"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".

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Riddance January (Don't Return in 2011)

(Image: Daily rainfall totals submitted to the CocoRaHS from my location in Cape Canaveral. Monthly total: 2.34")

Not so subtle changes are in store for the area through Friday. Yesterday's front is now located somewhere between Cuba and the Florida Straits as high pressure to the north skirts across the mid-Atlantic region. Somewhat cooler and drier air being pulled down south from circulation around the high will encompass/impinge on much (but not all) of North and Central Florida today. Those folks not lucky enough to receive full benefit of the 'dry slot' will continue to experience a broken to scattered mid level cloud deck. At the time of this appears the dry slot has already penetrated NE Florida and is progressively working SW toward Crystal River. The result is clearing skies in that region. For the most part, there really isn't that much as far as high level clouds goes..and with some heating from above some of the mid level clouds over our area could dissipate for a brief time. However, believe any partial clearing will be relatively short-lived, so that by late afternoon (if not sooner) we will again be clouding up. Surface winds are currently out of a due north direction, which believe it or not is just a tad off the Atlantic if you go back and look at your atlas and Florida's longitudinal configuration with due North.

Today: Surface wind will initially be from the north to NNE..but gradually swing around to NE and then east after sunset. The temperature along the coast will peak out in the low 60s..maybe mid 60s if enough sun can come out for any substantial amount of time. But due to the fact that the winds will be progressively be blowing in off 60 degree water coupled with the clouds...they will struggle to surpass 65 degrees at best. No rain today though. Just cool, breezy, and cloudy to partly cloudy.

Tonight-Early Monday: The wind will remain somewhat breezy from due east overnight. This coupled with returning moisture from the east will keep the sky conditions status quo. For the over night hours this combination will be a blessing. It's quite possible the temperature will remain steady after sunset...and quite possibly go up a few degrees toward sunrise. Hence, don't believe the coast will fall below 60 degrees tonight. Expect higher level clouds to be on the increase during the by day break it will be cloudy, somewhat breezy from due east, with a temperature around 62 degrees.

Noon Monday-Sunset: Things get very tricky for this period. Timing differences on the NAM and the GFS remain substantial, although not as much so as the 00Z run last night. The GFS this year has historically been overly aggressive and fast with almost every single system to move in this winter so I'm not buying into it's timing. The NAM has been much closer to reality (in my opinion), although it does come up with some off-the-wall surface features from time to time. I did notice on the morning (12Z) run though that it sped up and is much closer to the morning GFS..which remarkably slowed down a notch at the same time. In other words, those two models seem to be zero-ing in on a 'happy medium' with which I'll try to make heads-n-tails of.

For now, as winds shift very quickly around from easterly to southerly by Monday morning a weak inverted trough will form right along the coast in concert with a weak surface low forming just WNW of Key West. Another very weak low could also form just of the coast between Daytona-Cape Canaveral. These two features combined will create a NE to SW boundary elongated across Central Florida which I guess one could call a 'warm front'. Indeed, the wind south of the boundary will be southerly...if not eventually SSW during the course of Monday morning working into the early afternoon hours. Rain showers are possible during this transition, specifically right along the east coast during this time frame. But they will be light and limited to a small area, specifically dear the boundary .. somewhere from Daytona Beach to Sebastian. Otherwise, the temperature will get up into the mid-70s, especially once the wind becomes more SSW during the day. This boundary will remain in place across Central Florida and make only meager penetration further north toward Daytona as the weak Gulf low traces a path along the boundary beginning Monday night. Rain chances along the coast will increase as well as further south from a Ft. Pierce to Sarasota line.

Overnight Monday-Tuesday: The most likely to be the wettest period with mild temperatures.

Timing is still an issue for this period as far as precipitation is concerned, but temperatures won't be much of an issue. Over night lows to remain in the 60s with highs in the mid-upper 70s on Tuesday. If indeed rain chances are as high as is currently depicted...mid 70s are the better bet. The sky will be overcast though no matter how one slices the pie. If there's going to be any thunder, it appears it will be during the hours of peak heating Tuesday. Instability indices are weak to nearly non-existent and warmer air will be over running the boundary at 850mb...but a moderate Theta-E gradient at the lower levels from south to north and colder temperatures higher up (at and above 700mb) may be get established under decent mid-level speed shear right along the frontal boundary which, if not thunder producing, could result in some locally heavy pockets of rain sometime between noon-8pm across Central Florida. In other words, I would be hesitant to head out the door anytime Tuesday without some means of being able to stay dry while outside.

Tuesday Morning - Wednesday: The surface low (and possibly a secondary one off the coast of Daytona) will race off to the northeast and drag whatever kind of boundary one opts to call it across central Florida to the south and out of the picture. Expect by noon Wednesday that weather conditions will have improved drastically. We'll barely even see a north wind behind the boundary as it pulls out..but instead go right back to easterly. Don't think we'll see totally clear some residual moisture will linger and jet stream cirrus clouds will also be in play. But for the most part...Wednesday should be an okay day. In fact, the nicest of the entire week. This seems to be about the only thing all the models agree on.

Thursday-Saturday: Until this more 'urgent for immediate attention and yet to be even exist yet' system has cleared the area this period will be broad brushed. A slightly more dynamic system will be forming over the east central Gulf as we move into Thursday night...which will again cross Central Florida..this time dragging behind it a 'by definition' cold front through. For now, let's just expect that some over running precipitation will develop later Thursday in concert with a warm front that will form (again, across Central Florida) as the low develops. Precipitation may very well become more convective in nature (the thundery type) as we progress into Friday. But be real, that's 5 days away. Before then, we have bigger eggs to fry. Let's get past Tuesday first.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Non-Eventful Frontal Passage Today

(Images: The Hunger or Wolf Moon last night. FB users - click on link to see all photos)

A cold front extending from the central panhandle region extends into the Gulf of Mexico as of 10am. Rain showers and a few embedded thunderstorms accompany this boundary as well as in advance of it. Some anvil tops from the larger widely spread lightning producers over the Gulf are being spread across Central Florida well in advance of its arrival in combination with a variety of mid-level cloudiness being advected in from the SW and west. The front will pass across East Central Florida shortly before midnight (areas to the north and west at an earlier the south..later).

TODAY: Cloudy and somewhat breezy. The high temperature will be held at bay into the mid 70s (tops) due to the cloud cover which will likely be even thicker during the normal times of peak heating along with evaporative cooling of the air at the lowest levels from any rain trying to fall from these clouds. The latest sounding from KSC supports a S-SW wind around 12mph with gusts as high as 30mph over open land/water areas...but generally gusting in the 18-25mph range from the south and SSW all day. The heavier showers are now mainly limited to the area over the warmer waters of the Loop current off Florida's west coast. Once these move over cooler waters their intensity will likely diminish in 'intensity'. The PWATS (preciptable water values) are still below 1" locally (based on KSC's Sounding),...and without a good moist column the whole way up...and yet drier air further south being advected in from the south at the mid-levels (as evidenced from Miami's sounding) we will be hard pressed to actually see rain reach the ground running roughly east of a line from just south of Daytona to between Orlando and the beaches...for the most part..east of I-95 for the majority of the day.

Should rain reach extreme east central will be after 6pm in the form of light, stratiform rain with accumulations less than 1/4".

TONIGHT: The front will actually pass through Brevard in the wee hours of the morning Sunday. Obviously, it will pass the areas further north and west earlier as that is the direction it is coming from. Temperatures may eventually drop down to the low 50s/mid-40s further west and north and into the mid-upper 50s in the more immediate area.

SUNDAY: Sunday may very well be the coolest of days we'll have for the entire week ahead. But considering what we've grown somewhat accustomed will be of no impact. Low in the mid 50s with a high in the mid 60s. Skies will likely start out mostly cloudy but begin to break up by late morning to early afternoon. The front will continue its south bound journey to the frontal graveyard (the Florida Straits) late Sunday while its most southern/western tail will linger just west and south of the keys. In the meantime, high pressure will quickly skirt across Dixie. A brief period of NW-N winds for the majority of this day will be quickly replaced by NE winds by evening under clearing skies with the cooler temps as alluded to.

