"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, October 31, 2010

Satan Claws Is Comin' To Town!

As a Halloween Treat, the following video has been included today. The YouTube Description posted for your information is contained in the credits below. Play the video while reading. SCARY GOOD! But Refer to the on-line blog to hear and view this video if reading from an email delivery at:

TODAY: Scarily sunny today with threatening blue skies and light easterly winds. But beware, various ghosts, goblins, and witches will be soaring overhead Cocoa Beach during what they are calling an Air Show put on by the USAF Thunderbirds. Don't be fooled. There are SPOOKS here to scare away the rain we so desperately need in closing the month with only 0.04" measurable precipitation at Melbourne this month.

TOMORROW-Tuesday: Not much different with warmer temperatures both night and day and still no rain. Flat out CREEPY.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: Dr. Doom may be a-knockn't, so beware. A mid-upper level trough will develop in the Western Gulf of Mexico, ushering deeper atmospheric moisture across the peninsula in advance of a cold front. Best chance of rain now appears to by Wednesday afternoon through Thursday. Hope we survive.

FRIDAY-BEYOND: Lots of changes coming in 3-5 day spurts of possible storms as we work into November, but predominantly seasonable. More to come on what could be an interesting scenario to unfold.

TROPICS: Hurricane Tomas. It does not look as though Tomas will impact Florida. Per the latest model runs I saw the storm could eventually impact anywhere from as far west of its current location toward Jamaica and into Haiti, or curve much sooner to impact Puerto Rico. But the greatest consensus has been Haiti, just what they don't need.

I've intentionally left out the finer forecast details today due to impending nigthfall, but will presume normal posts in the week ahead. Close the curtains, lock the doors, and get under the sheets, cause...Satan Claus is Comin' To Town under cover in a thin veil of perfect weather tonight to abduct all the unsuspecting Trick or Treaters.



" (go there for a laugh or two) I make these audio and video loops and have them available about two weeks before Halloween at the url in the video This five minute sampler is based on my horror movie "Scarehouse", which is 10 minutes long and available on YouTube, upon request.

This sampler is from a 30 minute loop of creepy sounds and images and is now available for download . There is also a 40 minute loop of just sound FX available for Halloween uses. All the sounds were recorded in Toronto, Canada in 2001 and made into creepy stuff.

I don't want to give away my secrets, but listen for my GUT SOUNDS at 2:20. The first half of the images are directly from Scarehouse and the rest of the moving stills are from various sources"

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ohhh NOOOo...Air Show Weather and MORE!

(Image: Mr. Bill has the right idea, as was captured in the famous painting "The Scream". He was well known in small circles before his popularity emerged on SNL)
SYNOPSIS: Cold front passed over all of Florida on Friday and is now located well south of the state. High pressure quickly built across the peninsula in its wake and now encompasses all of the SE states. It appears to be centered over a broad area from N. Alabama east into W. North Carolina where areas of morning lows in the upper 30s are noted. Crestview, Florida is coming in at 38F, whereas Melbourne is almost a full 40 degrees warmer at 77F.

Elsewhere, a very large low pressure system approaches the Pacific NW as another system across the Northern Plains becomes organized during the course of the next 24-48 hours.

TODAY: All of east central Florida will experience the affects of a slowly modifying air mass today as surface winds behind the aforementioned cold front have already swung around to the NE-ENE. These winds are escorting low level stratocumulus clouds to the coast prior to day break, and expect more of the same today as winds become a bit more easterly this afternoon. Any moisture in the atmospheric profile this afternoon will be limited to the lowest levels, but be provisional enough to perpetuate the potential for additional clouds this afternoon. Rainfall wise, the NAM model is showing showers this afternoon, but believe that given the shallow overall depth of moisture within the column will preclude anything behind a drop or two falling from aloft.

USAF THUNDERBIRD AIR SHOW (COCOA BEACH): Today and Sunday - Very pleasant temperatures and a nice breeze. Nothing to complain about in terms of the comfort zone; however, what about Air Show viewing?! Very touch and go. There will be breaks in the clouds, and I'll bet the breaks in the clouds will be favored as a rule although it could get iffy at times. No problem for ground displays though as far as rain is concerned. It'll all be in the timing, which could be aggravating for those that run the mill in having to anticipate any unforeseen cloud patches on an hourly basis for the schedule air show evenets. In other words, no guarantees for any one particular display. Best bet though, bet there (if one so opts), or be square.

