperature graphic of the surface temperature this morning which shows the early morning temperatures by color. If you look REAL close you can see that the extreme east tip of the Cape indeed was the warm spot over night for Central Florida. We eked that one of by barely a hair..and one had to be east of Merritt Island to experience it (the 'warmer' temperature). What's more..today's forecast high temperature could be affected as well as the launch if the clouds move in. But that won't really be all so bad, 'cause there will be very little wind (less than 10mph)...so all in all it will be comfortable regardless with a high no cooler than 74.

For most of the rest of the week, still expecting some of those 'mares tails' (high cirrus clumps) to start streaming overhead by Wednesday as the southern branch jet stream streaks overhead from the California Baja, across the GOM (Gulf of Mexico), and directly overhead most of the state. As for the lower clouds, by Wednesday those will come and go in mid-range unforecastable amounts. Heck, we're having a hard enough time trying to figure out if they'll be around early this afternoon let alone if they'll be around 2 days from now. But I think we can suffice it to say, that unless one really cares more about 'things' other than clouds..there's not much to look out for. That is to say, rain is on the low end to nil threat. That's not to say that there's a low end 5 percent chance that somewhere in East Central Florida will experience a brief shower, but as of this writing that appears to be it through Wednesday.

So is this a kind of 'cheezy' forecast? You bet! But on the more affirmative side, we can delve into the temperature outlook. For the coast, regardless of what the clouds do, we are very much proceeding with that "70s" outlook from the other day. That being, the immediate coast is going to be right around 70 in the morning and in the upper 70s in the afternoon pretty much all week.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Photo Picture Perfect

(this guy seems to be saying something...)

Sunny, pleasant, nice...you name it, you got it. What's there to say when there's nothing to talk about? Absolutely nothing. Pleasant days and cool nights for two more days solid.

The low again got into the lows to mid 50s inland and hovered right around 60 along the coast. By tomorrow morning the morning lows will pick up a few degrees to be followed by slighlty warming mornings all areas by Wednesday morning. The winds today will probably be less than 10mph everywhere and Monday as well.

Don't anticipate there will much of anything worth mentioning until Wednesday morning, so until then the posts will brief. Have a great day!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Goodbye "Nor'-Ida"! 70s To Reign Supreme!

(sunrise at the Cocoa Beach Pier)
Picture perfect weather is in store for East Central Florida for several days to come. In somewhat classic fashion, the immediate coast (aka - east of A1A) never got below 60 degrees last night. Areas west of the rivers didn't 'scape out quite as nicely with lows in the lower 50s. Most areas across the Central portion of the state were generally in the mid-50s though, so overall not a bad way at all to start what will be a 'chamber of commerce' weekend.

Under almost cloudless skies, we will likely get up to around 77 today at the heat of the day, with areas around Orlando flirting with the big 8-0. And such will be the case for the entire upcoming week. In fact, by Wednesday the coast may be in the 70s round the clock. Low in the very low 70s and high in the upper 70s. You might notice today that if you are in a wind protected area facing south it will feel much warmer, and if you are in a north facing area in the shade it will feel cooler...

The wind today should be out of the NW-NNW at about 15mph...but again near calm over night. By Wednesday, though, a pretty steady east wind will have set up (which will keep those overnight lows warmer and daytime highs cooler)...thus a very small temperature difference between day and night. Along with those east winds will be patches of low-mid level clouds, but for the most part these will be of little impact to anyone other than the most tentative sky watcher.

Although some models are hinting at some very light, low topped showers associated with these clouds patches, I'm leaving that mention out for now. That's a good 4 days away, and being as their impact will be minimal at most, I thought it better to just leave showers out of the outlook until timing of any such activity can be ascertained. Enjoy, and relish in the fact that we're not one of those 10s of thousands still without power in Virginia due to the effects of "Nor'Ida"...speaking of which is slowly meandering away from the U.S. coast, and if you can believe it, is forecast to be 'centered' way east of, all places, Miami by late Wednesday...but we are talking WAY east.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

O' Happy Day...Blue Skies Are on the Way



We can finally breath a sigh of relief! We can put the kabash on the nasties..over, done, book closed, the End! Just look outside which by the time you read this I'm sure you already have. See the blue stuff up there? Get used to it because it looks like we'll be seeing a lot of it for perhaps a full week. There are hints that low clouds could make a come back late this afternoon, but I'm going to favor the side of optimism and go with the all's clear. You can see from the visible satellite image that those low clouds aren't all that far away really. But I think that with some somewhat drier air filtering down the peninsula during the course of the day and with N'Easter Ida drifting ESE that those clouds won't be able to make a come back.