MONDAY: Our next weather maker will already be making plans for an impact on South and Central Florida. The lingering tail end will eventual coalesce into a weak surface low. A weak, appendant warm front will run up the peninsula quickly swinging those NE winds the whole way around to SE-S by day's end. The air mass will have had little time to dry out...and thus won't have any problem recouping whatever moisture will have been displaced. The result will be increasing clouds again from south to north...with an increased chance of rain late Monday into Tuesday. Wind fields actually look pretty impressive for a brief window of opportunity (of thunderstorms)...but the atmosphere will likely remain to thermodynamically stable to generate anything more than isentropic lift along this warm front...hence cloudy conditions and a stratiform rain could very well be a big player over night Monday into Tuesday.

TUESDAY: At this time it looks like Tuesday will be totally cloudy with a good chance of light-moderate intensity rain showers. Temperatures to remain in the low to mid 70s due to the cloud cover and this potential of rain with SW-W winds in the 10-20 mh range.

WEDNESDAY: Gradual abatement of the rain but continued cloudy to occasionally partly cloudy as yet another system begins to take shape and approach the area for later in the week. Might have to watch for coastal spits of rain too...but we have several days to monitor for that potential.

This latest system toward the end of the week may need to be watched carefully! There are hints that some form of severe weather with this one could materialize. Obviously being as far out as that is from now...there's nothing remotely close to clear cut on any such evolution..but it will continue to be watched as the week progresses to see if such sort of development continues to appear as probable.

IN SUMMARY: Highs all week will be in the low-mid 70s (except Monday when it will be in the mid 60s. Lows will remain in the mid-upper 50s away from the coast, whereas the immediate coast might never drop below 63 (except for Monday). It will be a somewhat interesting week to be monitoring all of these developments...if for no other reason than it beats forecasting and/or observe nothing other than a blue, dry sky (from a meteorlogical perspective). Granted, the weather this entire week will not be all so great for the sun worshipper (hey..I worship the sun too..although from some of these writings one might not think so). Bring on summer..sun most of the day..followed by a storm. The best of both worlds.
Reminder: This discussion is generated from a humble apartment and is not the official forecast as provided through the National Weather Service located in Melbourne. We are concluding Florida's Official Severe Weather Awareness Week today...not because the threat is over. On the contrary, it's strategically timed so that we have ample time to prepare for any upcoming severe weather in the coming weeks and months ahead! Historically, the most significant tornado outbreaks occur in Florida during El Nino years...specifically during the last two El Nino events. February and March are still to prepared NOW. Highly recommended is a Weather Radio. I got mine at Publix of all places. But do have one, especially one with the S.A.M.E. alert feature.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Moon In Leo - The Heart's Desire (click on this for details)

The Native Americans called it the Full Wolf Moon. In the coldest time of winter, wolf packs were heard howling hungrily around the villages. Also known as Hunger Moon, Old Moon, Moon After Yule, or Full Snow Moon.

TODAY: We're right on track for the day with a high in the mid-70s under a generous mix of low, mid, and upper level clouds...but no rain. The low this morning along east central Florida bottomed out around 58-59 degrees (a good 4-5 degrees warmer than yesterday). Areas further north near Ocala were 10+ degrees warmer. As such, the high temperature will follow suite with a high in the mid 70s and even upper 70s in some inland locales. Some low level clouds associated with somewhat of a combination of a pseudo warm front along with a very weak inverted trough off the coast have joined forces and are gradually working there way north and east along the east coast and will eventually disappear altogether as stronger southerly winds aloft over come the area by late in the day. About the only evidence of this 'so called boundary' was an increase in the lower level clouds (stratocumulus) which already seem to be dissipating from the area. Light N-NE winds earlier in the day will eventually shift to ESE by day's end but will be of no consequence as they will remain on the very light side.

TONIGHT - EARLY SATURDAY: Very mild! Winds will eventually become more assuredly southerly if not SSW by early morning under continued variable sky conditions. We will remain rain free during this time frame. The low will not fall below 60 degrees tonight. Nice. It would be nice to see the Full Wolf Moon tonight...if we have a chance to (officially at 1:18am EST). I think there will be ample breaks in the cloud decks to, at a minimum, catch some good glimpses of it. From what I read, this is supposed to be the largest full moon of the year since the moon will be at it's closest point in its orbit around the earth.

SATURDAY: Here we go again. The approaching cold front will be in the western-central Florida panhandle. A good cloud shield will be overspreading the area...but for the most part Central and South Florida will remain rain free. By noon areas to our north, particularly from an Ormond Beach - Crystal River line will likely be receiving rain and a few embedded rumbles of thunder. Rain chances go up for the Central Peninsula, mainly on the west half of the state, by early to mid afternoon. But for the most part, those east of Orlando could very well hold off on the rain until well after sunset. Not to say there can't be some errant showers earlier..but any that do materialize will be few and far between. The high will likely again reach the mid-upper 70s...contingent upon just exactly how much cloud coverage there is between 11am-2pm which could vary at any given location. The wind for the entire day will be southwesterly and occasionally gusting into the 20+ mph range over open areas. But for the most part..nothing remarkable.

SATURDAY NIGHT/EARLY SUNDAY: This is the period that the best chance of rainfall is anticipated. In line with yesterday, I'm going to hold fast to the notion that chances of thunder south of the Crystal River - Ormond Beach line will be very remote..with a slightly higher chance along the west coast as far south as somewhere between St. Pete and Sarasota. The diffuse and wide frontal boundary will take a good part of the midnight to 8am hours to completely traverse through Central Florida; therefore, expect it to be completely overcast with elevated chances of rain. I'm noticing today that again there is the implication that parts of Central Florida may very well not receive any rainfall at all. By late afternoon Sunday all over Central Florida we'll be waving goodbye to the front as it sinks down into the Southern Peninsula. But no need to's not leaving us for good.

LATE SUNDAY - LATE WEDNESDAY: The front will make it into the Florida Straits and eventually drift back north in some remnant form or another on TUESDAY and remain a thorn in the forecasters' side through Wednesday. This thorn will come in the form of trying to figure out if or when we will see some rain or perhaps some thunder, as well as the amount of cloud coverage that will exist. Temperatures won't be a problem though.

Seems there will be no cold air intrusion...not any time within the next week --although they will be shoved down just a smidgen. Pleasantly cool (two words combined that don't make me). Not warm, not cold. In fact, very little variation between morning lows and afternoon highs are anticipated (at least not from what one could normally experience), especially Tuesday and Wednesday...ranging generally between 60-70 degrees round the clock on those days along the coast ..but into the mid-50s west of the rivers and over toward the west coast. Warmer over the southern 1/3 of the state...cooler (much so) over the northern 1/3. Not until what looks like Thursday does the whole mess clear out in prelude with the next system to approach the area.

It will be fun to monitor to see what everything amounts to beginning tomorrow afternoon. I don't say it enough...but do remember that all forecasts and musings are of strictly my own and not from our friends at the National Weather Service. My twist(s) are an attempt to include down to more of the mesoscale level how ultimately coastal weather can vary from the 'west of the rivers' land area in Central Florida (for the most part).

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Texas Panhandle/OK Battered as Florida Basks

(Image: A "waxing gibbous" moon At 95% full just before sunrise)
Another stellar day in store for Florida as the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma begin a major ice/snow event...hard to believe from the looks of it that our friends in the South Central Plains are encountering an incredibly horrible bag of mixed wintry treats right now.

Today: No change in forecast thinking for Central Florida. Throughout the course of the day high pressure at 850mb will be centered right over Central Florida...with the surface high centered just to our north. As a result, the sky will remain nearly totally clear with just a few minor wisps of cirrus with very light north winds. The temperature will flirt with 70 degrees for the course of the day and most likely reach that point from Satellite Beach and points south...up by Canaveral they will likely reach 70 west of the Banana River. There are a few mid-level clouds just offshore (beyond the horizon)..but believe they will remain well offshore as the mid and low levels are still too dry to support a cloud deck over the land area and winds higher up are out of the west (but very light as well). North winds will eventually become more northeasterly by sunset but remain below 10 mph.

Tonight/Tomorrow: High pressure now offshore will shift winds to the northeast and eventually east at less than 10 mph with continued clear to thinly scattered cloud conditions. We'll see low 70s most everywhere continued pleasant, even more so than today. The low temperature will be a good 5-10 degrees tomorrow morning than it was this morning everywhere. High clouds will be on in the increase by mid-late in the day...but will be of little consequence.