Coastal temperature this afternoon in the low 80s.

MONDAY/TUESDAY: Well, so much for a Monday launch forecast. Last I looked STS-133 has been delayed 24 hours due to some functional technicalities of minor infraction. As such, do believe it will be a go on Tuesday. Have to say though, one wonders if perhaps a little politicking is involved to sway Air Show watchers to stay another today and thus contribute to the financial money pot of local merchants and related accommodations.

But what about the weather for the launch by then? I've head it said that 'six is one half dozen of the other'. My gut says if there's going to be any issues, they will be due to some clouds. Have to see if what comes around, goes around on Tuesday. Maybe Mother Nature will get the last laugh by having prime weather on Monday, only to have yet clouds on Tuesday thus causing further flight delays.

TROPICS: Not going into too much elaboration yet as far as Tropical Storm Tomas or now Hurricane Shary is concerned. Here's some latest information and a few thoughts.

As of 5Am Tomas was located approximately 70 NM east of St. Vincent, moving WNW at 15 mph. Satellite interpretation over night shows continuing organization, and I bet we'll have a hurricane if not in the next tropical update, the one after that. Tomas is being steered by both the high pressure that is affecting our weather locally over Florida as it merges with another area further east into the SW Atlantic Ocean. These merging forces will be ticket for Tomas to continue its trek through the SW Caribbean through Wednesday as it now appears. Tomas is expect to strengthen to a least at Cat-3 storm. Just exactly when / where that will occur is very difficult to ascertain, as is the nature of intensity forecasting.

Will Tomas impact Florida directly? At this point the answer is no. But there is some cause for hair twisting and navel picking (be that one's favored mode of operandi (?)). Point is, the huge low pressure area now approaching the Pacific NW is expected to combine with another low which will form in association with the system just now getting it's act together over the Northern Plains. In fact, and in somewhat unusual fashion, a mid-upper level level pressure system my form close to the SE coast of Texas by mid-week. This is what the models are foreseeing. Just exactly how far south and east this all occurs will be the clincher for Tomas's future track. As it stands now, Tomas will bet picked up by this yet to develop situation and consequently be transported off the NE after making a close, if not direct, pass at Jamaica.

I have noted that initially the GFS model formed this low much further east though...and in subsequent runs as shifted it further west and south. Much more time to see what transpires in the meantime, but at this point I'll leave it to say that it would be unwise to target any particular models' resolution for the eventual turn of events being extrapolated. Definitely a watcher for Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Souther Bahamas though at this point.

Hurricane Shary, in the meantime, has already made its closest passing threat to Bermuda and is rapidly exiting stage left. Within 48 hours Shary will be post-extratropical and pose no threat other than to fishing lanes, hence it will remain a "Fish Storm".

RECORD: In lieu of typing out a dissertation about the record monthly dry spell at hand, I've just noticed that the NWS Melbourne, FL has already beat me to the punch. Therefore, I'm just going to copy and paste their nicely terse summarization. But note, these are for extended dry spells. The record has been broke for October, seeing as how there has been only a trace at the Melbourne recording locale this month:
1 37 5/12/1971
2 36 5/18/1970
3 35 12/7/1967
4 33 1/25/1990
5 32 6/10/2000, 5/28/1965, 3/11/1951

10/29/10): 31

1 46 1/3/1969
2 38 12/10/1967, 3/13/1961
4 37 5/12/1971
5 34 12/27/1961

10/29/10): 30


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

"The Big Fork Super Beast" Bomb, The Thunderbirds, and STS-133

( Image: Graphical depiction of the unofficially dubbed "The Super Beast Bomb". Click on the blog title for the official Thunderbirds web site or here for details of the upcoming USAF Thunderbirds Air Show this weekend in Cocoa Beach, Florida)

RECAP: Bring in the Bomb Squad!!!
The massive storm system that struck the central U.S. and was centered over Northern Minnesota bottomed out with at a minimum central pressure of 28.21" measured at 5:13pm at Big Fork in Itasca County. The previous record was 28.28" (958 mb), which was set on January 26, 1978. That storm system was dubbed - - "The Cleveland Superbomb" although I've also found references to the "Great Ohio Blizzard.