Also included above is the early morning temperatures across the state. As you can see, they were pretty uniform across the boards 'cept up in the Panhandle where you'd expect it to be cooler anyway this time of year.

For today, seems that with the coastal low lingering off the mid-Atlantic and not moving much during the course of the day that we will maintain some frisky northwest (NW) winds throughout the day, but nothing all that bad. They might pick up a notch during the early-mid afternoon as just over head they are still pretty darned strong, and some of the those could mix down to the floor. But overall, looks like to be a very nice day, with a high around 70-73 degrees.

Tonight, although temperatures will fall, even the coldest locales probably won't get below 52 degrees. The extreme immediate coast may not get below 60-64 degrees as the northerly winds blow across the warmer waters of the Indian and Banana Rivers.

As we go into the weekend both thumbs are up. Skies to remain mostly clear with a few higher clouds moving in late in the weekend, with temperatures on the mend. Morning lows will again be much cooler west of the rivers, but the coast will probably never fall below 63 and never get warmer than 78. Not much more to write about really...not for quite a while. Although there is some skepticism in the longer range for rain showers to make a showing from Wednesday on, we can leave that possibility for another day. In closure, as we move into later Monday and points on out, it looks like the southern branch of the jet stream will be falling into a typical El Nino position, that being streaking from WSW to ENE across the GOM (Gulf of Mexico)..and almost directly overhead. This usually results in periods of high cirrus clouds and beautiful sunsets. If you head to the beach this weekend (all thumbs up for you if you want to actually go in the water)...just be advised that some dangerous rip currents could be around..and there might be some decent surf as long period swells come in as that coastal low moves away and gradually becomes by a faded memory (or nightmare if you live along the N. Carolina/Virgina coats). Want to see snow anytime soon? Head toward SW Kansas late Sunday and into Monday...:-). Not touching thay territory until Tornado Season rolls around.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Virgina and NC Take A Pounding - As We Clear Out





Above you can see a few areas that have been outlined. Primarily, I wanted to point out the position of the coastal low and high pressure to the north of that. The pressure gradient between the two is what's causing tropical storm force gusts along the immediate coasts of North Carolina and Virginia early this morning. I've also highlighted in black the areas that I think will be MOST impacted overall from this setup through tomorrow...at least. The low is moving very little to none as of this time, so those folks are really in for a ride. Lots of erosion, power outages, and inland flooding...all with the temperature in the 50s...YUCK.

Locally, an associated cold front finally dragged its heals through around 3-4am. Behind the front, as you can see from the satellite image, is a substantial amount of low clouds. We did get that tad bit of clearing yesterday...if not almost clear around sunset...but as was surmised the clearing was short-lived and followed by a dense overcast within an hour after sunset. And such was the case all night...as it will be much of today. There could be some good breaks off and on during the course of the day...but the best chance of the whole mess clearing out will be sometime between 3-4pm. I think we'll be very lucky to even see 70 degrees today. Cold air is being advected (transported) down the state under a healthy dose of NW winds. And with all the clouds around we'll be hard pressed to get a substantial amount of heating to boost the mercury in the thermometer up to the 7-0 notch. Just exactly when the clouds will fully clear out is a bit up in the air, but I'm going to err on the side of optimism (for a change)..and say by 4pm it'll be breaking up, if not sooner.

I'm going to close the windows tonight 'cause it's going to feel a bit chilly with the winds holding up to around 10mph overnight. Because of the wind fairly uniform in strength and direction across all of East-Central Florida the temperature variations won't be all that great Friday morning. ..I'm guessing somewhere around 54 along the immediate coast and maybe 51 west of the Indian River. The big morning temperature differences will be realized more on Saturday and Sunday mornings as the wind really lets up and the atmosphere decouples over night, with Sunday morning being the biggy as far as differences go. But the thing is, by 10am most locales will even out and be quite nice with highs in the mid 70s on Saturday and Sunday. The wind doesn't look like it's going to swing around to an easterly component with any vigor until at least Tuesday, hence any chance of sprinkles induced by onshore winds (and associated clouds)...appears to be out of the question until AT LEAST then..and maybe much much later.