Saturday: Now's when some appreciable atmospheric changes begin. As already mentioned in two previous posts, indications were that the next system would be slower to arrive than originally thought several days ago. This 'slower' trend continues. That said, winds will veer to southeast over night Friday into Saturday morning and begin to increase to the 10-15mph range under mostly partly cloudy skies with highs in the low-mid 70s east of the Banana River...mid-upper 70s west of there. Some of those clouds off shore will have a good chance of reaching the peninsula by Saturday morning.
During this time a low pressure system will be skirting along the northern banks of the Gulf of Mexico (extreme southern Mississippi / Alabama/extreme western Florida Panhandle). At the same time we will be returning to more of a prevalent "El Nino Jet Stream Pattern" aloft, which this low will get caught up in. That is, the southern branch jet stream will be racing overhead from across the Baja of California...Old Mexico...and the Gulf of Mexico to almost directly overhead. The result is that the low will continue to move almost due east and it's appendant cold front will be 'stretched' in an east/west fashion and struggle to work into Central Florida for the course of the day. Anticipating a significant increase in mid-upper level cloudiness ahead of the front though as a result of this upper level lifting..but little in rain chances until well after sunset. Temperatures will be held at bay in the mid-upper 70s everywhere as a result of the clouds...but other than that there will be little to gripe about.

Late Saturday Night into Sunday: The models are finally coming to somewhat of a consensus that this will be the period of most likely rain chances. However, I'm not sold on any semblance of significant 'action' to occur. There is noticeably less low level forcing along this boundary compared to our previous one as the gradients between various parameters in instability and winds won't be nearly as 'tight' ...instability will be nearly non-existent as well as any kinematics as winds will become nearly unidirectional with height. Any showers that manifest will likely get torn asunder...resulting in only sprinkles. Hope I'm wrong though because it would be fun to at least hear thunder Sunday afternoon. Actually, the latest Day 3 outlook provided by the Storm Prediction Center is eyeing this area for some strong thunderstorms (in the form of wind gust associated with them)...but even they are questioning that potential.
For now, if I'm going to err it's going to be on the side of less of a chance of appreciably active weather happening rather than on the more likely side. In fact, parts of Central/South Florida may see no rain at all. Drat! I'm not completely giving up 'hope' just yet though...but there's a little bug in the ear that's saying 'forget it dude". We'll see.

Late Sunday Through Tuesday: Another fly in the ointment beyond post-frontal conditions. Things still look on track for the surface winds to veer quickly behind the front and swing around to a northeast if not easterly component within 24-36 hours after frontal passage (rather than the usual 2-3 days of cold/dry northwest winds). This is the good part. It won't be getting cold at all after the front passes (just a little cooler). The atmosphere won't have to work hard to advect lingering moisture across Central and South Florida as the front continues to get stretched and be all but non-existent as it enters the cold front graveyard (the Florida straits.)
I've got some thoughts in mind as to what could transpire by Tuesday morning as a result...which you might not like to hear (hint, hint) I'm going to refrain from mentioning them until tomorrow to see if there's any continuity in the next two model runs. For now, though, since this scenario was depicted for the past 3 runs..we can at least mention that it's not clear cut exactly (so keep this in mind when you hear/see our forecast for this period on TV or other media outlets)...but for now. After a brief respite of 24 hours after the front goes through...we could see a quick return to the weather going downhill Tuesday into Wednesday. I haven't watched the news/weather in many many days on I have no idea what is being broadcast across the airwaves. Stay tuned...cause we could get wet in the early portions of mid-week next week.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Red Sky in Morning...Sailor Take Warning..."

(Images: Sunrise Monday shortly before the remains of an approaching squall line crossed the area. This was quite a sight for the 10 minutes that it lasted)

A storm system over the Southern Plains is taking shape as strong high pressure crosses the SE tier of states early today. The high pressure will be the dominant weather feather for Central Florida through Friday.

TODAY: As anticipated, there was a marked temperature gradient between the coast and areas west of the Banana River this morning. At the time I looked, Melbourne was 40 degrees whereas Cape Canaveral and Patrick AFB were around 52 degrees. For the most part though, the central peninsula was in the low-mid 40s. More full sunshine today with a light NNW-NNE wind all day at around 10mph. It will be a couple of degrees cooler today than 2-4 degrees. As long as one is in the sun and out of the wind it will feel warm and quite dry. Especially between 12pm-2:30pm. The wind will gain a little more of the easterly component by late in the day (hence the NNE wind stated above)...but will swing more NE-ENE over night under continued clear skies.

THURSDAY: Another big temperature contrast to start the day. Perhaps even bigger than this morning. The light easterly wind won't penetrate past the Indian River...but will greatly moderate the temperature for those lucky enough to receive it's benefit along A1A and perhaps into Merritt Island as well. Expecting a low around 56-58 along the coast but still in the mid-40s west of the rivers. The wind on Thursday will predominantly remain easterly at around 10mph throughout the day with essentially clear skies. We may see some patches of stratocumulus clouds at times throughout the day, especially within an hour or two of sunrise then again at sunset as moisture levels in the lower atmosphere increase as a result of the Atlantic breeze coupled with the times when the sun's strength won't be mixing the atmosphere as much. The afternoon will be warmer all areas with the old mercury flirting with the low 70s.

FRIDAY: Quite a mild morning for everyone with a low in the mid 50s except close to 63 along the A1A corridor. More clouds, ahead of what will be a full bore storm system entering the western portions of Dixie Territory, will stream overhead, but we will continue rain free. Inland areas will likely be a bit warmer during peak heating than the coast as a continued onshore wind component blowing across 58 degree near shore Atlantic waters from the east to southeast will keep the immediate coast just a notch below the warm side. And those temperatures coupled with a lot of the suns full power not being realized as a result of increased clouds will make it feel less than stellar but not bad at all. A weak inverted trough will form along the coast to abet in some of the clouds by late in the afternoon...but still no least not until some very isolated showers begin to formulate during the very early morning hours of Saturday....with emphasis on very isolated.

SATURDAY: Here's where things get tricky, so expect some amendments to this portion of the blog in future posts. The wind overnight Friday into Saturday will continue to veer and be almost due south by sunrise of Saturday. The low will be in the low 60s most areas. As was noted yesterday, there were hints that this next system to affect the area seemed to be coming in later than was previously thought on the first post where it was initially brought to light. It seems the trend now is yet even slower than thought yesterday. So we've gone from thinking it would initially be here at sunrise that it now appears it could wait until about sunset. Without the aid of any data/models...experience, particularly from this season, tells me that future model runs will have it slowing down yet even more, but not by much. Weather associated with the front will precede its passing...and a marked change in the weather can be expected between late morning and early afternoon of Saturday. It's also uncertain as to weather this approaching rainfall potential will be in the form of just rain showers or thunderstorms (some of which could be quite strong). In any case, be prepared for a healthy SW-WSW wind on Saturday once the day gets going with a significant change (in the downward of favorable direction) in sky conditions and rain chances going from mid morning to mid afternoon.

It can't go unsaid that further elaboration as to just exactly what type of weather impact we can expect will be required. I'd rather provide information that is closer to definitive rather than 'cry wolf' 3 days before the weather is even supposed to get here. Thus, this will need to be addressed once we are within a reasonable time frame as to be able to make that assertion for this particular system.

SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY: The front will have cleared the area and will lay somewhat dormant in the 'cold front graveyard' of the Florida Straits. High pressure that always builds in behind a cold front (and normally cools us down significantly) will move rapidly east behind the front so that by Sunday afternoon we'll be back to NE winds with only mild cooling.

As a result, the atmosphere will have little problem recouping (moisture wise) from as it would if we had a prolonged 'land breeze, drier air' event. Hence, coastal clouds by mid-late day Sunday..and maybe even a low topped shower (very light sprinkle) can't be totally discounted from mid-late day Sunday through Tuesday (where we again get to open another exciting chapter in the weather book).

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Florida's Severe Weather Awareness Week (click on this)

(Image: Show is the cap and T-Shirt purchased in Wakita, Oklahoma...the town made famous by Aunt Meg in the movie "Twister")

Does the sky get any bluer !? Wow, it's nice out there. Light NW wind and absolutely super blue sky. Almost surreal looking out there with cool temperatures. This is Severe Weather Awareness Week - 2010 for Florida. Click on the blog title or here to read more:

Today: No change to yesterday's train of thought for our forecast through Friday. Strong high pressure is building across the Central Gulf of Mexico today. Circulation around this high will reinforce the cool, dry, clear conditions across the state. Clockwise circulation around this high will continue to pull down cool/cold air down the entire state today and into tonight with a light west to NW flow prevailing. Clear sky today with a high in the mid 60s area wide. Expect a high of 67 along the coast.