"Bomb Cyclogenesis" is a term meteorologists reserve for the most rapidly intensifying low pressure systems. "Bombs" undergo rapid pressure falls as they strengthen, and are defined by pressure drops of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours at 60°N latitude. The threshold for a bomb is a little lower in Minnesota, just 19 millibars in 24 hours at 45°N, the latitude of the Twin Cities.To illustrate how strong of a storm this is, 28.21 inches is equivalent to that which one might expect to find in a Category 3 Hurricane. Although the wind with the system was not nearly as strong as a Category 3 hurricane, the outlying affects were wind spread with over 100 wind damage reports and multiple tornado sitings. The lowest pressure for the storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10, 1975 was 28.95 inches. Even with the Armistice Day storm, the lowest pressure recorded was 28.55 inches. Of course, pressure is only one measurement of a storm.The strongest wind gust I could find was 77mph at Greenfield, Indiana. Note: These winds were pressure gradient winds and not like those one would find in the eye wall of a hurricane.

In other words, the storm of October 26, 2010 was a "Super Beast"! I'm sure this storm will officially be dubbed more appropriately, but for now I see no reason not to dub it the "Big Foot Super Beast"

"...Down in the cool air I can see..."

SYNOPSIS: A cold front is draped from just of the U.S. NE Coast Southeastward and through N. Georgia and further toward S. Texas. High pressure over the Atlantic is centered off the Florida East Coast, with the ridge axis extending across the North/Central Peninsula and into the Gulf. The high pressure will weaken a bit today and tonight as the front sinks south and through Florida over night Thursday and Friday.

TODAY: Warm! Orlando broke a record high temperature yesterday as well as on Tuesday and another option exists for another record yet today. And speaking of records, the NWS at Melbourne now is within the Top 5 periods of consecutive rain free days (those with a trace or immeasurably less). The all time record could be broken if they don't see rainfall by this Friday evening due to the nature of the extended outlook.

Otherwise, expecting a few patches of fog west of US-1 early this morning with partly cloudy skies shortly after sunrise. Showers possible along the east coast anytime during from mid-morning through mid-afternoon. Latest radar data is showing showers off the Florida Southeast coast before sunrise in association with a pocket of mid-level moisture approaching East Central Florida from the SSE. This moisture combined with weak, morning warming after sunrise might be enough to spark additional rain showers later this morning, and maybe a thunderstorm away from the coast by this afternoon. Any activity, if this were to occur, will be isolated and thunder chances look remote.

TONIGHT: An unseasonably warm and muggy night with the remote chance of a shower, but for all purposes there is such a low probability of this to occur that it's not worth mention.

FRIDAY: Looks like the front will enter and cross through all of Central Florida beginning a few hours before sunrise and be over South Florida by early afternoon if not sooner. There will be a very small chance of a shower associated with the front across eastern portions of the state, but should this occur it would be before 10AM. Winds behind the front will veer to the NNE with clearing sky conditions, particularly by sunset.

THUNDERBIRD WEEKEND/HALLOWEEN: High pressure over the Northern Gulf passes across Florida. Skies should be mostly clear with cooler temperatures from recent days but still quite comfortable. See link for schedule details. Looks like a great weekend for both events.

STS-133/MONDAY: The great weather continues for the 4:33pm slated launch time. Detailed information related to this missions is now available on Wikipedia.

TUESDAY: By this time, if it hasn't rained at the airport in Melbourne by this time, the all time record dry spree will be on the verge of being set. But there are implications of a storm system developing over the SE United States with ensuing rain chances and cooler air will be in the making. More fodder for future posts.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

First Canaveral Rain In Nearly a Month - Dry Elsewhere

(Images: Cape Canaveral received 0.27" of rain around 8AM this morning. The last measurable amount was 0.07" on October 5th. The images show the decent Theta-E gradient in this area at the time. This was also along the leading edge of a pool of much deeper moisture aloft that entered the area from the SSE as also shown by the little pool of 'blue')