There is not a storm system in sight right now that will impact east central Florida for possibly a week now. So once these clouds clear out and the temperatures moderate there will be little to write about. Hmmm...I guess that's a good thing. Have to think of nice things to write about for a change :-)

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ghost of "Ida" to Haunt the Outer Banks


As you can see per the attached graphics, the center of Ida's 'spooky' circulation still lingers near Tallahassee as of this writing. During the course of the day these remnants will drift E-ENE to off the extreme SE Georgia coast by late afternoon. Locally, a series of little pre-frontal troughs will pass over the area today ahead of a cold front which is waiting in the wings near the eastern GOM (Gulf of Mexico). It looks like the folks to see the worst of Ida's ghostly apparition will be those living on the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina and extreme southeast Virgina...lasting into the weekend. Their upcoming conditions will make the nagging on shore flow that we had look like a walk in the park in comparison. They'll be getting near (but for the most part not quite) tropical storm force gusts and lots-o-rain thrown in for good measure. Actually, even though Ida is no more, it's the pressure gradient between the remnant low and its merger with another low over the western Atlantic..along with high pressure to the north of those systems... that will generate the healthy dose of strong winds.

For us locally in East Central Florida, the biggest forecast challenge for the next 36 hours is cloud coverage. I've included above the infrared satellite image (since it was nearly still dark as I started typing a visible image would show nothing but blackness). You can see all those big blobs off gray which have been outlined. Those areas are clouds, clouds, clouds...moving this way on the back edge of the broad mid-level circulation associated with the "I" word (grrr...Ida).

Seems straightforward enough doesn't it? The clouds will edge this way and we'll be cloudy, right? I'm not totally sold on this notion, definitely not in full. In the shorter term though (i.e. for the course of the daylight hours)...I think a lot of these clouds will mix out over the peninsula, especially over the eastern half of the state, as the sun beams down during the late morning to mid-afternoon hours. With full 'heating' in place some of these clouds could 'mix out' and generate partly cloudy skies. Not bad. However, come about an hour before sunset and without Old Sols help any longer, the clouds may thicken. What this amounts to is that the worst of sky conditions will occur overnight...and during the time that the actual cold front will pass through as well. Will it rain today?...hmmm...another poser. As I look at radar right now, it does indicate a patch of showers moving in from the Central part of the state, but I think that most of these radar echoes (showers) are not even reaching the ground and will manifest themselves more as enhanced cloud cover than anything else. A detectable sampling of cloud spittle might be detectable at just about any time, but measurable amounts are close to nil.

So, the cold front will go through sometime near or shortly after sunrise Thursday morning, then cold air advection begins. We might find it hard pressed to actually break 70 degrees tomorrow under partly cloudy skies and breezy NW-NNW winds...but given the wind will be blowing across waterways warmer than that let's give it a '73' during the peak of the day (1-2pm). We'll quickly fall below the 70 degree mark though within 1 hour of sunset.

Probably tomorrow's discussion will focus mostly on the temperature forecast, as from what I'm seeing now for Friday and Saturday mornings (the two coolest in the mid-long term)..areas east of the Banana River may very well be spared the worst by a substantially noticeable amount...especially on Saturday morning. But for those living west of the Banana River...a good sweater will definitely be in the offing for those mornings. After Saturday, even better news. Could be some stellar days ahead with comfortable temperatures, decreasing winds, and partly cloudy skies (discarding the possiblity at this point of showers being advected onshore once the wind regains an easterly component on Sunday).

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The "T" Word Made Public - Low End Threat



Got an early start (6:45am) to today's post. Confidence level in the short term (today into tonight) is fairly high with lingering "Ida System" effects remaining problematic through most of Thursday. Although on The Weather Channel as I write, they are saying the system is moving NW (?), Ida is clearly moving ENE per running a satellite loop from this meager home based computer (see, being high-tech isn't always all it's made up to be). You can see the satellite image I've posted with the "L" on it indicating the center of circulation. That was about an hour ago, but just before starting the post the center is now straddling the coast (uh hum.."landfall" so to speak). There is no weather other than wind and clouds with this feature as all the wet stuff has moved well inland. You can see a band of showers/storms out ahead of it though extending well into the Gulf via the radar picture. This is the front that is developing as the storm is probably already extra-tropical. The hurricane center is deliberately not alluding much to this (its extra-tropical nature), because they don't want to mislead folks living along the Gulf Coast into thinking that its threat is any less (threat?!). This storm is what the media has been hungry for all hurricane season...but about all they're getting is hors dourves.