Tonight: Continued NW wind component will promote the coolest if not coldest day of the week leading into Wednesday. Over night lows into the low 40s for all of the area except right on the coast where it will be about 50 degrees by morning. No clouds to speak of.

Wednesday: Coolest of days under continued clear skies. Wednesday will essentially be cooler by about 4 degrees for both a low and high temperature along the coast, but it will much colder inland druing the morning hours as high pressure passes overhead. Another uneventful day...but have a jacket around except maybe during the peak heating hours of 12pm - 3pm.

Late Wednesday Night into Thursday: Subtly nice change for the coast, but not inland. High pressure will have moved just east of the coast overnight promoting a nil to very light onshore wind component over night. Inland will be calm. Net result will be primo radiational cooling and drainage flow down the spine of the state and another cold start to the day west of the Banana River. The immediate coast could easily be a good 10 - 15 degrees warmer though. Thursday will essentially be the same as most of Monday was with a high in the upper 60s and just flirting with 70 by noon. Probably a few cirrus (very high cloud) wisps..but all in all a stellar day in store.

Late Thursday Into Friday: "Oklahoma where the wind goes blowing down the Plains." Oklahoma will be bracing for perhaps their biggest snow event of the year thus far as Florida begins to bask in warmth. A very complex set up will be evolving for our friends in the South Central Plains as a variety of low pressure systems congeal and work in hand with cold high pressure to the north to promote snowy/icy conditions in Oklahoma and N. Texas. In the meantime, all of Florida will be experiencing return SE -S flow around the back side of the high pressure system which will be well off to our east and in advance of the evolving storm system to our west. A weak inverted trough will form just off the east Florida coast in response to this wind shift...with that mid-day Thursday (if not sooner)..we'll see some patchy low and mid clouds..mainly along the coast to start. But higher level clouds will begin to stream in from the west as well. All in all it will be partly cloudy with perhaps some generally cloudy periods, especially later in the day and along the coast. But the temperature will also be modifying nicely...welcome low-mid 70s again!

Friday: Yet another nice day. Even the morning won't be able to be quantified as 'cool' with a low in the mid-upper 60s. All in all it currently appears that the partly - cloudy sky conditions will prevail with no chance of rain as winds veer to a more SSW component and the tmperature gets solidly into the mid-70s everywhere.

The Weekend: Original thinking was that by Saturday morning we'd be seeing the system coming out of the Plains to be traversing trough the Deep South and beginning to directly impact the immediate Florida Peninsula prior to sunrise Saturday. Will continue with that train of thought for now...the only fly in the ointment is that this system might be slower to move in than previously thought. Some of the latest forecast model runs are not yet available as of the time of this writing...but from what little information I'm getting still looks like the majority of Saturday will be cloudy with an increasing chance of rain showers and perhaps some thunder. That's still quite a ways more elaboration can be made in tomorrow's update. In looking further out though, it appears that the cooling impact of this next system (as stated yesterday) will be very brief...lasting only about 36 hours as the wind will be quick to shift to an easterly component with 24 hours of the weekend front's passing.

In Summary: Very cool through tomorrow under clear skies, then moderating temperatures and increasing clouds beginning Thursday with breezy conditions developing late Friday. Rain chances come into the picture on Saturday.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Exit Cold Front - Enter Cold Air

(Image shows positions of the weakening squall line and actual cold front earlier this morning)

The squall line and its associated weather went through right on schedule (around 8am) but with little to show for it. There were a few tornado warnings issued, all north of the area as was originally suspected would happen. The closest one to east Central Florida was along the Volusia/Brevard County line. However, as far as I know, there have been no severe weather related reports /wind least none that would quantify as meeting official severe weather criteria.

Today: As of 1pm the remains of the squall line have exited the entire state..with the Miami area the last to feel its "wrath" as I write. There is no rain anywhere now to be of concern. Initially, the temperature had dropped 16 degrees in Canaveral within an hour after the line's passing (down to 58 degrees) but have since officially climbed to 70 degrees (both on my porch and at Patrick AFB). However, the 'true cold front' is marching on in as I type and is pretty much located along a line from Jacksonville southward to between Orlando and the beaches. Cloud cover over the area will rapidly disappear once the front goes through which will be at about 2pm if not shortly before that time. By 3 o'clock all traces of the front will be gone...the air will dry out significantly as the dew point temperature drops..and the ambient air temperature will drop late afternoon we'll be looking at the lower 60s in east central Florida, and by shortly after sunset it will be in the upper 50s.

Tonight-Friday: This period can be summed up briefly. Uneventful. Yes, it will be MUCH cooler if not relatively cold Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Especially west of the Banana River as is typical. The absolute immediate coast will luck out on this one to some degree. Looks like it will get colder here than originally thought but not by much. In general, the lows will be characterized as being in the low-mid 40s inland and right around 50 along A1A both mornings. Over night Wednesday into Thursday morning, strong high pressure which will have been passing across the Northern Gulf of Mexico will have crossed the state and be well out into the Atlantic. Clockwise flow around this high will bring a return easterly wind overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning effectively providing more significant relief from the coldest of air to the immediate coast, whereas areas especially along and west of US1 won't be so fortunate...they'll have yet one more cold morning to contend with. Highs both Tuesday and Wednesday will remain well below 70 -- low-mid 60s under abundant sunshine.

All in all when push comes to shove it could be a lot worse for this time of year, so no complaints here.

Friday Through Saturday: Low pressure will form over the South Central Plains and shift straight east as we return to a much more typical El Nino, latitudinally zonal flow (in the jet stream) from west to east across the southern tier of the U.S. This low will track almost due east across Southern Mississippi-Louisiana-Alabama-Georgia and exit into the Atlantic Saturday morning with it's appending cold front to swoop diagonally through the state at, no less, the same time of the day as the past two fronts (early morning near sunrise). If the timing on this system remains constant as currently portrayed...then once we get past the late morning hours of Saturday the remainder of the weekend will be quite pleasant..albeit a little cool. It currently appears that we'll only be in for a 24-36 hour noticeable cool down with the next front (as opposed to the full 3 days we're getting from the one that passed through this morning).

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Here Comes Da' Front - Tomorrow

(Images show fronts passing through the Deep South, the KSC Morning Sounding, and Current Helicity/Shear Values Across the State)

What a mild morning! We only got down into the mid-60s everywhere last night with an increasing southeast wind. Yesterday I was questioning as to the timing of exactly when our next front would be going through. As it ends up the timing looks like it will be right down the middle of the road (or an average of all the models put together). This means it won't be 10am nor 6pm..but rather around 1pm Monday. In the interim....

Today: The stationary front that layed dormant over South Florida yesterday essentially washed out as it moved north as a weakening warm front. The only sign of its passing here was cloud deck near sunrise and some off shore rain showers. Winds are a steady southeasterly this morning and had not become more southerly as models depicted they would yesterday. This is a for sure indicator that the frontal boundary to our west and any associated weather is holding off to the west a bit longer for us.

As you can see from the morning KSC Sounding (click on it to enlarge)...the inversion that was 2500 Ft. above us yesterday is now only a mere 800 Ft. over us today. As shown, our E-SE wind exists in only a very shallow layer along the fact, if you were to go to the top of the Cape Royal Building it could be from a different direction all together..or maybe even calm (practically).

All in all, expect the wind to become more southerly through the morning and remain almost straight, due south from noon time through the rest of the day. It could get pretty darned breezy too (like Thursday)...under partly cloudy skies. It will feel kind of 'sticky' today as moisture in the atmosphere's lowest levels increases in the southerly flow. Rain chances are pretty much NIL today into tonight...with a high temperature along the coast around 78...away from the coast (west of the Indian River) it will get into the low 80s.

Late Tonight into Early Monday: The first front shown in the plot above will have slowed considerably and the second one will nearly catch up to it. All this occurs as low pressure tracking much further north starts to phase with a much larger low already near the Hudson Bay region up in Canada. The two systems will phase together during the course of the next 36 hours and carve a much larger trough across the entire eastern United States (mainly east of the Mississippi River) which will be our big weather impact for the majority of next week.

