"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, December 31, 2010

Happy Warm End to 2010 and New 2011

Images: First image shows warmest air just off the east coast, the warmest very close to the coast from near Vero to Miami, with the 60F isotherm running from near Daytona Beach SSW toward Naples this morning at sunrise with 60F degrees east and south of that line. The other image shows a forecast for this afternoon with widespread 70s.

OVERNIGHT: The low temperature last night at Patrick AFB occurred around 10pm at 62F (the high there yesterday was 66.6F at 3pm). This falls in line with my previous line of thinking for the days to come. It is interesting that last night it got down to about 62F there (and on my porch) with a light east wind. After midnight the wind switched to the SE and the temperature went up two degrees and held steady the remainder of the night under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Meanwhile, inland temperatures dipped into the low 50s with 40s across much of North Florida away from either coast.

TODAY: Pretty much the same saga continues today. The weak inverted trough along the Gulf Stream is washing out and now only remains from roughly Cape Canaveral and off to the NNE-NE and into the Atlantic, along which some rain showers and denser cloud cover are occurring well offshore. Otherwise, the atmosphere has changed little in the mid-levels with a strong inversion persistent at around 5000ft , above which the wind is from the WSW-W, but below is from the SE which is ushering in the warmer, more moist air at the surface.

As previously mentioned, the only clincher in the forecast is high temperatures directly related to cloud cover and the cool Atlantic waters for those close to the shore line. Last satellite animation shows some patches of mid-level clouds heading this way in scattered mode, with the stratocumulus hugging the east central coast right where the last of the inverted trough exists there. With us already off to a good start in the temperatures department, believe that diurnal heating will be enough to break 70F today (it is already from West Palm and south at 9AM), with a high today right along the coast leveling off in the 72F range and holding steady due to the influence of the close proximity of the colder Atlantic, but from Sebastian Inlet or Vero Beach south mid-70s (along A1A) will become a more likely reality. All inland areas away from the ocean's cooling effect will also see widespread mid-70s approaching low end upper 70s. Believe the stratocumulus will make their most assured break (assuming they do) by noon through 4pm just before, during, and just after the time the sun is at its peak, but we may once again see them develop by later in the afternoon. At a minimum, it will be partly cloudy this afternoon. Wind will be SE at 7-12mph today.

TONIGHT: Looks like the stage is set for a very stagnant temperature regime under a continuing SE flow which will aid in leveling off the playing field in that department. Overnight lows along the coast in the low to mid 60s from near Daytona and everywhere south east of US1, and more likely along A1A with mid 50s inland. Afternoon highs near Port Canaveral in the low 70s toward Sebastian but warmer everywhere else. Clouds remain an iffy issue, especially along the coast, but do believe we'll be seeing more sun than clouds Saturday.

NEW YEARS DAY: Lows in the low 60s again along A1A and cooler inland with some clouds off and on. Nothing new and a nice way to bring in the New Year.

SUNDAY: Just wanted to highlight this day as it could be the warmest one in a while with more mid-upper 70s everywhere including the immediate coastline. A dynamically challenged 'cold front' looks to cross Central Florida early Monday, but in advance of the boundary high pressure to the east of the state will sink a tad south well in advance with the result being a SSW-SW wind all day Sunday which will permit afternoon high temperatures to be most notably warmer along the A1A corridor from that of today and tomorrow. Do believe we will see some high and mid-level clouds simultaneously but despite the clouds the temperatures will be warmer, unless of course there is an overcast sky most of the day. This will be re-evaluated as that time approaches. But for now, the potential stands for a warm Sunday everywhere.

MONDAY-JANUARY 6th: The only affect the passing front will induce is for a few cooler morning low temperatures (upper 50s as opposed to low 60s along the coast, cooler inland), with afternoon highs right around the 70F degree mark. A brief period of NW winds will follow the front, that will quickly veer toward the NE-E as high pressure again follows the same path as the southern extent of the average storm track, namely off the North Carolina coast. As written yesterday, it still looks like the next week's average storm track will be from Central to Southern California toward the ENE and off the NE U.S. coast. Southern California could be in for two more bouts of rain during this period, but of short duration compared to what has been experienced. Also expect to hear a lot over the press about ice becoming an issue near the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi River Valley areas as the battle between the relatively warm air mass over the SE U.S. continues waging with the much cooler air mass of Pacific Origin across that playing field.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Awaited Florida Warm Up

Images: Very weak inverted trough off/along the SE Florida Coast, strong subsidence inversion, and cloud cover make for only a minor high temperature forecast problem today. Note the warm, 'orangy' colors along the Gulf Stream, making up the inverted trough. The blue clouds shown are high clouds moving from west to east.

SYNOPSIS: As noted yesterday, surface high pressure that was over the state yesterday would slide eastward and into the Western Atlantic, with a more prevalent center located over the Eastern Carolinas. But, a portion of the ridge axis would remain over Central Florida which did occur and certainly seems to be the case as of late this morning as well. Surface winds along the axis remain from the N or NW while further south...from West Palm to Miami the prevalent ESE-SE flow has become established south of the axis and where warmer temperatures are found (low 70F degree readings already). Meanwhile, along and north of the axis the temperature is in the upper 50s and low 60s. Additionally, a weak inverted trough axis along and near the Gulf Stream (more of a thermal trough of warmer air) can be found in the image above as indicated by the orange coloring. To complicate things a bit more, a weak short wave trough which troubled the SE Texas coastal areas yesterday has moved east through Louisiana and the Northern Gulf and is now crossing the western Florida panhandle which is adding some mid-level moisture above the inversion level. We can see that the high clouds in the satellite image indicated by the blue colors in the satellite picture are in the process of clearing from West to East late this morning; however, low end mid-level cloudiness has developed as the warm air advection from the southeast over-rides colder air at the surface and along a stout inversion located between 3500-5000ft (where the most extensive clouds are now). The moisture level here is being enforced as the short wave passes to our north, but that should be well to the north and east of Central Florida by day's end, which would help to shut down the cloud producing machine. Additionally, expect those warmer temperatures just to the south and SSE to gradually advect north ward during the course of the day and all night tonight toward Daytona and eventually Jax Beach.

TODAY: The only 'challenge' if we can call it that, concerns how warm the temperature will get this afternoon over portions of Central Florida. The two factors at play involve not only the timing on when (or if) the clouds will clear but also the affect the cold Atlantic Shelf Waters will have in conjunction with an eventual easterly component wind shift. Also to consider is the low sun angle at this time of year which will be detrimental in burning off the lower clouds. No doubt, it looks like the high clouds are on the way out and will be gone in time before the sun reaches its peak angle today, but will it be soon enough to reach 70 degrees over most of Central Florida? Don't think so. In yesterday's post I thought the high temperature today would be in the mid-upper 60s and that is my line of thinking for today, despite the 70s I'm seeing on The Weather Channel, at least for my location. SE Florida is already in the low 70s, so their concern will be how high into the 70s it will be. This is all of minor concern really, considering the cold temperatures of days now past.

In essence, expecting partly to occasionally mostly cloudy skies today with the sun peaking out off and on throughout the day, but not enough to break the 70F degree isotherm north of Melbourne Beach...but it will be close. Actually, the Weather Channel just showed Melbourne at 69F while Merritt Island is 59F. My porch was reading 57F 10 minutes ago! So there you go.

Concerning the wind, believe the ridge axis over the Central Peninsula will break down at the surface enough to eventually allow an easterly trajectory wind to establish underneath the inversion of very light strength (5-8mph) by later today which will be important in regards to the overnight low temperature tonight along the coast.

TONIGHT: ESE-SE wind to develop up and down the Florida East Coast keeping overnight low temperatures in the upper 50s east of US1. Continued influx of warm air advection from the Caribbean will aid to break down the inversion to the degree that the mid-level clouds will thin out from botton up appreciably after dark, hopefully "appreciably" even before that time. Yes, it would be much appreciated, thank you very much.