For today, cloud cover looks to be a given; AND, the 60% chance of rain that The Weather Channel is mentioning seems to me at this time to be TOTALLY out of the ballpark. Today will again be windy ...but not as much as yesterday. The wind direction will become more Southeasterly with time and eventually due south around sunset. But a 60% chance of rain and/or thunderstorms today? Not going to happen. At least not from Central Brevard and points south. In all fairness, areas within our National Weather Service..service area..which includes areas near Daytona and Lake County will see this 60% before days end. It'll be a close one for us...but don't think it will come to fruition until over night.

You can also see from the graphic out of the Storm Prediction Center that they are indeed mentioning the "T" word (tornado) for the potential from Tampa along the Florida west coast up to the Big Bend. I alluded to this area having the greatest potential two days ago...and surprisingly the potential has indeed developed and being made public info. It was also mentioned that any such "t" event would be low end, as indeed instability is severely lacking and not in sync with the helicity values also shown above. As you can see, the area of greatest helicity coincides nicely with the tornado threat area..but all of the instability is well off to the east of that area. If they were stacked together we'd be talking a much different story. In fact, we can take these words straight for the National Weather Services mouth:

TONIGHT...LOW LEVEL SHEAR/HELICITY ARE FORECAST TO INCREASE AS DEEP LOW PRESSURE (FORMERLY IDA) APPROACHES. EXPECT LARGE AREA OF RAIN AND EMBEDDED STORMS TO SPREAD EAST ACROSS NORTH FLORIDA AHEAD OF UPPER SYSTEM. WILL HIGHLIGHT VERY LOW THREAT FOR A TORNADO NORTH OF ORLANDO BUT INSTABILITY WILL BE LACKING...WEAK LAPSE RATES AND MARGINAL CAPE. HIGHEST THREAT FOR ROTATING STORMS SHOULD BE ALONG THE GULF COAST.

So there we have it. The biggest impact from the combination of the front and the low seems to be that it will occur in east central Florida beyond this aforementioned time period, that being during the pre-sunrise hours of Wednesday until mid-afternoon. This will come in the form of extensive cloud coverage and scattered to numerous rain showers. I'm not going to go so far as to mention the "thunder" word either, but that is with somewhat low confidence especially as we work toward sunrise Wednesday. Seems ironic that, my being the severe weather fiend , I'm downplaying all of this...but regardless, we have to face reality. Additionally, the winds will decrease substantially and shift to southwest to nearly westerly direction for all day Wednesday. Essentially, tomorrow still looks like a washout, but not absolutely, totally, and completely...but I wouldn't be looking for the sun to show its face much for sure.

So what about after tomorrow afternoon? Glad you asked because there are some complexities that come in to play. There actually is yet another low pressure system over the Atlantic that is moving west toward the Bahamas and will continue to do so throughout today. "Remnant Ida" will get sheared and torn apart as today goes on..its debris being scattered through the SE U.S. in the form of downright rain over Georgia, Alabama, and eventually South Carolina..while the clouds will cover Florida. These two systems will merge off the coast somewhere between east of Daytona to Jacksonville about 100 miles offshore later Wednesday into Thursday. Just how fast this merger will move out..and its residual "backwash" affects impact us locally is the problem. It could remain cloudy and breezy on Thursday (winds by then out of the NNW) with a cool hint to the temperature...and some models are hinting that the sole recipient of any potential rain from this backwash will be, of all places, East Central Brevard County! How's that for picking a needle out of a haystack? (compliments of the NAM and GFS models). My gut is telling me that this precipitation field will actually only exist off shore, so we 'should' be in the clear of the rain...but be advised that the potential does exist for lingering rain showers Thursday...perhaps even into Friday.