SYNOPSIS: Monster low-mid level low pressure encompasses much of the country this morning. This thing is a beast. In fact, at this current time tornado watch boxes now cover the west 1/2 of Georgia, east half of Alabama, as well as the Florida Panhandle. The strengthening area of low pressure was responsible for 3 tornadoes in East Texas, 1 in Tennessee, and 1 in extreme SE Alabama just west of the Florida border near the town of Eleanor, Alabama yesterday. The low pressure area encompasses much of the country this morning except the Florida peninsula and well far away on the other side of the country in the Pacific NW where yet another one approaches.
TODAY: As noted in the image caption, it rained quite hard for about 3 minutes this morning in Cape Canaveral. Upon view of radar, it was the only shower anywhere in Central Florida, and likely only affected Cape Canaveral and the Port. Could barely make it out on radar. Otherwise, the moisture that is shown in the image will be around for a good portion of the morning with SSE-S surface winds and late summer like temperatures. Continued chance of a rain shower until noon.
From 1-6pm there could be an isolated thunderstorm or two primarily north of Vero Beach closer to the massive low pressure further to the north. Meanwhile, at the surface locally, Central Florida is on the southern cusp of high pressure stretched across the state. Clockwise flow around this high pressure is generating the southerly component winds and bringing in patches of greater moisture depth than what has been seen in these parts for quite some time. Thunderstorms in general will be hard to come by though, as being this late in the year the sea breeze/lake breeze mechanisms have a hard time being "fully operational" due to the lower sun angle and shorter period of strong surface heating. Also, there's no mid-upper level triggering mechanisms. Regardless, with little prohibitive factors in place we can throw some thunder in here and there. There was some over South Florida yesterday, but it was very isolated and weak in nature. Expecting similar up this way today.

TUESDAY: No reason at this point to believe that Tuesday will be much different than today. New model guidance is not out yet, so I'm going for the broad brush factor due to time constraints. First thing that stood out is that warmth will continue, particularly a few miles west of US 1 and all locations further inland.

WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: Starting to look like high pressure will resume position almost directly overhead making for less chance of rain but continued warm temperatures.

TROPICS: Hurricane now Tropical Storm Richard is over the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 45mph and moving WNW. Only a flood threat now. Else where, a large area of disturbed weather resides far out in the eastern Atlantic with little chance of development any time within the next few days.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tropical Activity Records Broken - Local Minimum Rainfall Stretch Record in Jeopardy