FRIDAY-NEW YEAR'S DAY: As written two days ago, the only challenge in days ahead will be stratocumulus clouds which will act to inhibit higher temperatures than would be otherwise recognized. But that is of minor relevance, considering that overnight low temperatures might not even get below 60F east of US1 New Years Eve into the New Day with afternoon high temperatures along the Barrier Islands in the low 70s there due to light onshore winds blowing across the now very much cooled Atlantic near shore waters, but in the mid-low end upper 70s west of US1 and south of Vero Beach or Ft Pierce where the Gulf Stream is closer to the coast. No rain for at least the next 10 days as it stands now, with periods of clouds being the only 'issue'.

FIRST WEEK OF 2011: Also as written yesterday, high pressure at the mid-levels located over the extreme SE states and at times only over Florida will hold fast as the storm track basically lies from Central to Southern California and runs toward the ENE-NE toward the Great Lakes region and sometimes sinks into the NE and even mid-Atlantic states. By early in the first week of January Florida will be the sole recipient of 70 degree readings, living up to what it is known to do best. Being the warmest spot in the country during the winter!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jack Frost Makes A Chillin' Pass Over Florida

Jack Frost might be " Chillin' and Killin'" but he seemed more 'meek and mild' along the coast. I guess the agriculturally inclined would be quick to differ though. Photos from my parking lot this Wednesday morning in Cape Canaveral.

TODAY: "Old Man Winter" has left, but he forgot his little 'bad seed' son, Jack Frost. With the first beams of "Little Miss Sunshine" though, Jack was long gone and the seemingly long awaited warm up we've been pining for began. It's going to be somewhat of a slow start from a Cape Canaveral line to Tampa Bay and points north, but south of this line the warm up has begun in much more detectable-to-the-skin fashion. But no matter how we consider it, this is far cry from the past three days. Was it only THAT long?!! Seemed like en entire Arctic Ice Age's worth of cold air.

STATS and SYNOPSIS: Another morning, that's two in a row, where all the major reporting hubs (climate sites) for East Central Florida reported record low temperatures, with Orlando totally blowing their previous low for the date of 34F of the charts by a full 10 degrees at 24F at the International Airport. If there's two places I'd never want to live in Central Florida it would have to be either Scottsmoor or Plymouth (Orange County) where this morning's low was 19F and 15F(!!!) respectively. Seems every where has its pluses and minuses, as these same locales get some good summer thunderstorms as well in the summer. Otherwise and as anticipated, frost was widespread this morning.

High pressure centered over the peninsula all evening will remain much the same all day and only slowly begin to reposition to just offshore after dark with a remnant low level axis extending across the same region as where I delineate the 60F degree isotherm to be situated this afternoon in the next paragraph (from Cape Canaveral to Tampa) . As such, winds to remain light and variable, dictated mainly by proximity to bodies of water (the Atlantic is just about at 60F right now by the way too) vs. where favorable pockets of land can heat up dictated by the vegetation, or lack thereof, that exists in an given large area uniformly. This high pressure circulation will eventually make a break from the land proper over night but for the most part the wind will remain light and northerly variable with temperature ranges as described below.

Did you see the smoke yesterday from the burns in South Brevard County?! From what I understand, it was about 13,000 acres worth of intentional burning, but it sure is causing some problems for anyone located downwind of the burn from South Brevard to maybe even as far southeast and downwind as West Palm Beach. Much of the smoke is trapped below the inversion level with particulates being encapsulated by the moistening air mass below it. Visibilities were greatly reduced in some locales for motorists creating hazardous driving conditions, but a mighty neat looking sunset for some last night. We observed from only Melbourne yesterday and it was obviously some serious burning was going on, although we did not know at the time if it was controlled or out of control.

FORECAST: To cut to the forecast chase, the big headline is "Warmer Everywhere!" for the state of Florida. Looks like the 60F degree isotherm for a maximum temperature today is going to be tickling the heart strings for those located somewhere around Cape Canaveral to Titusville this afternoon westward toward North Tampa Bay with widespread mid-50s further north, and mid to even some upper 60s further south. But the majority of the Central Strip along the Beach Line (SR 528) will be around 60F degrees this afternoon. The warmest spot will be from near West Palm to Miami along the east coast where 70F will be only a fraction away of not reached.

TONIGHT - THE WEEKEND: Progressively warmer most assuredly noteworthy overnight tonight as previously forethought, as a very light onshore wind component attempts to establish. Believe that low temperatures right along the coast will be realized around 3-4AM and then level off or maybe even go up a degree or two after that time frame, but the majority of Central Florida will dip down back to the low-mid 40s by sunrise. The coast will stay in the 50s overnight though.

Afternoon high temperatures Thursday will be in the mid-upper 60s everywhere with low 70s over South Florida. Sky conditions will be sunny with occasionally a few thin cirrus cloud streaks adding some character to otherwise blue skies and perhaps stratocumulus clouds teasing the SE Florida Coastline communities.

THURSDAY NIGHT AND BEYOND: Things (temperatures) really level off along A1A, where there will be very little difference between overnight lows and afternoon highs with lows in the low to mid 60s and highs in the low-mid 70s. The difference becomes even less by Saturday or Sunday where very close to 70F will be within reach round the clock. At this time, the onshore component, southeast wind that will take shape on Friday does not appear will have much impact as far as the afternoon high temperature is concerned as it blows across the Atlantic due to how weak it will be...but do believe the first couple of blocks close to the water's edge will feel the 'chill' by a couple of degrees lower on the thermometer. But again, it appears these 'chilly' temperatures (which will feel more like someone turned up the air conditioner more than anything else) will be of zero consequence. The same folks near the ocean will make up for it overnight with warmer overnight temperatures as opposed to those further from the shoreline and inland.

NEXT COLD FRONT?: Technically, one cold argue we'll have a 'front' pass through Central Florida early next week, but the reality is that the front which will have been located over the Panhandle will be absorbed into high pressure both ahead and behind it...and as such any notice of its presence for south and/or only Central Florida will be a shift in what already will be a light wind of 10mph or less to begin with and a period of increased high clouds...and slightly cooler afternoon temperatures. As it stands now, South and Central Florida has swung into the full bore dry season (if we weren't there already) feet first with no precipitation within sight...that is, within sound reasoning and a Crystal Ball Guestimation.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Take a Hike, Old Man Winter!

Old man winter came in with a blast.
Oh, how I wish he...
Were a thing of the past!

Every time I open the door -
Snow, sleet, wind, rush in
They're predicting more!

We crawl under the covers
And hide our heads.
Like Rip Van Winkle, I hibernate and stay in bed.

(Author: Nancy Hobock...words modified by self a bit, but it was her idea)

TODAY: "One more day of cold, me thinks in my head...covers are warm, brain is dead" is a lot of the vegetation across North and Central Florida. All one has to do is take a drive west of US1 toward I95 to see the effect the cold has already had on this part of the state, and after the past few days I hate to see what the ramifications of freezing temperatures will be by this time next week and beyond. But the "Old Man" is heading for the retirement home soon as far as Florida is concerned (which now appears is currently located over the Desert SW toward Colorado where the next cold snap and/or big snow is poised).

Locally, warm up has already began to a small (or even a few) degrees of Fahrenheit for Florida, at least as far as the immediate east coast was concerned this morning. As expected, widespread freezing temperatures were found in abundance all areas with record low temperatures reported at Daytona, Orlando, Melbourne, and Vero Beach (just to name a few) for the date. But as noted yesterday, the area along the A1A corridor was warmer than on Monday morning minus the direct advection of cold air to those along and east of A1A. There was also frost observed in many spots.

Currently, high pressure centered near Northern Alabama and Mississippi is sinking south and a bit east toward the Florida Panhandle and the mouth of the Mississippi this afternoon under abundantly clear skies. Temperatures are warming into the low to mid 50s now...with some upper 50s possible from a line running south of a Melbourne to Sarasota line, but do believe that mid-50s will be the dominant temperature regime this afternoon for all of the immediate Central Florida region. Upper 50s and lower to even mid-60s will be the rule south of this line the closer to the Keys one gets.