The weekend at this point appears to be essentially rain free...but as winds start to swing around once again to a northeasterly component the coast could again see some spritzes of rain as it will be moisture laden from these aforementioned low pressure systems. This is at the worst end of the spectrum though and will be monitored as all of these "yet to be" events develop. On the other end of the spectrum we could have a gorgeous weekend..particularly after noon Saturday if not beginning Friday.

So for today, expect more wind (just not quite as strong) from the southeast to SSE.. cloudy..maybe a spritz of rain off and on but nothing enough to actually collect in the old rain bucket until after sunset (unless you go further north toward Daytona to Jacksonville and points inland from there). Tomorrow morning we could be waking up to an entirely different day in more ways than one.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Pick a Track - Any Track


You can see any of the 29 (yes 29!) possible forecast tracks of Ida above. As of this writing the storm has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and so it shall be for the rest of its life, if even. The storm will likely become extra-tropical by later this evening if not sooner.

I liked this description so well I decided to copy/paste this : "THE STORM WILL BE INTERACTING WITH AN UPPER TROUGH/FRONTAL SYSTEM APPROACHING FROM THE WEST. THIS INTERACTION WILL BEGIN WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS EXTRA-TROPICAL TRANSITION. ESSENTIALLY THIS MEANS THAT THE STORM WILL BEGIN LOSING ITS TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND START RESEMBLING A MORE TYPICAL WINTER-TYPE STORM. THE BIG QUESTION IS JUST HOW RAPIDLY THIS TRANSITION WILL OCCUR. THIS PROCESS APPEARS NOW THAT IT WILL BE A BIT SLOWER TO OCCUR AND IDA MAY APPROACH THE NORTH-CENTRAL GULF COAST WITH AT LEAST SOME TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS"

Now, that was written last night, but still appears to be most like what is now occurring.

So far this morning, not one recent model is depicting the precipitation field that is now occurring right along the Gulf shores of Florida (also shown above). The reality is that there is more rain there than what the models forecast, even as recently as morning model runs. The closest model was the NAM and what I'm heavily leaning toward at this time.

In the short term (today), expect more of the same yet even breezier to flat out windy, especially along the immediate coast. The chances of rain will again be low as hard as it is to believe. Yet even as I type a spritz just came down...that given there's always a chance of more of the same today, but anything to collect in the bucket is very unlikely until...(read on_.
It's worth noting that we did have a one minute shower in Canaveral last night around 8pm, and accompanying that shower were very hearty wind gusts. Strong enough to blow lawn furniture into the pool! Those rain showers transport the winds that are just over our heads down to the surface and what you get is pretty darned good wind gusts as a result. Overall, though..the chance of rain today is minimal again, but that changes as we head toward the midnight hours. I expect to see more clouds today overall though with the overall coverage being the partly cloudy to broken sky type and not yet totally overcast.

Tomorrow , especially late in the day is where things become more complex as ever! By late in the day the wind may start to die down and shift to a much more southerly direction, but in hand with that the chance of rain begins to increase markedly. In fact, as things look now Wednesday may be an near washout (on the worst end of the spectrum).

I feel a tad bad for the broadcasters (like The Weather Channel) who sent a crew to the panhandle to cover the impending doom and destruction because they ain't gonna see it. Also, some storm chasing friends were seriously considering deployment to the Panhandle to catch video footage and sample the storm, but it looks like that would be mostly a washout. Perhaps they've since changed their minds.

Now, if one solely relies on the NAM model as I alluded to, Ida will not even make a landfall!How's that for a fly-in-the-ointment?!. Instead, the storm merges with a yet to be seen (developing) frontal boundary , with the center of circulation actually drifting back to the south as the front approaches peninsular Florida. I'm going to go back a moment to reflect on what I suppositioned several days ago now, that being the potential for low-end tornadoes. It's not out of the question that there could be a few, mainly around the big bend later today, with a transition to an area as far south as Tampa on the west coast by early Wednesday. It seems that a sort of pseudo warm front will precede the 'cool front', accompanied by a wind shift to the Southwest (FINALLY). It's along this warm front that the chance of those nasty little rotating storms will be manifested on Wednesday so just keep your ears perked a tad in the future just in case the possibility becomes public.