In any case, it currently appears that the leading edge of this frontal ensemble will first be affecting North Central Florida near the Ocala area sometime between midnight-4am Monday morning down into N. Lake County. The leading edge of what will likely be a weakening squall line will be right on Brevard's front porch at 7am with rain showers and possibly a strong to severe thunderstorm (due to strong wind gusts). As you can see from the attached graphics 1 KM shear and helicity are already in place across mainly the N. 1/3 of the state, and I expect these to remain there and in fact work a tad further south with time. Tomorrow morning looks like another one of those high shear/low CAPE situations (CAPE: Convective Available Potential Energy)...which often results in convection (storms) being torn apart before they can really amount to anything. But any embedded cells that hold together along the line south of a N. Brevard to Brooksville line will have the potential to exhibit rotation given the high shear and helicities across the region which would support a marginal threat of a brief, weak tornado or strong wind gusts. The leading line of this convection, again...will have passed the Orlando area right at or before sunrise and be approaching the coastal communities in the hour or two thereafter.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear some severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings being issued for parts of north and central Florida between midnight and 8am. So be advised.
As the line continues to move east and south the upper level support will be weakening, and as such so will be the severe threat (not to discount a continued remote possibility as far south as a Palm Beach -Okeechobee-Sarasota line by late morning).

Monday Afternoon: At this time it looks like the main front will have passed the I-4 corridor by 11am Monday...and will be over Brevard during the lunch hour (12:30pm -1:30pm Monday)...after which it will have passed. There will likely be some lingering clouds into the mid-late afternoon with a stray shower...but by sunset the show will be over as cloud air advection ensues in earnest.
Tuesday-Thursday: This period will initially be characterized by nearly clear skies and cool temperatures in typical post cold front fashion. All indications are that the areas west of the Indian River and particularly down the spine of the state will experience the coldest of temperatures. It's worth noting that some numerical model output is spitting out lows for the Melbourne area around 41 degrees by Wednesday morning; however, at the same time the temperature forecast for Patrick AFB is 52! That's a BIG difference. But given we'll have a light west wind with the true freezing line well north of the's not entirely out of the question and in fact not all that unusual. So leave it as this, if your west of the Banana River and north of Orlando expect two very cool to cold mornings to start the day up until about 10am. Down right cold up near Ocala. After that time we'll have abundant sunshine to warm the days with a high in the mid-upper 60s at least thru Wednesday..maybe get into the low 70s Thursday. But remember, that high temperature will occur only at max for the majority of these days it will be in the 60s with a noticeable cooling within one hour of sunset.

Have a light jacket or sweater at hand all times next week through Thursday.

Friday-Saturday: Major air mass modification will begin on Thursday night going into Friday as the next system approaches. We can elaborate more on that as the time draws nigh. Just as a heads could get even cooler (to cold) for the next one by next Sunday going into Monday..but not least not in Central and South Florida.

IN SUMMARY: Partly cloudy, breezy and warm today. Cloudy, rain/storms (some strong to severe first half Monday)...wind shifting to west and weakening Monday afternoon under gradually clearing skies...jacket weather Tuesday thru Thursday under clear to partly cloudy skies.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pristine Today - Gone Tomorrow

(Images depict current position of yesterday's front and the latest KSC Sounding)

I drove down to S. Cocoa Beach this morning to see if any 'devastation' could be detected from yesterday's tornado. Other than lots of branches strewn across A1A..none could be seen although I know of the storm reports from the news and the paper. Windows broken and roof damage..resulting in lots of leaky ceilings inside some apartment units.

Did you get your electric bill yet? Wow, for the folks reading from Florida, FPL provided a very generous rebate. My bill was literally HALF of what it would have been otherwise and ended up lower than the previous month. What a treat!..I'd been dreading that one for a while...AND...

What a difference a day makes, huh? You'd never know that there was a tornado from Viera to S. Cocoa Beach yesterday morning by looking out there now. As of 11am the temperature was 70 degrees, but under such primo sunshine and light winds it feels much warmer. The frontal system that generated all of yesterday's havoc is now laying dormant across extreme South Florida (as shown) and high pressure is affixed across the peninsula. There is a pretty good cloud cover down there associated with it, but you'd never now it up here (further north). I've attached the KSC sounding to show how shallow of a layer, close to the ground, that our light east winds exist. As you can see one only has to go up about 2500 ft to encounter the westerlies which increase with height. Any moisture also resides only below the westerlies where the atmosphere then dries out significantly over this 'cap'. Such will be the course for the day...enjoy!

Today: Light east winds earlier today will likely increase somewhat by mid-afternoon as full sunshine heats the landmass. With the land heating up and 57 degree waters residing just offshore it is likely that the easterly wind will increase a bit and advect some of the cooler air residing just above those cold ocean waters into the immediate coast. This scenario was spelled out both in Thursday's and Friday's posts...and see no reason to deviate from that train of thought. The result? Well, as warm as it feels out there right now it's a tough call,...but I do believe that the east wind will increase enough to cool down the immediate coast...almost to the point of 'significantly" by late afternoon. The temperature will spike by 1:30pm at the time of max heating..then within an hour after that will fall back down to around 68 degrees or by the 3-4pm time frame. However, further west...west of the Banana River, the cooling affect will have little impact if any. Thus, folks located west of the Banana River in Merritt Island and especially west of the Indian River will bask it ignorant bliss as to what is transpiring along the A1A corridor in mid 70 degree air. The sky, however, will remain essentially clear for the majority of the day.

There is some concern that along with the cooling breeze that some low level clouds will that by late afternoon toward sunset not only will the sun be getting blocked, but we'll have a cool wind. But for the most part it currently appears this impact (if it even materializes, will be minimal). It's just too try aloft right now, and the moist layer underneath those westerlies is so shallow that there might not be enough 'depth in the moisture' to generate clouds.

Tonight into Tomorrow Morning: A very mild night in store. During the course of the night the east wind will begin to veer from easterly to more southeasterly and eventually southerly by daybreak. If the wind remains light enough fog could be a big concern for folks along either bank of the Indian River and points west. But at this time it looks like it would be of minimal impact. In any case, even if it does form it will be quick to dissipate as the southerly wind increases after daybreak. Regardless, clouds will be on the increase in advance of the next front as well as along the retreating stationary front now across South Florida which will have rapidly lifted north as a warm front and essentially lost all identity (even as a warm front). Not expecting any appreciable rain chances as the front lifts north..but a brief period of showers, especially along the coast, is not totally out of the equation. We'll give that possibility about a 2 in 10 chance of actually happening as clouds will also be on the increase.

Majority of Sunday: Think Thursday. Remember what that was like? It was generally cloudy with a good S-SSW wind and nicely warm. Such will be the case on Sunday. There will be a continued chance of rain showers, mostly over the eastern 1/4 of the peninsula, but I believe that any rain that does manage to get squeezed out will be shimmied to the east and remain off the coast. We'll warm into the upper 70s all areas, with the warmest of spots in the state right along East Central Florida and then along the rest of the southern 1/4 of the peninsula. Such is the case with a SW wind...where the air is blowing across the most available landmass possible.

Sunday Night into Monday Morning: A super mild night in store. I'd be surprised to see the low get below 67 degrees, if even. But daybreak will yield to a good SSW wind under cloudy skies with rain chances knocking on the door. It is quite possible that a squall line will have formed overnight...if not sooner..and will be steadily marching in this direction. At this time it appears that this 'boundary' will be nearly superimposed along with the incoming cold front rather than as a prefrontal trough...Timing as to its crossing is EXTREMELY sketchy at this time. Forecast models are varying from 6-12 hours as to just exactly WHEN the boundary will cross. It definitely will have passed by 8pm Monday evening...but it could cross East Central Florida anywhere between 10am-6pm.
So despite what you might be hearing over the air waves...timing is sketchy. Note that they don't provide a specific time as to when the 'weather' will occur?! Oh the joys of an unofficial blog...where I can make these little factoids known.
The further west and north one goes the earlier it will pass. There could very well be severe weather along the line, but at this time it appears that chance will be limited to an East/West line running from the Volusia/Brevard County line due west to Florida's West Coast and points north. As with this last system...I'll be closely monitoring the situation since the last one had a few unexpected punches to pull. There definitely appears that there will be ample shear and helicity for storms to approach severe limits just to the north...but a lack of instability and a weakness in lapse rates (which won't have as much time to recover as they did with yesterday's slower moving system) should, for the most part, preclude a repeat event. As a result, the 'squall line' if you could still call it that by the time it gets here, might only cross the area as an apparent line of rain showers with maybe some thunder audible. AGAIN...this needs to be monitored closely seeing as how we'll again be right on the cusp of what will likely be occurring just to our north. Folks living north of the I-4 corridor will be especially vulnerable to a quick severe weather event as the line races rapidly east during it's brief visit to the peninsular part of the state.