TONIGHT-WEDNESDAY: If last night wasn't already a nearly classic night for radiational cooling and cold air drainage flow, then tonight will be. Must admit, the wind early last evening went pretty darned close to near calm shortly after sunset which set the scene for the widespread cold air planted at ground level this morning earlier than I had expected (by 24 hours)...the pattern was established early in the evening and will already be in place (as it is right now while typing) when the sun sets this evening as the high pressure sinks south of the Panhandle toward Central Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with likely a secondary mesoscale high pressure bubble centered over Lake Okeechobee by sunrise, Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Believe that freezing level temperatures will be restricted to those west of the Indian River from Fort Pierce north through Brevard County, but widespread frost will again be found over a broader expanse in the morning right at sunrise almost anywhere. It was 33F degrees at my place in Cape Canaveral this morning with similar readings around the Canaveral AFS just to the north and warmer further south toward Patrick AFB, but the freezing mark was not far away just to the west. Freezing temperatures will again be felt in the morning where it matters most, the agricultural belt. Morning lows along A1A will be about 3-5 degrees warmer than what was felt this morning.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: High pressure at the surface will be over head all day, and with a slightly warmer start to the day, especially along the coast, the afternoon will follow suit with highs more assuredly reaching 60F from Cape Canaveral west to Tampa but remain in the upper 50s further north. Low to mid 60s further south. Skies will remain nearly clear or close enough. Might begin to be worth watch some stratocumulus clouds try to advect onshore from near West Palm to Miami by afternoon though, as winds will begin to gain a 'semblance of onshore' component in the afternoon, but believe for the most part that even if they do manageto materialize, given how dry the air will be for starters, they will not pose a problem.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT-THURSDAY: This is the period when the true "snap" will occur as far as Old Man Winter is concerned. It was nice knowing you old man, but you couldn't leave soon enough! Overnight lows will be remarkably warmer Thursday morning, most notably along the immediate east coast where overnight temperatures will only slowly fall during the duration of the overnight hours as a light onshore component wind forms (they may even level off after 4 or 5AM). Just light enough to keep the first mile or so hugging the coast warmer than inland counterparts, but everyone will be warmer no matter how we look at it. Lows in mid 50s with mid 40s well inland.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND BEYOND: A southeasterly wind will be the dominant feature as high pressure continues to move further east at the surface, while at the mid levels it remains anchored over the far Southeastern U.S. for a couple of days. Warmer nights and days in store. By New Year's Eve and Day the A1A corridor could be feeling lows in the low 60s with highs in the low 70s. The models are insisting on the immediate east coast from Cape Canaveral south to be the warmest during the overnights for many days to come under the mainly SE wind regime which makes sense, but just how warm the afternoons will be in these same locations remains a bit muddled (in my mind only apparently). Numerical guidance, for example, is promoting mid to upper 70 degree readings for the Melbourne area by next weekend which probably isn't beyond sound reasoning. It's the folks that want to go to the beach during the warm up that might be a tad surprised once they get within a few blocks of the water's edge. Do believe that the coolest official reporting spot by late in the week into next weekend for East Central and East South Florida will end up being Patrick Air Force Base, since they are the closest one to the ocean (not counting the mesonet stations near Canaveral Air Force station just to the north of the Port). I'm willing to give a little leeway though, so opposed to the 67-69F degree high temperatures for the area from Satellite Beach to inhabited Port Canaveral let's give it a 72F for "Coconuts on the Beach" for starters and see what materializes.

I haven't gone into much concerning sky conditions on this post as temperatures have been the focus the past several days. Surely, by Friday clouds in some form or another will become a point of interest as temperatures will be a non-issue and the atmosphere begins to moisten back up. We'll leave that for a later point in time as this period draws nigh.

More focused on getting the winter clothing back on the hangers and in the closet where it belongs. Now where did I put the shorts?!!! Ah yes, they await on the chair in the bedroom, waiting to be used again. Come this time tomorrow, it's shorts ALL THE WAY, BABY!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Two More Cold Days in Store, Then the Coin Flips

Images: A comparison of 'actual' low temperature ranges at 8am with the forecast GFS temperatures for this morning shows the forecast and actuals are closely matched. Lastly, we see the temperature forecast by Friday morning. That's about a 30 degree warm up, or twice as warm than this morning by the end of the week on the numbers scale.

TODAY: High pressure is building south from the middle of the country as the low pressure bomb responsible for all the snow and cold over the eastern U.S. continues NNE (which will provide cold weather havoc for Maine today as the rest of eastern seaboard clears out in the wake of Sunday's blizzard conditions). Subsidence ahead of the high pressure and departure of the remaining upper level vorticity that spun overhead North and Central Florida yesterday accompanied by drier air throughout the atmosphere will yield to a clear sky today and gradual appeasement of the wind machine.

Winds have died down significantly since yesterday, but will remain elevated around 12-25mph this afternoon as the sun's full strength (and subsequent heating) mixes the colder air aloft to the surface, especially on the east side of the rivers (namely over the intracoastal and the barrier islands). Believe the high temperature forecast for today, as mentioned yesterday, is a bit on the warm side and that only upper 40s (but very close to 50F if not right on the mark) will be reached along a Cape Canaveral to Brooksville line, but the apparent temperature will not be as bad with the full sun today and less wind to contend with, especially in wind protected areas that are directly in the sun.

Low 50s are a better bet from near Patrick AFB to Tampa and points south (including the Melbourne area) and mid-upper 50s widespread across South Florida, with 60s in the Keys. Winds should notably decrease late this afternoon after peak heating has relaxed (and mixing) has begun to abate, with the strength waning to the 10mph or slightly less range by sunset or shortly thereafter.

TONIGHT: Another cold night in store as high pressure settles further south toward North Florida and the low departs even further up through Maine and Nova Scotia, simultaneously relaxing the pressure gradient between these two entities even more. Winds will have died down significantly by sunset from what they are this morning, but remain a small factor as far as preventing a classic radiational cooling synoptic set up for Central and South Florida overnight. Winds will veer very late today from WNW to NW and even NNW in some locales over night in the 5-8mph range.

As such, the colder air will penetrate further south, down the spine of the state and take the freezing temperatures further south with them and more toward the west side of the state by daybreak, Tuesday, as opposed to this morning with the WNW wind of this Monday morning.

TUESDAY MORNING: It was relatively warm over by Tampa this morning (around 40F) but do not believe that will be the case Tuesday morning. The coldest temperatures will be found west of US1 to the west coast and south to Punta Gorda and the Big Lake region, while the east coast (East of US1) will be about the same as we were this morning if not a couple degrees warmer.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: High pressure still just to the north will settle even further south with a light NNW wind all day under full sun. Cold air advection will have ceased with a gradual warm up showing its first hints as afternoon temperatures reach the mid-50s everywhere across Central Florida with continued light winds and full sunshine.

WEDNESDAY: High pressure will be elongated over all of the Eastern United States with a center along the Appalachians and a secondary displaced core of more 'mesoscale nature' near Central Florida at day break. Believe this will be the most prime of mornings for radiational, drainage flow and cold air trapped underneath, cooling nature as the high pressure inversion affects the state's interior. Remember, that there is a lot of snow covered ground now further north, the air immediately above which is at the freezing point. The cold air will originate under the high pressure inversion and ooze along the earth's cracks and crevices from the snow covered grounds and higher elevations of the Appalachians down the state's spine after midnight given permission by the nearly calm winds. The areas from US1 and points east though should fare much better with upper 30s and low 40s being the rule from Daytona south and even warmer south of Ft. Pierce.

On the other side of the coin, with the first hints of daylight even the coldest of areas will be quick to rebound under full sun with temperatures racing through the 40s and into the 50s by noon time. Low and even mid 60s will be found by peak heating from Titusville to Brooksville south as the high pressure ever so slowly works east during the day and a light ENE wind develops to the west of its clockwise circulation over Florida.