Further down the road into Thursday also becomes problematic. Namely, just how soon will Ida be out of the picture all together? There is talk on The Weather Channel of the system moving up the U.S. east coast and being a big weather maker for the mid-Atlantic region (per the GFS model mostly), but I'm not yet sold on this idea. Strong high pressure still bridges the gap between here and there, and I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. Ida could well linger in the Gulf..and even drift SSW away from us...or completely washout over the state as a big slosh of moisture laden gunk..making Thursday yet another washout.

Isn't weather fun?! Full of ifs, ands, AND buts. Not so cut and dry as it may seem when hearing about it through the media. In closure, as has been the case, don't be sold entirely on anything you hear. These storms don't know math and definitely don't know the physics equations that go into computing their future paths...in fact, they don't 'know' anything nor seemingly have a vendetta against us. They just are and will be.
It's either hurry up and wait...or catch up before it's too late.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

The $100,000 Question - Hurricane Watch in Place


I've been dreading making this post for over an hour simply because of Hurricane Ida and its forecast (that is the $100K question). For the sake of brevity, today's post will focus more on East Central Florida with Ida musings to follow further down in the post (since it is not of immediate high priority for this area...if ever!). As mentioned yesterday, all forecasts seem to be purely speculative, some based on science fiction and others nonfiction. More to follow.

For today, more oh more of the same...just breezier. Strong high pressure remains stretched across the Deep South and into eastern Texas. Broad low pressure across the W. Caribbean with the focus on Ida near the Yucatan Gap. It is the pressure gradient between these two systems that's creating the wind, as has been the case for seemingly days on end. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, if for ever only a brief time.

But "will it rain today(?)" is always something one wants to know. The answer to that is low end unlikely to flat out no. Accessible moisture in the atmosphere only extends up about 6 thousand feet, and from there on out it's dry dry dry. There's just enough moisture in a very shallow layer aloft to generate flat topped, low level stratocumulus clouds...which come and go in patches as they please with no set pattern or logic.

Does this sound like yesterday? You bet. And so it will be...but today will be breezier. Unbeknownst to us in Central Florida, it's actually MUCH windier in extreme southeast Florida than here, by a good 10mph steady state winds and in gusts to boot. So we're getting off good by comparison. That's the deal for the day, windy and patchy clouds well into tonight.

Will this change soon? Not too soon, but by late Monday night going into Tuesday our chance of showers will start to show its face. A cold front is forecast to make its way into the state late Tuesday and Wednesday. It's at this time that what is left of Ida will merge with the front, and like a tidal wave wash down the state and be gone by Thursday morning..with yet more high pressure bridging across and re-establishing the pesky onshore flow. Temperatures will be affected little by the front, with only a slight cool down. To wrap it up..breezy conditions continuing..best chance of rain Monday night through Wednesday with shifting winds...then back to status quo Thursday. Of course, more elaboration will be required as we go into the early portions of this coming week.

Now Ida. First off, just for a graphical depiction of what I'm about to write, note the graphics provided at the top of this post. See how one forecast track actually takes the storm from Tampa to Cape Canaveral?! Just to clarify my point which is made below. Also, the latest Hurricane Forecast track just came out as I started today's post...interesting and not entirely out of the question by ANY means!
Sigh sigh sigh..between The Weather Channel, The Hurricane Center, a plethora of MANY forecast models, and Facebook friends I'm being inundated with more information than you'd like to know (or perhaps even care about). Suffice it say though, the possibilities are being narrowed down and somethings are becoming inevitable. The stats aren't out yet as to why the Hurricane Watch was issued for the Gulf Coast, but my guess is that it was because of high seas/tidal impacts. The places to watch especially will be where the southern tip of Louisiana has eastward facing shores to the Florida Panhandle near Pensacola as not only swells generated by the storm itself find their way to the coast..but pressure gradient winds (and eventually wind from the storm itself) have the greatest impact.

So what's all the hoopla about?

1) "Will Ida become a Cat 2 Hurricane?". I think likely for a brief time later today into tonight.

2) "How big is Ida, really?" TINY. The hurricane force winds only extend out about 15 miles from the center

3) "When will Ida make landfall, if it does?" That's the $100K question. Another one is, if it makes landfall will it still be a hurricane? I don't think it will be. It will be extratropical, but it doesn't really matter if it is or isn't because the impacts will be the same regardless. But when (?), that's a major source of discussion. Some models are a good 24-36 hours faster than the official forecast from the Hurricane Center..and many other forecasters agree with these models for a variety of legitimate reasons. But despite the timing of the system, the affects here will be about the same...and timing of those local affects remains the same as well.