(Images -3 included- show: Tropical storm tracks in the Caribbean (Richard is the red-line), all tracks so far this season, and tabulated numerical stats on storms so far)
SYNOPSIS: High pressure continues over the east 1/3 of the U.S. and is centered over North Carolina this morning. Low pressure over the Southern and Central Plains will once again give rise to the possibility of strong to severe level thunderstorms today and tonight over much of that region west of the Mississippi River from Iowa south to all but West Texas today. High pressure continues south into the north-central Caribbean and across much of the Gulf Of Mexico. Tropical Storm Richard moving slowly to the west or WNW and may skim across Honduras as it approaches them (See TROPICS).
LOCALLY THIS WEEKEND: Pleasant and quite warm west of US-1. If you liked Friday then expect more of the same. With the wind remaining from the east over night, it only got down to 75F on my porch in Cape Canaveral with the added influence of the still warm Atlantic Ocean water temperatures. There could be a few showers over S .Florida, but further north we pretty much remain dry as high pressure to the north and cooling ocean temperatures induce an afternoon easterly, subsident sea breeze across the state. The coast will be most pleasant and nicely warm, but not exceedingly so by any means. Warmest temperatures will be west of I-95 toward the west side of the state.  Melbourne could be flirting with the record high temperature for the date on Tuesday; the record high for them today is 89F set in 2006. I do not think they will reach that today given the easterly flow generously intact, but it could be close around 3pm.
Surface high pressure will continue well east  into the Atlantic as the low pressure now in the Plains will enter the Dixie region Sunday and strengthen northward. Further east and southward though, progression of any weather activity associated with the low will be blocked of further eastward penetration and over Florida due to the anticyclone (high pressure) over the state and well into the Atlantic. Sounds like summer doesn't it? No cold fronts and warm afternoon temperatures. (minus the chance of rain we'd have in the summer)
EARLY NEXT WEEK: Wet weather does not look as possible as hoped it would be yesterday because the high pressure will remain intact across Florida and the east and northeast Gulf of Mexico. This will be affecting the future track of Richard (see TROPICS). Best chance of rain at this point appears to be late Tuesday and/or Wednesday. See data concerning prolonged periods of non-measureable rainfall in Melbourne below.
TROPICS: Richard is going to have a hard time reaching hurricane strength status before making a land fall near or south of Belize due to the fact it will be brushing the coast of Honduras, if not passing directly over them, prior to the time it gets further west. See the forecast track at the time of this writing in the included image. As noted yesterday, the storm is still engaged in battle with drier air to its north accompanied by wind shear. Hard to envision the system re-emerging into the Gulf as other than a remnant circulation considering its small, disorganized stature at this time. And even if it does remain as a depression, it now appears more likely that any remaining moisture will be shunted around the high pressure over the Florida peninsula and into the Deep South or maybe the western Florida Panhandle as it encounters more shear. It is interesting to note that the National Hurricane Center is keeping one eye open on two areas well out in the open Atlantic. Plenty of time to see what, if anything, becomes of them. The GFS, as well as the Canadian model (more so in previous runs)...are developing a storm out there well into next week sometime.
According to the National Hurricane Center:
– Hurricanes Igor and Julia both reached Category 4 status simultaneously, marking the first time that has happened in 84 years.
– The last time two Cat 4s were spinning at the same time was on Sept. 16, 1926, when Hurricane No. 4 (that's how they were named back then) and the Great Miami Hurricane were in existence
.– Another indicator of how rare this is: Two major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) have been in existence simultaneously only nine times since 1900, with the most recent instance being with Floyd and Gert in 1999.
– With sustained winds of 135 mph, Julia became the most intense hurricane so far east in the Atlantic. 
According to Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground
– With Julia, this year has now seen four Category 4 hurricanes emerge by 5 a.m. on Sept. 15, the earliest that has happened since record keeping started in the mid-1800s.(In 1999, Hurricane Gert, the fourth Cat 4 of that season, also formed on Sept. 15 — but three hours later than Julia.)
– The emergence of Tropical Storm Karl, the 11th named storm of the season,  made this a busy year to date at that time. The only years more active that early in the season were 2005, 1995, 1936 and 1933.
– All of this year's four Category 4 storms emerged in just twenty days, which is the shortest time span for that to happen. The previous record was 24 days in 1999, according to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University
We are in a dry period right now, no doubt about it. Consider the top 5 periods of consecutive days receiving non-measurable rainfall, with time stretches ending in the dates noted below - :
#5 - 22 Days ending on March 13, 2009
#4 - 23 Days ending on March 11, 1951
#3 - 26 Days ending on June 3, 1953
#2 - 26 Days ending on May 10, 2009 (note that there was the # 5 22 day period previous to this a couple of months earlier of the same year); and,
#1 - 29 Days ending on May 16, 2002
The last day of measurable rain in Cape Canaveral and Melbourne was Thursday, October 5 of this year, which would make today the 18th day of rainfall equal to or less than a trace (less than 0.01"). Canaveral had 0.07"  on that date from a cluster of large clouds that moved in from the North Side of the Cape late in the afternoon of that day. No where else other than Brevard (which is in a Severe Drought already) did rain fall over Central Florida that day. Sort of a cruel twist of irony. As of the latest official record made by the the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), counties further north up the coast as well as counties further west have done nothing but dry up. As such, the region of 'drought' (at various levels) is expanding from east to west and up the coast. The southern 1/3 of the peninsula is drought free and West Central Florida over toward Tampa is now "Abnormally Dry".
Special thanks extended to the Melbourne NWS Office from providing the rainfall data to me this morning.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Richard 'Reeks' - Plains Storms 'Ramp'-Florida Rain Chances 'Rise'

(*Image -current forecast track from the NCEP model ensemble guidance from last nights collaboration of data)

SYNOPSIS: "A Nation Divided" Today - Large high pressure from James Bay extends south across the eastern half of the U.S. this morning and into the Bay of Campache at the surface. In the mid-levels a trough persists over New England and SSE into the off-shore mid-Atlantic waters. Further west, a somewhat complex, broad area of low pressure reigns supreme in association with the slow moving mid-level cut off low which has been mentioned for several days since its conception off the N. California Coast last weekend. The low tracked south, into the N. Baja, across Arizona and SW New Mexico, and is now filling and lifting north into Colorado.

At the surface, a dry-line (boundary between deep, moist Gulf air being advected north around the back of the large high pressure area to the east and drier air trying to push east from the Desert SW) will be enhanced this afternoon with day time heating and extend by late day down west Texas, Oklahoma, and SW Kansas (see image from the 22/00z NAM)In this image we can also see the dry air across the eastern U.S. under the high pressure. Florida remains in much more moist air mass in comparison. As you can see, other than the South/Central Plains and Florida late afternoon dew points will be quite low nation wide.