THURSDAY: Over night Wednesday night, the high pressure area will continue off to the east of the state of Florida allowing continued air mass modification to be in full swing. Morning low temperatures along the coast will be comparable to that of the ocean temperatures and be in the mid-upper 50s, colder away from the water. Afternoon temperatures will be just above 70 from the Space Center south to the keys away from the immediate coast, but believe that the models and numerical guidance are overshooting the mark as far as how warm it will actually get east of US1.

Remember, it will have been very cold for several days now, and the ocean will have cooled even more from where it has been. Do not believe guidance is taking this fact into account, and as such with a light onshore wind component for many days to come, anything above 72F will be very hard pressed to make its presence known along the A1A corridor north of Satellite Beach even under full sunshine. Inland zones will fare better by all accounts as afternoon highs warm from low 70s to mid, high end mid 70s in some areas, as we head toward the weekend.

FRIDAY-MONDAY: Pretty much back to 'normal', with lows in the mid-upper 50s (with mid-upper 40s well inland in isolated 'pockets' and highs in the low-mid 70s with the A1A corridor north of Satellite Beach or perhaps Melbourne Beach flirting more with a high between 67-69F as winds will remain subtly from the east. But all in all, we will be looking at morning low temperatures 20-25F degrees warmer than what will occur today by Friday and even more so on Saturday.

NEXT STORM SYSTEM/WEATHER MAKER: There is none foreseen within a reasonably foreseeable future, much to our relief. Granted, the weather will be benign at best, but benign beats freezing! Yes, I can do 'benign' in the winter as opposed to during the summer. "Benign" in winter means cool to very cool mornings, slightly warm afternoons, and clear to partly cloudy skies. "Benign" in the summer usually means humid, warm or hot, partly cloudy skies with no relief of rain or an exciting thunderstorm in sight...accompanied by mosquitoes and cockroaches. Perhaps winter is good for something after-all (once it gets above 65F degrees).

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Cold In Them Thar Hills!!!

Image: Temperature forecast for 7AM Tuesday morning is shown, depicting widespread temperatures in the mid-upper 20s over the Florida peninsula. But what about Monday?! See below for details.

TODAY: No surprises here in Florida, but can't say the same for folks from Virginia to Maine the next 12-48 hours as heavy snow moves in from just ENE of Washington DC to eventually Maine. Folks in New York City are battening the hatches in preparation for a quick BIG ONE as far as snow and wind are concerned. But closer to home we have our own eggs to fry, or should I say, "freeze"!

As expected, although a few hours earlier than what model runs from the night of the 24th were depicting, the cold front has cleared Central Florida now and for that matter south Florida as well.

The mid-upper level trough axis is still well to the west of the state, and therefore the wind just over head is still from the WSW and blowing at 40kts plus just about 2200ft overhead. The higher up one goes the stronger it gets as the jet stream dips across the Central Peninsula with winds exceeding 100 kts around 30,000ft accordingly. At the surface, a fanning of wind gusts are found in the mid-30mph range with a few 40mph gusts being reported on the hour at a few locations from time to time.

Temperature wise, a freeze warning is now in affect for tonight into tomorrow morning. The high temperature of the day as expected occurred before the front passed and fell about 15 degrees at my place within the first few hours after its passage. Since day break they've held in the upper 40s with mid 40s more prevalent to the west and north advecting toward the east coast from Sebastian Inlet and points north. Temperatures of course are warmer the further south one goes and colder (widespread upper 30s) across the panhandle and north Florida where 'flurries with sleet' was officially reported at the Jacksonville reporting station at 10AM.

Clouds will hold fast until the mean trough axis has shifted further east along with the accompanying upper level vorticity/spin/energy, which will not be until after dark. As such, partly cloudy to occasionally mostly cloudy sky conditions due to stratocumulus clouds at the low levels will pass overhead through the remainder of the afternoon; conditions will change from one to the other in rapid fashion due to how quickly the clouds are being propelled by the strong wind just overhead, but believe we'll be seeing way more sun than clouds the later into the afternoon we proceed and more definitively after dark. High temperatures accompanied by these clouds will be held at bay close to where they are at noon time (within 2 degrees for the most part), but will likely fall some more further south due to later passage there of the front proper.

Winds very gusty through the remainder of today and into tonight! What are those folks doing with the inflatable decorations in their fronts yards?! Would love to see one of those be lofted like a Thanksgiving Day Parade Inflatable Snoopy. Winds will gradually let up a little before midnight and gradually shift more toward the NW by daybreak Monday when peak, full cold air advection will be reached. Believe the 27F degree forecast for my area in Cape Canaveral advertised on The Weather Channel is close to the mark for a morning temperature here tomorrow morning, with mainly clear skies by that time.

MONDAY: Again, freezing temperatures to be reached from near Vero Beach to Tampa and everywhere north of there. NW winds about 1/2 the strength of today, but still in the mainly 15mph range during the day with temperatures quite comparable to what they are now (mid-upper 40s). Of course, warmer the further south one goes but it will likely be colder down toward Miami that what it is (or will be) today.

TUESDAY: Another cold morning state wide with an even greater expanse of freezing temperatures to be felt up and down the state. Probably a little colder inland than what the immediate coast will feel Monday... perhaps a few degrees warmer over the barrier islands since this will be less of an advection freeze, but flirting with the 30-32F range nonetheless. Winds will have died down significantly as high pressure will begin to pass over or just north of the state and the pressure gradient at all atmospheric levels will be greatly reduced. Most of Tuesday will be spent with a NNW winds at 10mphs, but still quite cool...reaching into the low 50s from Cape Canaveral south....maybe even mid-50s.

WEDNESDAY: Another cool to very cold start all locales, but say good bye to the 'very cold' for QUITE sometime to come! Light and variable winds all day with clear skies will quickly yield to temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s during peak daytime heating perhaps (fingers crossed) as high pressure passes to the east and a light easterly flow develops in its wake. 60s much more likely south of a line running along route 60 and close to the Melbourne area.

LAST HALF OF THE WEEK: No big weather makers are in store for the peninsula as temperatures slowly moderate under the influence of near by high pressure and a developing ESE wind flow aloft. Might have to watch for periods of coastal stratocumulus clouds near the coast at just about anytime between late Thursday to after New Years Day...but we could well be on our way to widespread 70 degree readings on New Years Eve and Day but do believe the areas along the US1 to A!A corridor north of Vero Beach will be closer to the upper 60s with a light onshore wind blowing across the very very cool Atlantic Ocean water.

FIRST PART OF JANUARY: Looks like the New Year and at this point, the first half of January could be everything that December wasn't, namely, predominately on the warm side (for comparison's sake) with temperatures around normal for a change. Will be watching the SW or Western Gulf of Mexico during this time frame though. It currently appears that most of the would be weather makers will be constrained to affecting namely the panhandle region with high pressure holding fast over the remainder of the state, supplying comfortable temperatures (for this time of year) and dry conditions mixed with some possible stormy ones! But again, this is a long time out there. As written yesterday, it still appears there could be some good shots of rain from January 3rd -15th, but no cold air (again) is being depicted (which looks at bit suspicious). Any rains to affect the state would originate from modified Pacific air masses meeting one of more polar origin well to our west, and as such any air mass to move further east of that point of origin will be of modified nature and not directly of "Polar Express" nature. The train will have pulled out of station and we're not selling any tickets for a next one!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! - Comfortable Day For One and All

Image: Merry Christmas everybody! Comfortable temperatures all day with increasing clouds by mid-late afternoon but rain free will make for great festivities. Highs in the upper 60s and low 70s.

TODAY: Low pressure system taking shape off the NE Texas Gust will move east during the course of the day. Meanwhile, high pressure along the east coast this morning will move progressively ESE during the day harboring SW winds by afternoon which will increase most notably near and after dark as the low pressure system approaches the Florida Panhandle. High temperatures wide spread mid-upper 60s Central portions with a few central locales reaching the low 70s. Believe all areas south of a Vero to Sarasota line will make low-mid 70s today, with the coolest location along the intracoastal waterways of Brevard where the surrounding cool waters will keep the mercury down a few notches.

