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.