Monday Night - All of Thursday: Dry and very cool sums it up. Lows in the mid-50s along the coast and mid-upper 40s west of the Banana River. Tuesday will be the 'coldest' where some locales could approach the lower 40s; however, along the immediate A1A corridor we could be a good 10-12 degrees warmer. See, 57 degree water just offshore is relatively warm when compared to low 40s where the land can cool much more effectively..and that will be the saving grace along A1A. But Tuesday and Wednesday all in all will warm into the mid-upper 60s under generous sunshine. So it will be pleasant, especially during the peak heating hours of 11:30am - 2:30pm.

Beyond: Might want to have the heavy coat at hand (hope it's not in storage). The next system to affect us will be overnight Friday into Saturday morning. And this one will likely cool us off even more than the one moving in on Monday. But not down to freezing...just another shot of very cool air. Spring has definitely not sprung...and after all, it's nowhere near time for it to. Such is winter. Normally, our coldest period is the last week of January through the first half of this is to be much as I hate it. (frown face)

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Friday, January 22, 2010

....The Difference Between Night and Day

(Images depict radar as of 6:20am concurrent with frontal position)

As I type the second tornado warning for this area is being issued! Exciting morning.

Otherwise, a weak cold front is ever so slowly sinking south into Central Florida in the pre-dawn hours as rain showers and widely scattered thunderstorms roll across the area in conjunction with a 'diminishing by the minute' pre-frontal trough. A few tornado warnings were issued this morning in conjunction with the trough of which Cape Canaveral was included. During the time of these warnings there definitely was sufficient 1KM shear and helicity to warrant the warnings, however, I've noticed that since 3am those parameters have weakened considerably, thus the severe threat is likely waning accordingly. Although, there is that warning that was just issued.

Looks like the rain showers and a few rumbles of thunder will be with us until mid morning after which any weather worth mentioning will be over with other than lingering showers and some thunderstorms further south in a Sarasota to Sebastian line...

Today: With that said, the morning will start out overcast over most of the immediate Central Florida ahead of the delineated 'cool front'. The front will have pushed through by 1pm this afternoon and end up across South Florida as a stationary front, after which the wind will shift from its current WSW direction to more of a NW direction under clearing skies. It will be a little cooler today (than yesterday), but it will still be quite pleasant. It currently appears that the sky will be clearing significantly right at the time of max we could get a nice little leap in the temperature if for only a very brief time prior to the sun's lowering in the later portions of the afternoon. All in all, once we get past noon it will be a nice day.

Tonight: During the course of the evening high pressure will rapidly move in across much of the eastern United States with its center well to the north. However, it will ridge down along the Appalachian chain (as alluded to yesterday) and be somewhat enhanced by geographic features as it shifts east. The result will be a rapid veer of the wind around to the NE and eventually east..but it will remain at 10mph or less. The end result, as if we haven't learned by now, is that since it will be coming off the 57 degree water temperatures will be moderated precluding night time lows from falling off all that much.

Saturday: The weather Saturday will be solely dictated by a short wave high pressure ridge running down, essentially, the Gulf Stream with light east winds. The temperature along the coast will thus be held at bay to the upper 60s under mostly sunny skies and light east winds. Away from the coast, generally west of US1 the temperature could get up to around 73 degrees.

Sunday: The next system will be approaching as the high pressure off the coast continues to retreat eastward...circulation around the high and ahead of the approaching system will lead to continued veering winds the whole way around to the south and eventually SSW by shortly after day break. The stationary front that will by stretched across South Florida will retreat north and revisit the area, this time as a warm be situated almost directly overhead at daybreak. Temperatures will warm nicely to be much the same as they were Thursday. In fact, Sunday could very well end up being a carbon copy of Thursday...both temperature and cloud wise. Rain will remain at bay though until late in the overnight hours.

Monday: The day will start out very mild temperature wise with a front approaching the area. It will be totally cloudy with rain showers (which will have begun overnight)...and possibly some thunderstorms..some of which could be strong. This system will have to monitored closely for more elaboration in future posts concerning the potential for yet another shot of severe weather in the area.

Late Monday - Thursday: By late in the day the cold front will have made a clean slice through the area with cold air advection ensuing. Drat! But it won't be real cold, just very cool. Clearing skies late in the day will yield to lows in the mid-50s by Tuesday morning and highs in the mid-upper 60s for the early and mid-late week period. Temperatures further from the coast (west of US1) will likely get down into the mid 40s. Light jacket weather so to speak for those days.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Severe Weather Might Be Closer Than a Sniff

The Storm Prediction Center has put out their latest severe weather outlook
which places the risk of severe weather along and north of a line running
from Titusville-Tampa (this is further south than what is outlined in
today's earlier blog post). The National Weather Service has also alluded to
the possibility of severe weather in the Hazardous Weather Outlook...a
portion of which is shown below. For the most part, the best chance remains
in the area noted in my earlier blog post, but as a safety measure this
information should be conveyed. Just a heads up:


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Nasty Weather So Close You Can Smell It

(Images depict northward moving boundary and area of most active weather later today/tonight. Last two images show current lowest level helicity and shear, harbingers to severe weather)

Most of Today: As of 7am a pseudo warm front is passing across Central Florida and moving north. Behind this boundary, and for the course of most of the day, a much warmer SSW-SW wind flow will warm the temperature up to about 77 degrees along the coast and to around 80 (give or take a degree or two) west of the Indian River. The day will be characterized by very breezy, if not windy, SSW-SW winds under a good coverage of mainly high and occasionally mid-level cloudiness. The cross wind over the causeways will give cause to have both hands on the steering wheel..and small craft boating could be somewhat hazardous as a result. Most, if not all of the rain will remain along and north of the retreating 'warm frontal' noted in the dashed lines in the included images.

Late This Afternoon into the Evening: Rain chances increase sometime after 5pm as a weakening cold frontal boundary of sorts sinks south into Central Florida. Most of the energy that's causing all the storms in the panhandle this morning will have moved well off to the ENE, however the lower levels will have destabilized sufficiently with the heating of the day to generate scattered, if not numerous, rain showers across all of the central peninsula. (We might be hearing about severe thunderstorm warnings being issued in the highlighted area along and north of a Daytona Beach - Brooksville line by mid-afternoon with a very isolated chance of such close to the Tampa Bay area). These showers will be with us throughout the evening and into Friday through at least noon time as the boundary sinks south. Residual moisture behind the boundary may create additional showers until about 5pm Friday, but at this point I believe that for the most part our best chances of rain will be over by 1pm on Friday.

Overnight Friday into Saturday: Any residual showers and clouds will be clearing the area over night as a short wave ridge breaks overhead in advance of yet the next Pacific system. High pressure at the surface ridging down the Appalachian chain will ooze on by to the north and place Florida in a light easterly wind by Saturday morning under partially clearing skies and cooler temperatures but by no means cold (mid-50s). Saturday will be dry but feel somewhat cool in comparison to the two days prior with a high in the upper 60s along the coast and closer to 73 west of US1. This easterly (onshore) flow will be felt most along the coast east of US1 of course...but all areas will be cooler regardless.

Sunday: Yet another system will be knocking on our chamber doors as the Pacific conveyor belt ejects yet another system across the southern tier of states. The wind will again swing around to a more SW'ly component...providing for a noticeably warmer day with temperatures much like they will be today...but we will remain dry until after sunset.

Monday: As presumed yesterday, the next front associated with this parade participant will be very close to Central Florida at daybreak Monday. Rain showers will be likely at this time as well and will persist until at least mid-day before the front pushes through with cold air advection ensuing by sunset. This won't be a major cold event, but it won't be warm either. Lows back down to the mid-50s by daybreak Tuesday under a clearing sky.

Tuesday-Thursday: The good thing that at this point it that we're mainly going to be looking at lows only in the 50s and highs in the uper 60s Tuesday-Thursday of next week under partly cloudy skies and light winds. All in all not bad for the middle of winter. But, the next system will be eyeing our region... seeing as how that is a good week away, we can leave that for a later time.
Lots to savor for today in the meantime. Radar could be the best show on the screen today (beats "One Life to Live") if all pans out.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Love a Parade (Except the Clowns!)