Otherwise, a sunny start to the day will prevail through early afternoon at least. Light SE wind initially to gradually veer to the south and then south west by mid afternoon as the low pressure strengthens somewhat and approaches the panhandle.

TONIGHT: Increasing cloud cover with a SW wind of 10-15mph as the low pressure tracks from west to east across the panhandle. A cold front will be draped from NE to SW and well into the south central Gulf. Showers and steady rains to impede the panhandle and spread east and south over night into Central portions of the state during the wee hours of Sunday morning. As far as winter evenings goes, it will be a warm one though with lows in the 50s.

SUNDAY: Rain chances will encompass all of Central Florida between 2-6AM, although some places may not receive any rain at all. Cold front still poised to quickly race across Central and South Florida between 4am -10am, making its pass across East Central Florida between 6:30AM-8:30AM. Southwest winds right at sunrise over the eastern portions will quickly shift to WNW behind the front as rain chances quickly diminish in hand. Clouds could remain in broken fashion for a brief time followed by a quick scattering and eventual clearing from NW to SE by late morning to noon time south of Indian River County.

Believe the warmest time of day tomorrow, as noted yesterday, will be before the front passes. That is to say, before 8AM for Central and before 10AM further south toward West Palm to Miami. Strong WNW winds behind the front accompanied by polar like cold air advection will negate day time heating and in fact may add to the 'wind problem' as the sun breaks out and heating tries to penetrate the infiltrating cold air mass ('mixing'). As such, the temperatures during the normally warmest time of day will likely hold steady or maybe even drop a few degrees especially after 3:30pm as the afternoon draws to a close and winds really gust to above 30-35mph. Did you notice how short the afternoon hours are during this time of year?

SUNDAY NIGHT-MONDAY MORNING: Cold air advection will continue with a NW wind blowing steadily through mid-day Monday. Freezing temperatures possible from near Cape Canaveral to Brooksville and points north with areas further south hovering just above freezing and in the mid-upper 30s. But cold all day Monday with doubts the temperature will breach 50F north of the same aforementioned line (Cape Canaveral -Brooksville and points north). Clear skies other than maybe along the West Coast from Tampa to Venice where some cold air stratocumulus could over run the coastal areas there.

TUESDAY: Wind to die down significantly overnight heading toward Tuesday morning, but not completely. The models are all showing the 5400m thickness line between 850mb to 500mb to make a rapid snap back to the north by this time. This line is normally used as baseline for detemination of where the freezing temperatures will be found. However, believe cold air close to the surface will remain trapped in the lowest kilometers of the atmosphere along the ground and as such a more widespread freeze possibility will pose a potential for a broader area of the state Tuesday morning extending well south toward Lake Okeechobee and areas just west of Metro Miami. The immediate east coast might actually not be any colder though than Monday morning will be, and in fact might be a few degrees warmer...but not by much. Another cold day in store all day Tuesday, but it won't feel nearly as bad minus the strong winds of Sunday and those to a lesser degree of Monday. Afternoon high temperatures will rebound though more assuredly into the low-mid 50s all areas.

WEDNESDAY: SNAP! A cold start to the day for inland portions of the state but much tempered closer to the coast, but by afternoon the high pressure center responsible for advecting the cold air into the state will have moved well to the east (north of the state)...and light onshore, easterly winds will develop shortly after daybreak allowing afternoon high temperatures to reach into the mid-60s everywhere.

THURSDAY-NEW YEARS DAY: Continued warming with temperatures approaching normal levels.

FIRST WEEK OF 2011: Lots of flip flop in the models, but some interesting develops are awaiting on the wings. Could see several opportunities for rainfall during this time frame but nobig temperature drops are looming on the horizon at this point.


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Friday, December 24, 2010

"Polar Express Engine" Set to Collide With the "Pineapple's Caboose"

Image: Forecast images for 7AM Christmas morning show a developing low pressure system developing in the North Central Gulf, courtesy of tail end Charlie energy associated with the remnants of the last of the Pineapple Express that plagued California for many days. We also see the leading edge of energy associated with a "Polar Express" blast diving south across the mid-Mississippi River Valley Basin. It currently looks like the two trains will phase/sync/collide just off the South Carolina coast the day after Christmas.

TODAY: Happy day before Christmas and Christmas Eve to all! It's looking quite pleasant out there early this afternoon over all of Florida. The warmest temperatures (low 70s) are found from West Palm Beach to Miami along the east coast. Once again, I'm under-playing the official forecast high temperatures for extreme East Central Florida this afternoon as due north winds blow over the intracoastal waters keeping high temperatures this afternoon in the low end mid-60s range. Yesterday, unbeknownst to others outside this area, it was actually very cool out on the islands with a high in the low 60s under a partly to occasionally cloudy sky close to the coast during peak heating. As a result, it stayed pretty darned cool over the islands yesterday as opposed to the Orlando area where wide spread mid-60s occurred, and the steady NNW-N breezy did not help matters.

The wind today has died a little, and clouds do not appear as though they will pose any problems this afternoon as opposed to yesterday. They are offshore, but are having a hard time penetrating any closer to the coast the past 2-3 hours, so it looks like we'll be scott free of them for the most part. The wind is a bit amplified beyond what was expected this early afternoon hour, but seems to be once again, like yesterday, limited in strength to only those areas near the waterways.

All things given, expect the wind to die down significantly by sunset of shortly thereafter as the mean directional vector becomes more easterly and weakens under a clear sky.

TONIGHT: Mainly clear through midnight with an overnight low hugging the low 50s along the coast and in the mid-40s inland.

CHRISTMAS DAY OUTLOOK: Light and variable wind at sunrise with the day dawning at temperatures about 3-5 degrees warmer than this morning. By 9-10am a more southerly wind component will become evident as high pressure now over the Carolina will have moved ESE overnight and well into the Atlantic in prelude to the approaching "Polar"/modified "Pineapple" Express ensemble pushing east out of the South Central Plains. The two systems will be pushing east in tandem throughout Christmas Day but remain separate entities. The southern most system now crossing Texas ("Pineapple") will cross the Northern Gulf during the day but remain a non-player for the peninsula as far as the rain gauges are concerned during Christmas Day, but do expect that some high level cloud streamers will begin to infiltrate by late morning and increase in coverage during the course of the day well in advance of its more direct influence after night fall, Christmas night.

As such, like recent days, I'm underscoring the official high temperature forecast for tomorrow, since given the low sun angle at this time of year any clouds worthy of note will put a damper on what temperature could otherwise be reached under clearer/cloud free sky conditions. As such, believe upper 60s will be the rule with 70s reaching from South or maybe Central Brevard and points south. Winds will assume a more SSW-SW component by noon or shortly thereafter (as the upper level clouds increase) to the 12-18mph range during the main course of the afternoon and some peoples' Christmas Dinner. Overall, it will be a nice day though ... Merry Christmas.

CHRISTMAS NIGHT: A warm, winter night for peninsular Central and South Florida (that is, as far as 'warm winter nights' go in Florida). In other words, probably one of the warmest 'overnights' we've had in quite sometime as winds will remain elevated ahead of the approaching/gathering storm system to our NW-WNW. Clouds increasing and lowering ceilings overnight will aid in keeping the temperatures up; another way of looking at it is that everything that prime radiational cooling "is"...this night will most certainly be 'not'. Rains will first affect the panhandle before midnight and rapidly spread east and south after midnight of the 26th, Sunday affect everyone north of Vero Beach by sunrise. Rainfall totals do not look very impressive, and some areas won't see any rain at all. If perhaps a showers can gain some altitude in the only moderately (at best) unstable atmosphere accompanied by good speed sheer, those healthier showers could put down some good wind gusts. For the most part though, should those occur it will be before day break or within one hour after that time frame.