4) "When will be hearing the last of Ida ...I'm sick of hearing about it(?)". By late Wednesday, we will not be hearing about Ida anymore...UNLESS..as one model suggests..the low continues up the U.S. East Coast the whole way to New Jersey!...Groan. If that indeed occurs, the "Ida" word will still be used ad naseum until there's nothing left of it but a patch of clouds!

5) "So why aren't you providing in depth analysis about the storm?" Because there's so much out there already...my input is only adding fuel to the fire of what I've already established as the great unknown. That IS my input...facts and not hypothetical, model based fiction. Additionally, and as such, the point of this blog is that anyone can read and understand what is going on...not just those strongly 'weatherwise' (meteorlogically inclined and educated).

If you turn to The Weather Channel or any news station today, expect to hear about this storm. How's that for a forecast? Forecasting the forecast broadcasts. In the meantime, hold on to your hats and prepare for a decent chance of some rain by later Tuesday - Wednesday. More to come.




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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breezy But Nice - "Un-Ideal Ida" In The Future


A classic East Central Florida fall day is in store today, characterized by breezy to sometimes gusty ENE winds and coolish afternoon temperatures. Another great day for laundry with no rain in this outlook any time soon. The strong and persistent onshore flow will continue through the weekend and into the beginning of next week as high pressure remains locked over the entire SE U.S. and broad low pressure remains over the Western Caribbean. The pressure gradient between these two areas will generate the easterly winds. Atmospheric moisture in the scheme of things is pretty meager, but enough lingers in the lowest levels to generate those stratocumulus clouds. Hard to believe that once you go about 10,000 ft up the wind is from the exact opposite direction at over 70mph...but that's indeed what we have. Today is pretty much a no-brainer, so I won't elaborate much. If you liked yesterday, you'll like today even more, as it seems there will be even less clouds. We may see the typical diurnal increase in clouds during the hours around sunset...and there could be periods of increased clouds throughout the day at just about any time, however it appears at this time that those periods will be few and far between, with the predominant condition to being widely scattered cloud conditions with sunshine the rule more than the exception. The high temperature today will struggle to reach 80 degrees (yesterday was about 81 in Canaveral for comparison's sake). In a nutshell, no appreciable change. And tomorrow will be pretty much the same...and Monday as well. But we still have 48 hours to see more precisely how Monday will pan out.

Now for Ida. This is what I love about having a blog. One can spout all their musings, knowing the thoughts will only be dispersed to a selected few (namely those who actually read it :-)!. The truth of the matter is that no one knows just exactly what the now Tropical Storm (again)...will do. Granted, we do hear the status/updated forecasts from the Hurricane Center and the media (who bases their info on the Hurricane Center), but they are in a position where the must state something affirmative without all the 'question marks' included. So what REALLY is the scoop?

As you can see by the graphic at the top...we see that the dynamical forecasts tracks don't really vary all that much...and the Hurricane Center has taken a nice average of all of them and laid it out among the masses. A lot depends on just how fast Ida makes a forward surge (if indeed it does at all). The slower the forward motion, the less likely it is to make it as far north as forecast. There are major timing issues involved between an upper level trough forecast to move across the central U.S. and Ida's forward motion and when or if they will meet up. Honestly, it's anyone's guess.

For east central Florida, at this point it doesn't matter much what the storm does. At this point it seems the worst we would see is increased clouds, continued gusty winds (from pressure gradients and not the storm itself)...and at worst some decent rain come late Tuesday-Thursday.

Ida may, in fact, become a Cat 1 hurricane by this time Sunday which is fun from a meteorological perspective. The stronger the storm gets and the faster it can make a move forward the closer to the U.S. Coast Ida will threaten. It would only behoove my credibility to make a definitive forecast on Ida's final outcome, because frankly and honestly to do so with high confidence is essentially impossible. So now you've heard it from the horses mouth, and perhaps what others in a more "public" position are not able to say. Instead, they must state their claim, and then end up with mud in their face (more than likely). Am I coping out? I don't think so...just being honest. At this point, it's sort of like a "what came first, the chicken or the egg" situation. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware of many various meteorlogical situations that could evolve due to currently existing or developing atmospheric parameters...but just which ones will develop more than others and time themselves accordingly in comparison with other ones...is what leaves the "So what will Ida do?" question up in the air.