Tropical Storm "Richard" remains nearly stationary in the Caribbean. This will be further discussed in "The Tropics" further within this post.

TODAY: The Plains low pressure area will lift only slightly north and a bit east today and tomorrow as high pressure rides across the Southeast states responds by moving east and eventually into the Western Atlantic over night Sunday into Monday.

Florida remains somewhat in a somewhat 'atmospherically dehydrated' state other than having some comfortable humidity levels at the ground where we feel it. Not too humid, but not too irritatingly dry either. Afternoon warmth could induce some scattered clouds, but no rain. Pleasant temperatures once again with highs in the low 80s from US1 to A1A up and down the east coast, and in the mid-80s west of I-95.

Meanwhile, severe weather potential exists once again east of the dry line over much of South Central Texas, Oklahoma, and West Central Kansas. A mid and upper level jet streaks may cross the dryline later today and into the deep moisture field influx from the Gulf resulting in rising, moist air currents and shear profiles sufficient for development of supercell thunderstorm structures. Five tornadoes were officially reported during the course of yesterday with one in Arizona and other in SE New Mexico (as thought would be possible) with another in SW Texas near Rankin. There were multiple hail reports along the dry-line boundary mentioned above.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Not much change locally as the high pressure center begins to move offshore and starts to move more toward the ESE underneath the trough running down the mid-Atlantic Coast mentioned earlier. As such, our winds veer throughout the weekend from predominantly a NE component by this afternoon to east and then eventually ESE-SE by sunset Sunday. Temperatures remain warmer during the afternoons away from the coast, and warmer in the mornings than inland areas overnight.

In the Plains, the mid-level low and associated features begin to elongate and diffuse somewhat. As was expected in the post two days ago, the severe threat for Saturday now looks much larger than what was earlier officially predicted, courtesy of the long-term presence of low pressure and Gulf moisture into the Central Plains from Iowa, through Missouri, extreme eastern Kansas, Oklahoma and East Central Texas ahead of a developing frontal boundary.

MONDAY: Modified late summer-like weather returns to the sunshine state! Surface winds veer even more toward the SSE-SSW during the say at the surface and mid-levels advecting moisture residing over the Southern Bahamas across Florida. Modified because it's now late October and the days are shorter. Also, the moisture will take a while to fully encompass all levels of the atmosphere sufficiently, but by mid-afternoon much of the state will be primed under full, mid-fall sunshine with no capping mechanisms in place to abet in shower and/or thunderstorm development. Caveat. Ocean and lake water temperatures are cooler now than in summer and early fall; as such, collision boundaries won't have the effect they would have under otherwise the ideal conditions for storm development seen in the summer months. Regardless, sufficient heating, moisture, and little to now 'atmospheric lid' should allow cloud tops to percolate vertically to the point of super-saturation. This might be the break we've needed.

TUESDAY: Better yet. More of the same as somewhat deep SSW-SW flow remains one more day and warmer temperatures than what we've felt for quite some time now prevail. We could be feeling like we've gone back in time by Tuesday to the pre-Storm Paula Era, not quite, but kind of close. Steering currents mainly from N. Palm Beach County to Jacksonville will advect activity toward the east coast where drought conditions ranging from moderate-severe officially now exist. Broward County and points south will be close to, if not south of the northward moving ridge axis by days end, thus precluding storms down that way. This is all pretty much a new development when push comes to shove, so refinement to the details as far as timing and areas most likely to have a chance of a shower/storm is highly likely in future posts.

WEDNESDAY: Party ends. High pressure to the state's east builds back over the state with the axis running east/west across the Florida/Georgia border with ensuent light, easterly (and cooler) flow once again takes center stage. Like a little jab in the ribs, another area of high pressure builds east from the Southern Plains which at least eliminates passage of a cold front but does put the majority of the state other than the west coast under a much drier and subsident (sinking) air mass at the mid-levels (roughly from 3000-18,000 feet). We'll need to monitor this state of affairs as we head into Monday though, as there still could remain ample moisture for coastal activity from near Vero-Miami in later days. But, days are shorter, water temperatures are cooler now. It's just not like it used to be when otherwise, such conditions would make for a no-brains 'chance of showers' forecast. Even the West side of the state might get dry-hosed given the time of year from getting rain. But they don't really need much over that way anyway.