AFTER THE RAIN (CHANCE) EARLY SUNDAY: Once again, will undercut forecast high temperature forecasts I'm seeing so widely media-fied early this afternoon. Believe the cold front associated with the original modified air mass "Pineapple Express" will be cutting the peninsula in half from NE to SW at sunrise and cross all of Central Florida from NW to SE between 6:00AM -9:AM.

My take is that the warmest time of day will be during those hours ahead of the front. Winds will quickly shift to a more WNW component after frontal passage with a clearing line of clouds to follow within the 3 hours after its passage. I can hear the "Polar Express" horns blowing throughout the day as its core passes just to the north and meets the "Pineapple" off South Carolina by Sunday night. The modified "Pineapple Express" air mass is about to become more of "Polar Express" airmass heading toward Monday morning.

MEANWHILE FOR THE REST OF THE DAY: For the most part, the entirety of the day light hours of Sunday will be defined by cold air advection, modifying from Pacific to Polar origin behind the departing low pressure system and in advance of the cold arctic push. As such, expect the air not only to be very cool all day but very windy as well with wind gusts exceeding the 30mph range, especially across and near any bodies of water. After our warm morning, assuming one is awake to feel it, the majority of the day will be spent with the temperature holding steady near or just above 50F from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (roughly SR 520)...and colder in the mid-40s further north, while south of this line mid-upper 50s will dominate, the further south one goes, the warmer and into the 60s it can be.

SUNDAY NIGHT-MONDAY: Cold air advection will continue all day Monday from sunrise to set. Again believe the high temperature forecasts are being over played for North Brevard toward Daytona Beach and inland areas near I-4 north of Orlando for Monday afternoon. The NW wind trajectory will be pointed roughly from west of Ocala toward Cape such, believe this area will fail to breach th 5-0 Fahrenheit mark, or if so, for only a brief time (and not long enough in my mind).

Regardless, with the elevated wind (although not as strong as that on Sunday afternoon), it will still feel too cool for comfort. Monday morning would see an advection freeze late in the overSundaynight to earlyMondaymorning hours, but this episode doesn't not look to be quite as infringing as the past one we had.

Due to the wind, temperatures spreads won't be as amplified as they would be under a radiational cool-off, with probably a lot of mid-upper 30s to be found but playing with and under the freezing mark north of a line running east/west from Daytona Beach North.

TUESDAY: Another cold day in store but with significantly less wind. Still, cold is cold enough. This will likely be the coldest morning of the remaining days of 2010 for most of Central and South Florida. Afternoon temperatures should present us with more reasonably sane afternoon high temperatures, but still well below what would be considered 'normal'...mainly in the mid-upper 50s.

WEDNESDAY: Let the flip flip begin! Cool/to cold start to the day...but high pressure associated with the tail end of our "Polar" cold engine shifts east as do our surface winds. Afternoons back into the 60s and overnight lows by the following morning (Thursday) significantly warmer than those of Monday, Tuesday, and for some Wednesday and well into the 40s.

THURSDAY-NEW YEARS DAY: Could be a big warm up to end the year as height levels for the standard 850mb -500mb levels are forecast to be on a BIG rise and winds maintain a SE-S-SW component for a good 2-3 days, at least. This could be a big warm up all the way up to the Eastern Great Lakes in fact, and would provide the long term, southerly wind component which we have not seen in a very long time; that which would be necessary to successfully and completely modify the air mass into a greater atmospheric depths of which we have not seen for quite some time.

Footnote: Should this tremendous air mass modification indeed take place, this would provide the fuel for a vigorous Gulf Storm type system to take shape during the first week of the 2011. The models have been flipping around with the prospect, but for now will only raise a timid yellow flag with one eye open at a potentially significant severe weather event for someone in the Deep South to Florida during the first week of January.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"A Nation Divided" This Afternoon - Forecast Havoc East of the Mississippi

Images: Included is a forecast map for around midnight showing a 'cold front'/wind shift line over or near Central Florida as a full latitudinal blocking ridge axis extends across the nations midsection from near the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. See below for why this is so problematic for the weather forecast in the next few days. I've included a map of Canada and the Arctic Ocean for kicks.

REMAINDER OF WEDNESDAY: Widespread mid-70s degree temperature readings have overspread much of the Florida peninsula this afternoon with steady 'generally' westerly winds prevailing around 15mph in most areas. The coolest spots are along the immediate west coast close to the Gulf waters and, of all places, the Florida Keys where temeratures are in the upper 60s. Skies would be considered partly cloudy in most if not all locales as well.

As we can see by the graphic included, a cold front which now extends across Central portions of Georgia and Alabama will move into Central Florida around midnight. There is little temperature variation associated with this boundary in looking at the latest surface observations, and as such I'm looking at this 'front' as somewhat as reassurance that high pressure stretching from the far reaches of Northern Canada to nearly the Gulf of Mexico is in full control of the Mississippi River Valley basin. This high pressure is going to be the thorn in our side from a forecaster's perspective everywhere east of the Mississippi River as we head into Christmas Day through two days after. See further down in this post for details.

In the meantime, I've annotated a very rough approximation of the front's location shortly after midnight tonight. As we can see, it will be located somewhere over Central portions of the peninsula and by morning will have nearly, if not totally, cleared the state. Behind the front winds take on a more northwesterly component for Thursday and steadily become more northerly during the early portions of the day. By mid-late afternoon they should be NNE-NE and weaken in speed as the high pressure system reasserts full control of the weather locally.

The first fly in the ointment in today's post is cloud cover associated with the boundary. For now, I'd expect partly cloudy sky conditions all evening possibly becoming overcast around midnight and through the pre-dawn hours. Just how much cloud cover remains after day break is a question mark in my mind, especially along and east of I-95 from Daytona to Miami. For now, we'll ride with partly cloudy skies, but a period of 'cloudy' could occur along the barrier islands region through early-mid morning Thursday at least. No rain though. Cloud cover will keep temperatures from falling tonight, mainly 50s along the coast and some 40s well inland. We will need to watch those clouds tomorrow from the Cape to Miami though, since it is not a total given we will see more sun than clouds Thursday.

THURSDAY: Winds from the NW from 10-18mph initially will gradually veer to NE by days end and weaken during the course of the day. Now behind the front, temperatures will remain in the mid-60s with the final outcome contingent on the amount (if any) of cloud cover closer to the coast as noted in the preceding paragraph. Either way, cloud cover or shifting, slightly onshore gradient winds will keep the high temperature in the mid 60s range with lows again dropping into the low to mid 50s overnight with 40s inland and further north..

FRIDAY-CHRISTMAS EVE: Light onshore flow and high pressure nearly overhead will provide for another day of partly cloudy skies and another cool day, yet still comfortable with temperatures comparable to Thursday or perhaps a little warmer with less chance of cloud coverage initially. I've been secretly hoping for a reason for the immediate coast to see some afternoon sea-fog to come in on Christmas Eve. I've NEVER seen such events forecast before hand as they are very rare, maybe every 10 years or so from my experience. There was one such event just two years ago, so we aren't due yet...but maybe Santa can grant this one simple wish.

At this points is where I'd like to interject. Energy associated with the weather system generating the rains over Southern California will have moved east, much of which will try to 'divert' the blocking ridge of high pressure by hedging across S. Texas. Thus, instead of taking a more NE-ENE trek it will ride east to ESE across Texas. Not all of the energy, but some of it. Exactly how much is totally uncertain. Temperatures yesterday and today have been very warm over extreme South East Texas (not so much today). But regardless, this heat will provide the ample fuel necessary to instigate surface low cyclogenesis over the far Western Gulf by late Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. The surface low will continue to develop as it tracks east across the north central Gulf Chrismas Day.

Meanwhile, in viewing the forecast mid level winds for Christmas Day, believe a lot of mid-upper level clouds could eject eastward well in advance of this developing scenario that will spread across all of Florida over night or beginning sometime Christmas Day. Temperatures will remain moderated overnight and during the day Christmas as a result.