The storm does bear watching though...just my little gem of wisdom to send on to whoever reads this; take it all with a grain of salt. Things will become more definitive as to what Ida will do come later Sunday into Monday. Maybe then I'd be more willing to lay the cards out.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

A "Fresh As All Outdoors" Day in Store




Good day for laundry! For that nice fresh, all outdoors scent. All photos above were taken around my apartment complex near the pool.

Temperatures along the immediate coast last night never fell below 72 degrees (at least not in Canaveral). But don't tell the folks "over the rivers and through the woods". Melbourne at one point was in the upper 50s if you can believe it. Pretty much take a look outside, and what you see is what you got for today. The strong high pressure centers are locked in for a few more days over the southeast quadrant of the U.S. and pulling around the northern periphery is a dry, continental air mass. It doesn't look like we'll see all the high cirrus clouds we saw yesterday, but at this point lower stratocumulus clouds could be an issue until at least noon time if not longer. They moved in sometime after midnight and have been holding fast ever since ( satellite imagery shows them extending out..well..a VERY long way). With a little mid-level support by late morning, the onshore winds might pick up a notch, so if you're driving over the causeway bridges hold fast to the steering wheel.

So when's the next chance we'll see that wet stuff falling from the sky? Hmmm..could be a while. The first real chance would be if whatever is depression Ida ever gets close enough to cause harm (not bodily)...but that is yet to be foreseen. It is of my opinion (and I stress ONLY)...that we will see very little of this storm. But note that the official long range track from the Hurricane Center does bring the storm into the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM), but I think that even with that track we won't see much. The very ultimate worst could be, as mentioned yesterday, low end tornadoes or mini-supercells...but that is a BIG stretch (and alas, but a dream at this point). More likely would be cloudy, very windy (due more from pressure gradients rather than the actual storm itself), and showery conditions.
Be it as it may, the storm is fun to watch and track at one's leisure for the time being until it emerges well off Hondorus and does something definitive.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nice Fall Day In Full Swing As Eyes Watch Ida



Nothing wrong with today as far as I can tell. Confidence level is high that rain is out of the picture today, not even a spit. The old frontal boundary that initially plagued the area for a few days had shoved well south of the immediate Central Florida area yesterday into the Florida Straits..and is now washing out entirely. In its place high pressure is arcing across the Missouri and Mississippi River Valleys and into the southeast U.S. As the high continues to build across this region the next couple of days this will place us in a N-NE, dry flow. However, the pressure gradient between the high and low pressure well to the south will create somewhat breezy winds, increasing by mid-afternoon and especially along the immediate coastal communities.

I've included above a picture of the sky yesterday as the sun was setting. It was filled with contrails and looked pretty cool. I wonder what's going on around here (maybe at Patrick AFB). We had a sonic boom earlier this morning, so something must be going on around here. Also shown is the atmospheric 'sounding' (depicted in the Skew-T diagram) of the atmosphere as sampled from the Kennedy Space Center. Essentially what it's showing is westerly winds not far over our heads, while the NE winds are trapped in the lowest 8000 ft. Those westerly winds aloft will transport high level (cirrus) debris clouds overhead today, but the low level clouds should be few a far between unlike the past few days. You can see how not to far up the lines separate way apart. This indicates very dry air just over our heads. They start to come together a bit up around 30,000 ft. which would be the level of the cirrus clouds.

As for Hurricane Ida, we have plenty of time to rest on our laurels. In fact, it is highly doubtful we would have need to make preparatory actions for the storm, even if it affects us directly. That is, other than preparing for very wet and unusually breezy conditions. The worst of Ida would probably be realized in the form of an increased threat of low end tornadoes sometime mid-week next week, but that is so far out on the far end of the spectrum that it's purely wishful thinking (the storm lover in me speaking out). For now suffice it to say that any threat of conditions from Ida affecting us are extremely conditional and forecasting the future outcome of what will become of it at this point is strictly hypothetical.

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