(Images depict classic drainage flow locally. Nationally, a parade of low pressure systems march across the country).
Another stellar day on tap! Dawn is breaking with an absolutely clear sky and dead calm wind as expected. High pressure centered overhead and a clear sky are providing for classic radiational cooling coupled with a very cool drainage flow down the spine of the state. As usual the coolest air is found west of the Banana River, but that will soon be a faded memory as pure, unadulatered sunshine beams on in.
There is no change at all from yesterday's thinking. The high pressure currently planted over the peninsula will ever so slowly drift east this afternoon and be centered just off the coast by late afternoon with no other systems near by. As a result, today will be predominantly clear with continued very light winds. A very light easterly wind will develop by early afternoon which will affect only those areas east of Merritt Island. As mentioned yesterday, the temperature will rise quickly between 9-10am..and likely get very close to the 70 degree mark. The temperature away from the coast may get up to about 72 but, again, the area east of Merritt Island will feel the affect of 58 degree ocean waters and will drop back to around 67 as soon as the onshore component ensues. Clouds will be close to non-existent most of the day.

Thursday: The morning temperatures will be dictated along the coast by a very light southeast wind in prelude to the next approaching system which will greatly impact the Deep South (mainly Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, West Florida Panhandle). Clouds will be on the increase at daybreak. Odd as it may seem, although the light east wind cool things off during the day it will prevent overnight temperatures from falling off as much as they would otherwise, hence Thursday morning will start out in the upper 50s rather than the lower 50s as they did this morning. During the course of the day the wind will gain more of a southerly to eventually SSW component by late day (note...NOT off the ocean by that time). Hence, by mid afternoon we'll be seeing mid to even upper 70s everywhere including the coast. Don't think there'll be enough clouds to offset the warming affect of the sun. In other words, another very nice day until very late in the day as clouds will continue to be on the increase.

Late Thursday Night into Friday: The low pressure system tracking across the Deep South will continue in east to ENE fashion slowly inching a frontal system across the Florida-Georgia border. Storms, some possibly strong will blanket the extreme northern portions of the state, but as stated yesterday Central and South Florida will essentially dodge the bullet (by a hair). This is the tricky part though, so it's advised that one remain abreast of the very latest conditions should you need to venture out in the wee hours of Friday there is a remote chance of a thunderstorm as far south as a Melbourne-Tampa line. That's not to say it won't rain though. Expect that some rain showers will enter the area sometime after midnight and continue until at least mid-morning Friday. It's worth noting at this point that one of the models continues the rain for the majority of Friday...but I'm not playing the devils advocate at this point and believe that for the most part this 'rain' will manifest itself as overcast skies. Strong/Severe storms are in the cards further north however. With healthy to even breezy SW to WSW winds all day Friday the temperature will be allowed to warm to the upper 70s to even near 80. The only fly in the ointment as far as temperatures is concerned is whether or not it will be rainy. Rain/clouds will damper down the high temperature a notch, but for the time being I don't think the rain will be widespread and/or prolonged enough to prevent us from getting into the upper 70s. But it won't be a stellar day.

Overnight Friday into Saturday: The front will essentially wash out right over us and pull off to the east never making a clear passage through Central Florida. The wind will start out from the west but high pressure ridging down the Appalachians in the wake of the system will again result in the dreaded onshore component on Saturday, thus keeping the high temperature along the immediate coast at bay in the upper 60s. Temperatures from US1 and points west will likely reach the upper 70s again on Saturday though.

Sunday: Our in between day as yet the next participant in the parade heads this way for Monday. The wind will again swing around to the south ahead of the next system and allow temperatures across the entire region to warm into the upper 70s once again.

Late Monday and Beyond: At this time, it appears the next system / front will be laying squarely across Central Florida at daybreak Tuesday morning (accompanied by rain). This front will cleaning pass across the entire peninsula and be well out to sea by the end of the day Tuesday....but no tremendous temperature drop will follow although it will be cooler. The days following into midweek will be characterized by partly cloud skies and cool temperatures..but not outright cold.

At this time, unlike as feared yesterday, it does not look like another cold spell such as we had earlier in the month is anywhere on the horizon. The fur lined coat and gloves will remain at the back of the closet for now. By mid-February they go into storage!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Super Duper" Nice Today

(Image courtesy of UCAR: Depicts Wednesday at 7am - 1/20/2010)

Pockets of fog have developed across Central Florida this morning...but they will soon be a faded memory by NLT 9.00am. The cirrus clouds of yesterday are pulling out as the jet streak associated with our last storm system pulls further away from the U.S. Unlike yesterday's cirrostratus from hell, today's sky should be nearly clear all day with a much lighter wind. The center of surface high pressure will remain just to our NW today...which I believe will preclude the dreaded 'cold' sea breeze today...except for maybe very late in the day. High today will reach 67 degrees under full sun and very light NNW wind. If things 'heat' up enough over the landmass one can't totally discount a late afternoon seabreeze, however I believe that scenario is more like to materialize on Wednesday.

Tonight-Wednesday: The high pressure will drift east and be placed directly upon us by daybreak tomorrow as depicted in the image. This will result in another cool morning with nearly calm winds. Heating will be abundant again tomorrow, however, it appears that after an initial climb to near 70 degrees, the temperature will drop back to the mid-60s by early afternoon under just a few scattered clouds along the coast. From Merritt Island and points west the temperature will remain at or just above 70. Thus, it will be a good 5 degrees warmer west of the Banana River.

Thursday: As expected, the surface low associated with the next system is now forecast to track further north than was earlier depicted which will put a damper on any significant weather to affect Central Florida in the mid-Thursday to mid-Friday time frame. However, it does appear that return Southerly flow ahead of this system along with low level moisture already in place will be enough to generate some good cloud cover and perhaps some rain showers by late in the day. Thunderstorms seem like a good bet on a Brooksville-Daytona Beach Line and points north, some of which may be strong. For the most part Central Florida will dodge the bullet.
This day will be one of our warmest for the next week with a high in the mid-upper 70s.

Friday: As it stands now, the front really won't pass through as much as it will be stretched in an east-west fashion across the peninsula then fizzle. Any clouds and rain that might have materialized in the area late Thursday/Thursday night will be out of the picture by early afternoon. The wind should be out of a west to NW component providing for another day in the mid-70s under clearing skies.
Saturday: Our official high temperature forecast for Saturday might be over done by up to 10 degrees! High pressure that builds in the wake of our passing system will ridge down the Appalachins producing an onshore wind trajectory. Saturday could actually be a cool day (temperature wise) ...again, especially along the coast. We will also already by setting up for yet another system, courtesy of the desert southwest, as the wind becomes more southeasterly and eventually southerly. It is this system that will likely haved produced some flooding rains in Arizona on Thursday, of all places. As is now becoming painfully apparent, any onshore wind equates to much cooler conditions within 5 miles of the coast. This will be the rule of thumb through March. In the meantime, areas west of the Banana River will continue to experience significantly different conditions (i.e., warmer by 5-9 degrees).

Heading into early next week: UH OH! It's starting to look like the 'generic last week of January' is going to hold true to form. Drat! That means, it will be much cooler to nearly cold. For how long and how cold? Too early to say...but if all the cards fall in place as one would climatologically could be a good week of jacket weather again. Don't pack the coats to the very back of the closet just yet.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Very Pleasant Through Thursday

Today's post will be brief as there is little in the 'remotely significant' department to allude to. The cold front passed through last night, and the result is noticeable this morning with a temperature in the pre-dawn hours in the upper 50s most areas. Melbourne seems to be the exception as they are in the low-50s. Regardless, today should be characterized by off and on high cirrus clouds ('mares tails') and a light west wind. Not sure we'll reach 70s degrees today, but with enough sun and light winds it doesn't really matter much.
Tomorrow will likely start out a tad cooler under essentially calm wind as high pressure at the surface will be encompassing the peninsula. We might have to be on the watch for patchy fog, but that would be of little consequence and probably unbeknownst to most. The wind remain very light all day with a high near 70.
The warming trend begins Tuesday and continues through Thursday, as do some clouds. But all in all it will be a quiet first 3 days of the work week, at least. The bug-a-boo (where it can get interesting) begins Thursday. Current thinking is that there's a good chance of showers or perhaps thunderstorms (some strong) Thursday afternoon. However, if subsequent model runs do what this last one did, the guilty party (generating storm system) might track too far north for it to have much more than minimal impact on the area. This yet to be developing situation will be monitored in the coming days.
For now, though, our weather will be dictated by a zonal southern branch jet which is flowing along overhead mainly just to the latitudinal north of us aloft...and high pressure stretched across the northern Gulf of Mexico at the surface and mid-levels. The main thing to be watched in coming days is just how much of a crimp in the jet stream the next system can create. The more 'crimping' we get...the more affect we'll feel from the next in the circus train of systems coming in from Southern California. Yes, Southern California is in for their 10 days of annual weather. The other 355 days there are totally uneventful. If one likes it quiet weatherwise then San Diego is the place for you (other than these 10 days).
Warmer days here in the mid-upper 70s to begin Wednesday through Saturday regardless...even if the rain chances currently being portrayed verify. No big cool down anywhere on or beyond the horizon.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