CHRISTMAS DAY: No frontal passage as previously presumed. Models have delayed the front's arrival by a full 12-18 hours, and if the trend continues, could be delayed another 6 hours. Good for Florida initially. This means, Christmas Day now looks to be rain free; but again, I think we'll see a lot of clouds keeping high temperatures in the 60s rather than the advertised 70s I'm seeing on TV. Winds will initially by southerly and light with the dawn of day, but picking up increasingly from the SSW-SW during the day.

CHRISTMAS NIGHT-BEYOND: Instead of getting into the nitty-gritty details at this point for this time frame, it is best to leave this time frame open for what might be coming down the pipe...a lot will be contingent upon 1) the track the surface low takes as it approaches the state; and 2) strength of the surface low (not to mention the other technical variables involved).

As it stands, we could be seeing reason for thunderstorm development (some severe) by late overnight Christmas Night toward day break the day after Christmas. At this point, the surface low looks to cross North Central or Central Florida shortly after sunrise Sunday...but my gut says it may end up crossing even further south with greater intensity. If so, the threat for severe weather, especially for South Central Florida will be even greater. Either way, the chance for rain at this point looks pretty high sometime after midnight Christmas night through mid-afternoon the day after Christmas (Sunday).

This will all be refined once the storm system works its way across the Desert SW region...but even more so when we see the result of this system as it interacts with the 'hot spot' over Eastern and Southeast Texas over night Thursday through Friday and as the system morphs while crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

POST FRONTAL PASSAGE: Eventually, whatever track the low pressure system takes, it stands that the front will rapidly clear the state by Monday at the utmost latest followed by steady cold air advection from the Northwest all day Monday. And again, possibly as soon as early Sunday morning. Either way, cold air advection will be in place Monday and Tuesday making for two cold days. It does not look as if this cold period will be as chilly as our earlier counterpart last week at this time. But freezing temperatures as described in yesterday's post accompanied by a good dose of wind will likely result in issuance of wind chill advisories and warnings for Monday and possibly Tuesday under a 'freeze advection' type synoptic set up.

NEW YEARS: What, how can one come up with a forecast for New Year's Eve/Day when we already have our hands full not only with tomorrow, but with the days surrounding Christmas? Had to throw this in because I couldn't help myself -- strictly for amusement. That is, if the ECMWF and GFS hold fast, we could be in for a big WARM UP come New Year's Eve/Day time frame. Can it be? We'll see, but did want to throw that tasty tid bit out there for chomping on until this time frame draws closer. Consider it a stocking stuffer.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

True, Blue, and 72 (For Some Folks Today)

NOW: High pressure is centered very close to the Lake/Orange County line and dropping South to SSE pretty quickly during the past two hours. All of Central and South Florida will be under its tranquil affect today resulting in totally sunny sky conditions, light winds, and comfortable temperatures.

TODAY: As noted above, Florida is under the affect of surface high pressure today. The biggest challenge for this post was how warm it would get today over Central Florida, namely if we would reach the 70F degree mark. No doubt, the area from West Palm Beach and points south will (if they have not already)...The Weather Channel is advertising a high in the low 70s today but I'm not so sure. My final gander, to toss in my two cents worth, is that the areas from near Melbourne to Sarasota and points north will flirt with the big 7-0, but never quite reach it. Some pockets near that line could reach or just break through for a short period (less than an hour), but the majority of the afternoon hours will be spent in the 67F-69F degrees range.

Further south, especially from West Palm to Miam (namely the SE Quadrant) they will see low and a few mid-70s for the majority of the afternoon. But no matter how one slices the thermal pie, with light winds and full sunshine at play it will be a very nice day, especially when out of the shade and totally protected from any light wind that can be mustered up.

TONIGHT: Surface high will continue to drop to South Central Florida and retrograde to the west a bit as a weak frontal boundary begins to edge in from the north which will be located over N. Georgia toward South Carolina to North 'Bama. Light winds and a clear sky will permit temperatures to fall to comparable levels of this morning, but likely a little warmer in those areas that got the coolest last night...but low 50s, and maybe even some mid 50s over the barrier islands tomorrow morning will be much more widespread than they were this morning.

WEDNESDAY: Rapid temperature recovery after 8:30am with all areas breaching 70F. Widespread low and mid-70s degree readings over South and Central locations, and even North Florida with a mainly west wind around 15mph. No wind off the cooled Atlantic ocean waters will permit the air over the landmass to flow across the barrier islands with only minimal modification as it crosses the inland waterways.

The cold front, which is actually going to be more of a wind shift line more than anything else, will pass over Central Florida during the overnight hours leading into Thursday morning. Westerly winds preceding the demarcation line will become northerly and eventually light from the NNE-NE during the day time Thursday with a return to high temperatures in the mid-upper 60s rather than 70s.

THURSDAY: Morning will break with inland lows in the low-mid 40s with the barrier islands in the low 50s. A light wind, but likely of a slight on shore component during the day will keep high temperatures in the mid-60s during the afternoon, with any clouds that might have occurred during passage of the boundary all but gone. Thus, Thursday will be much like today although a bit cooler everywhere.

FRIDAY NIGHT IS CHRISTMAS EVE: Another uneventful day in store with highs in the mid-upper 60s and a few clouds with light winds. Low temperatures comparable to that of Thursday morning. A nice, 'on the warm side of winter', evening in store for church services will be rain free. A decorative sweater or jacket will fit the bill nicely for those in full 'festive gear' mode.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Cold front still forecast to be across the panhandle will advance south during the course of our ritual activities. Rains and clouds to the north will spread south accordingly, and as such the majority of Christmas Day over Central Florida will likely be partly cloudy to cloudy with some light rain to occur after the 1pm time frame just about anywhere, holding off until later further south. Southwest wind around 15-20mph will precede the cold front with high temperatures being held at bay due to cloud cover, mostly in the mid-60s Central, and maybe low 70s south. Measurable rain fall totals will be occur across the Central portions, but think the most commonly found will be between a trace - 0.3". South Central and South Florida will fare much better during the daylight hours and end up with even less rainfall chances and less likelihood of measurable amounts when all is said and done.

CHRISTMAS NIGHT - THE DAY AFTER: Front will clear the state by daybreak December 26th with cold air advection and NW winds in full swing the entire day, Sunday. Lows in the 40s with highs likely not reaching above the mid 50s with a rapid cool down as we head toward sunset.

MONDAY-TUESDAY: These two days look to be the coldest in entirety from sun up to sun down for next week. Sky will be clear but far reaching freezing temperature levels, especially away from the coast (as usual) will be found, especially by Tuesday morning where freezing could be reached into western portions of Miami -Dade. Looks like there will be a lot of mid-20 readings, especially for North Central Florida, with upper 20s and low 30s being much more common across the peninsula. Daytime high temperatures might struggle to reach the low 50s on Monday afternoon over all of Central Florida.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

"Solstitium" and Lunar Eclipse Tuesday

Image: Say hello to the official start of winter 2010-2011 tomorrow at 6:38pm EST. Lunar eclipse overnight tonight. Details below.

Dec. 21, 2010, 6:38 PM EST (23:38 UT), marks the winter solstice—the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, "sun" and -stitium, "a stoppage." Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.

LUNAR ECLIPSE NIGHT: If you want to peak at the full eclipse, it will be sometime around 2:41AM - 3:53AM (EST) in the morning overnight tonight, but begin at 1:33AM EST.

TODAY: Skies finally cleared overnight and we are in for a mostly sunny day today. High pressure over the Ohio Vallely to start the day is building south and will be over the Deep South after sunset and roughly over the Peninsula Tuesday. Doesn't quite look like we'll gain on onshore component wind today or if we do it will be very light and restricted to the immediate coast, so clouds off the Atlantic appear as though they will remain offshore, perhaps a small speckling of stratocumulus in an otherwise dry air mass at the surface. Winds less than 12mph for the most part today under sunny skies will allow the temperature to reach the 60s today over Central Florida and approach the 70s over far SE Florida and the Keys.

