"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
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"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".

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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