SW Wind Ushers Warmer East Coast Today

Images: Temperature plot shows the warm result of non-ocean winds, dry air precedes cold front, solid zonal southern branch jet for a week ahead

Things turned out even rosier than thought yesterday. As expected, the prefrontal trough went through this area with literally no fanfare...not even a drop of rain in the gauge. This was a tough call as the official offices were advertising possible tornado weather. Sometimes holding hard to the gun and not pulling the trigger pays off -- sometimes. Yesterday was very cool here along the beach temperature wise, in fact it was cooler here than most locales in the Panhandle. Such is not to be the case today. The 'cold front' (if you want to call it that) has yet to enter the picture can be seen by the hand drawn depictions above. The wind has shifted to a more westerly component which is across land and not cold ocean waters. As a result the temperature has risen 7 degrees between 2am and 6am in the process, whereas on the west side of the state (now under the influence of the chillier Gulf of Mexico waters) the temperature has held steady or fallen. Such will be the course of the day throughout as well.

Today: Expect the morning to start out cloudy with warm and somewhat gusty SW winds (all day) with the temperature getting to be the warmest we've seen on this side of the state since the New Year reaching into the mid-upper 70s. The winds will be tricky out there so be careful when crossing the causeways and particularly if you're planning any boating activities. High pressure is approaching from the western Gulf during the next 24 hours, and the closer it gets the more the wind will subside and gradually veer to a more westerly direction and eventually a light NW direction then near calm Tuesday morning. Cloudy skies this morning should yield to scattered mid-level clouds by afternoon under otherwise abundant sunshine as I believe much of the cloudiness will mix out with heating along with the ensuing dry air as indicated by the attached water vapor imagery. (the dry air is that red color)

Monday-Late Wednesday: This period will be completely uneventful with little to write or be concerned about. Our weather will be solely dictated by the strong latitudinal zonal jet stream flow (as shown) aloft and high pressure at the lower levels. Monday and Tuesday look to be supreme! About the only thing worth mentioning is that along with the zonal flow comes high level jet stream cirrus...which is already being observed entering Old Mexico and headed our way. By later Tuesday, as high pressure moves off the east coast, the wind will swing around to a somewhat easterly component (albeit light) which will tamper down afternoon high temperatures ...especially east of US1. That, in combination with periods of enhanced cirrus, could make it feel just a tad below totally comfortable. Complain, complain. Give me something to gripe about it , and I'll grab it and run. Otherwise, nothing to complain about.

Thursday-Friday: The first in a serious of a 'mile long train' of systems being ejected out of a huge circus of Pacific systems will develop along the southern branch jet and pass through with a quick shot of rain showers. Thunder is highly questionable as is the timing of exactly when this 'quickie' will pass, given it's so far out and already there is disparity among the models (as one would expect anyway). They are currently showing Thursday, but the ECMWF is already slower than that which I tend to believe, given how it handled this last system (good bye system). All in all, there is no major system to affect our area for the next 7-10 days. Temperature wise we will be hanging right around, if not a tad above, normal. Am I hearing THAT right?!
Cool mornings, pleasant afternoons to reign supreme more or less all week. Just might want to keep an ear perked beginning Wednesday night to see what's what in the weather department. One thing's for sure, we can pack away the gloves and scarves for a while. Once we make it through the next month, we're pretty much in the clear for any prolonged cold spell for the winter of 2010.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Severe Weather Potential Increasing

As a prelude to today's post, be advised that the Storm Prediction Center
has placed all of Central Florida under a "Slight Risk" for severe weather
later this evening into the post-midnight hours. Wind fields should be
supportive of sustained severe thunderstorms and possibly supercell storms.
Increasing upper level diffluence should yield a conditional threat for
isolated tornadoes as well. Thinking is that as the system holds off until
later to enter the area that the air mass over the region will have ample
time to continue to destabilize. (My addition: The fly in the ointment for
the immediate east coast will be the ocean waters...however, by midnight
this may not make much of a difference as all areas will have cooled
equally, plus the fact that the wind will not have nearly the 'coming off
the ocean' trajectory.)

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Impending Doom or a "Poker Face"?

(Imagery: current radar showing warm front, surface plot showing fronts, forecast plot for 1pm from the RUC Model).

The bane of our existence has finally formulated since yesterday (the Gulf Low Pressure System) and is clearly evident both on radar and satellite imagery as a morphing blob of rain and clouds. There still remains some disparities with the timing of this system as it approaches within ear-shot of East Central Florida but at this point the outlier that really sticks out is the GFS and is therefore being disregarded, as far as timing is concerned.

Downstream from the system in the Gulf mid and upper level cloudiness is gradually spreading its shield this way, and expect this trend to continue for the next 24 hours. I believe the warm front is about right on top of us as of this writing, as can be seen in several of the frontal position depictions that are included above. There is a band of rain showers that show up nicely on radar loops that are shifting north which I believe is the developing surface warm front.

Today: The low will continue to develop today and start to take a more northward heading toward the Florida Panhandle. A prefrontal trough (as shown on the forecast RUC plot for 1pm today) will develop just ahead of the 'cold front'. Winds will be gusty from the SE today and gradually veer to a more due south component by sunset under cloudy skies and 'warm' temperatures. The temperature right along the coast won't be nearly as warm as inland though due to its close proximity to the chilly Atlantic waters. With passage of the warm front the warm sector will thicken as mid-level jet cores approach by mid-late afternoon. However, even with the PWATS (precipitable water values) up to over an inch, winds gaining some nice low level shear, and loss of capping I do not believe this will be enough to squelch the curse of the Cold Water Sea God. I think he looks a lot like "Lady Gaga" with a "Poker Face" (now that would be a sight)......trying to make us think severe weather could come our way. I'm still opting for the 'no severe' weather call...despite what I'm reading in some of the forecast discussions from various official offices. So be advised: This is just my take. Always be prepared for severe weather in cases such as what could potentially happen with this developing scenario. Dealing with this entire storm system, and I'm sure the models would agree, has been nothing but a "Bad Romance".

Rain today? Low end to none, especially along the coast. Best chances at this time will be limited to the west half of the state early in the period where such areas are not affected by the squelching effects of the cool, marine air. Despite the clouds around, temperatures away from the coast, especially west of US1, will feel the warmth by about 5 degrees - - at least --over the coast.

Tonight: I'm going to put the restraining order on any rain/storm activity once again. It's so tempting to say it will dump buckets with so many elements in place, and when in fact you can look at radar and see it out there so close one can smell it, but the "hold" button is pressed and probably won't be released until after sunrise Sunday. That's not to say that some errant shower couldn't pass at just about anytime, so if planning outdoor activities this afternoon and especially this evening it is advised to have an umbrella handy. Consider it a free insurance policy against getting the hair wet (like it will matter with all the wind out there). Maybe the most vain of individuals deserve a dunking, but none that I know.

Late Night into Sunday Morning: This is the period that the pre-frontal trough, or rather what's left of it, will traverse the area. As noted yesterday, with the current projections of the surface low which by now will be moving NNE into Eastern Tennessee so far displaced from our locale, the only thing going for us at this hour will be shear as instability will be minimized. I'm not expecting even thunder at this point, but rather a stretched out band of light-moderate rain/rain showers. By the time it gets here it may have fizzled altogether and simply greet us with another cloud layer embedded in there somewhere.

Mid-Sunday Morning/Late Afternoon: The actual front itself will be traversing the entire region and will be accompanied by rain showers and healthy SSW-SW winds. Any heavier rain shower may transport stronger gusts to ground level...but not of severe strength. Numerical models are spitting out possible chances of rain as high as 85 percent with most focusing around the 70-75 percent chance. So suffice it to so will rain; however, due to the fast motion of shower activity I wouldn't expect to see significant rainfall accumulations in any one given area with maybe a rare, unforeseen exception.

Late Sunday Night/Monday: Rain, wind, clouds, ad naseum....will be clearing the area over night giving birth to an entirely different day by noon Monday. By this time the wind will be from the west and decreasing, and we'll feel the drying trend in atmospheric moisture as the day plugs along. It will feel refreshing.

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