TONIGHT: Surface high will have settled over North Florida with light and variable to near calm winds providing for good radiational cooling and drainage flow tonight; thus, coldest temperatures inland with the A1A corridor being the warmest - comparable to this morning's temperatures with widespread low 40s being the rule, warmer further south of Ft. Pierce.

TUESDAY: Winter will begin Tuesday night officially at 6:38pm. Whether one basis the start of winter from the meteorological or astronomical perspective, there's no doubt that it WILL be winter from either perspective by that time. High pressure will be directly overhead or centered just west of the state with a NW wind at the time under clear skies. High will be warmer state wide with mid-upper 60s being the rule for the north half of the state and low-mid 70s for the south half. This puts Brevard along the dividing line. But all in all a very pleasant day in store after a somewhat cold start to the day with a light wind.

WEDNESDAY: Weak frontal boundary over the Deep South will cross the entire peninsula during the late day with little fanfare other than maybe some clouds, but not expecting any rainfall with this one. Very little temperature change, if any with this boundary. In fact, the immediate coast could actually be warmer than past mornings by Thursday as winds will quickly gain an onshore component 12 hours after frontal passage. For the most part, the clouds will hold off until mid-late afternoon and persist for much of the overnight hours as the nearly 'backdoor boundary slides south...with any dynamics associated with it skimming the east coast offshore.

THURSDAY: Again, a warmer morning for the A1A corridor as Florida lies waiting in the wings for the next real weather maker to arrive on Christmas Day. In the meantime, little to speak of with temperature in the 40s inland (30s in colder pockets) and afternoon highs in the 60s to near 70 from South Brevard and points south. The immediate coast could eke out low 50s in the morning with a light onshore component wind, but this remains questionable north of Ft. Pierce.

FRIDAY (CHRISTMAS EVE): Pre-cold frontal conditions, with SW winds materializing by afternoon under partly cloudy skies. This could be the warmest remaining day of 2010 with widespread low-mid 70 degree readings a possibility as clouds should not be prevalent enough to put a damper on otherwise full sunshine.

CHRISTMAS DAY (SATURDAY): Cold front over the Panhandle to start the day. SW winds, but believe the cloud cover will pre-empt the possibility that high temperatures will reach those of Friday except for over South Florida. The front now appears that it will swoop the entire state during the day and into the early evening far south. It's extent will be far reaching, with the boundary defined across the entire Gulf of Mexico and eventually reaching Central America by the day after Christmas.

As it stands now, believe the front will pass through Central Florida during the early and mid-afternoon and be located near Lake Okeechobee near sunset. As such, the warmest time of day will be around noon time, Christmas the mid-upper 60s at a stretch precluding any substantial heating due to cloud cover...with a good SW wind in advance of its passage. Tempeartures falling NOTABLY behind the front before dark over Central Florida with cloudy skies and some light rain possible both in advance and shortly after frontal passage. Skies clearing after dark.

SUNDAY: Cold! The front will clear Cuba and Jamaica, and may very well clear the Dominican Republic if that tells us anything. Believe we'll be hearing about freeze warnings (widespread) once again especially for Monday and Tuesday mornings with cold (by Florida standards) afternoon high temperatures as well supported by a breezy NW wind. This one might not have quite the gusto as our last 'big one', but it will be close enough to be comparable. Drat!

MORE ON THE SOLSTICE: In astronomy, the solstice is either of the two times a year when the Sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator, the great circle on the celestial sphere that is on the same plane as the earth's equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn; the summer solstice occurs either June 20 or 21, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Cancer. In the Southern Hemisphere, the winter and summer solstices are reversed.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Was Friday the Warmest Remaining Day in 2010?

Image: Radar at 8AM this morning. Rain is definitely on the way today.

TODAY: A frontal boundary stretches across North Florida and well off to the SW toward the Bay of Campache. Along this boundary will be a least one, disorganized impulse of energy and appendant 'surface low' which will ride along the boundary as it sinks into Central Florida during the day. The low pressure areas are barely of closed circulation and are not even evident in the mid-levels, meaning they are not strong enough to generate any strong, organized severe weather or even thunderstorms for the most part when push comes to shove. However, they are transporting plentiful moisture with them as the traverse the boundary and cross Central and South Florida all day and thunder aloft is not out of the question.

As we can see by the included image, and as I've observed in the past two hours, precipitation is quickly spreading from WSW to ENE across the state, and such will continue to be the pattern today. Per latest model guidance, the worst of the rains should occur between 11am - 6pm, ending from west to east, with the east coast from Titusville to Miami the last to clear of actual rain, which could be well toward midnight if not after that time tonight.

Otherwise, and to answer the question in today post title, yes, I do believe yesterday was the warmest remaining day to 2011. Today will not be as warm solely by nature of the cloud cover and either evaporative cooling due to imminent rainfall approaching or actual rain itself dragging cool air down from aloft. Winds along the A1A corridor could maintain a slight S-SSE component for the majority of the day ahead of the low pressure bubbles, which is off the cooled ocean waters which is yet another reason to keep today's high temperatures held at bay and into the mid-upper 60s. The temperature could reach the low 70s from South Brevard and points south toward Miami , but don't think it will be as warm there as yesterday either.

TONIGHT-SUNDAY: The rain chances will wane greatly from west to east across the peninsula after dark, with a continued chance of a sprinkle on going until near sunrise along the barrier islands and south toward Ft. Pierce and West Palm Beach. I see the forecast on The Weather Channel and on local news channels for tomorrow advertising bright and sunny skies, but I'm not so sure that will be the case. Hope so though. The wind behind the front which won't be clearing Central Florida until sometime around the 4-8am time frame will initially be NNW but fairly quickly gain a more northerly component, which by the way along Central and South Brevard is 'on-shore' over the Barrier Islands and near Ft. Pierce. Lingering moisture behind the boundary could continue to generate mainly low clouds along the coast and south Florida for at least the first half of the day, but it will be rain free. As such, don't be surprised to see remaining clouds east of an Orlando to Lake Okeechobee to near Miami-Dade until at least noon time (if not later) on Sunday with high temperatures in the mid-60s. On the other hand, I've outlined a pessimistic scenario, so no harm on learning toward optimism.

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Very light winds and not so cold temperatures. I'd say "Cool" weather fits the bill with coastal lows in the 50s all locales along the East Coast with mid-upper 40s inland. Highs in the mid-upper 60s with some 70s over extreme SE Florida and the Keys under mostly sunny sky conditions.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: Another spoke of energy will rotate around the low pressure area that will have moved off our coast tonight and have shifted NNE-NE during the early portion of the week. This "spoke", or frontal boundary, will likely go through 'dry' of rainfall, but be accompanied by some low-mid level clouds. This will be very close to being a 'back-door' front as it will be approaching from the N-NNE, swiping down the state with no foreboding windshifts or big pressure falls ahead of it. Any rainfall from this system will be limited to the immediate US-1 to A1A corridor from JAX to Miami. No big temperature falls from this system either as we will remain in generally 'cool' conditions after its passage.

TEMPERATURE RECAP FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2010: Not seeing any big cool downs through the remainder of the year, minus a more notable one between Christmas and New Years. For the most part, coastal lows in the 50s and highs in the 60s. Inland lows and toward the west side of the state in the 40s. Next best chance of rainfall after today and very early Sunday will be Christmas Day and again near New Year's Day.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Just a preempt forecast, seeing as how this is still a week away. Looks like Christmas Day could very well end up being very similar to today. The synoptic situation won't be quite the same, but the results will all come out the other end with similarities in regards to cloud coverage, rain chances, and temperature ranges.

NEW YEARS DAY: Wouldn't you know it, it's all in the timing, and if I learned anything from my Junior High Science Fair project, fronts at this time of year come through under 'normal circumstances' every 5-7 days. In this year's case, it looks closer to 6 as another front could go through with another rain chance on New Year's Day. Of course, this is pure speculation at this point. But maybe 35 years later, I can verify my Science Fair Project (tongue in cheek).

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