THE TROPICS: Just my thoughts this morning based on general model consensus, satellite/water vapor analysis, and land-based, forecasted and actual, atmospheric evolutions over North and Central America.

My take is that after the 24 hours of anticipatory excitement related to Richard over before it's even peaked in strength. At least as far as the U.S. is concerned. Note that the storm is small and very disorganized to start with. At this time it really isn't even moving. Very dry air exists to the W-WNW-NW of the system as was the case all day yesterday, but shear is decreasing as was expected would occur. It is just now starting to look better since I last looked, so I'd expect to see the next official statement that comes out from the Hurricane Center indicating a stronger storm with winds of 50-55mph. Eventually, by the time the set up occurs to bring some rain (potentially) to Florida the same set up will force Richard (Tropical storm or hurricane) into somewhere near Honduras or the Yucatan and smack into a wall of building high pressure which will be approaching Western Mexico over the weekend. This area will join forces with high pressure to the north of Richard, closing the gap for any escape it might have had toward the north and into the Southeast Gulf of Mexico. That seems to be the agreement of the GFS and European Ensemble Guidance from last night's run (to name a few). I'm not waiting to see a more recent output since, as of the time of this post, I see now reason to disagree.

Note: The later portions of the projected tracks included in this post, as well as that from the Hurricane Center take Richard into the South Central Gulf. This is quite some time from now, and even if the storm survives a trip across the Yucatan, it will still have to contend with dry air to the north and wind shear if it survives that long. As such, I do not see any direct threat from this storm to the U.S. (other than for "U.S. Interests) where the system crosses due to flooding.

But (!) a prefunctory "however" statement must be made in closing (as usual). "However", moisture from this system as it presumably gets torn asunder could advect toward Florida by late week next week ahead of the next approaching trough which is yet to exist within all realms of reason. The mechanism that will set our next trough up is probably somewhere passing near Typhoon Megi right now...(which will be making a China landfall later today). This storm has dumped up to 40" of rain over the mountainous portions of Taiwan already with flash flooding being the primary threat.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Say What? "Tropical Storm Richard!"

IMAGE: For each storm day, a series of forecasts from the current cycle from the NCEP global ensemble are plotted along side the observed storm center (based on preliminary position, NOT the best track position) for each storm that has reached depression stage

SYNOPSIS: In continuing from yesterday's post, we found the "then at the time" weakening cold front approaching Florida has rolled over the entire state on what seems like purely self-propelled momentum rather than via supporting upper level features. Either way, though, the base of the mid-level trough only made it to about the Florida/Georgia border as the front at the surface rolled on down the state and lost the last of its punch. Regardless of frontal passage (or not), high pressure moving east across the northern Gulf which apexes as far north as South/Central Canada, behind the departing trough now located off the U.S. East Coast, spans as far south as the Bay of Yucatan. That is quite some expanse! . As a result of the encroaching high pressure, clockwise circulation around it has brought the winds over South/Central Florida around to roughly the NNW. The long fetch of this light wind has harbored in a return to very dry atmospheric moisture under a capped aural atmosphere. Very noticeable once one is out in open areas by the thin, low layer of haze.

Elsewhere, cut off 500mb low moving over Arizona today with a southern branch jet stream rounding it's base and producing diffluent, strong upper level winds over Eastern New Mexico and eventually much of the 'West Half of All of Texas' by tonight. Diffluence aloft, convergence at the low levels, steep mid-level lapse rates, and ample surface heating combined with ample atmospheric moisture all unite to produce conditions favorable for rotating, severe thunderstorms this afternoon and into the night from SE New Mexico, most of the Texas Panhandle and Western half of that state as well. This low has been discussed for a couple of days now, and it seems to be acting obediently in that it is not lingering over the Desert SW region for days-on-end as can happen.

The low will progress east toward SW New Mexico tonight and slowly lift and fill toward the ENE through the weekend. The swath of potentially severe weather will shift east and a bit north into Oklahoma with time accordingly, as high pressure over the Deep South and northern Gulf continues to track over Florida into Monday.

LOCAL WEEK'S END/WEEKEND FORECAST: High pressure must moving in (and now obviously apparent by looking outside) rules the roost over the state through the end of the week and all weekend. As such, drier air will allow over night lows to fall to what we've been experiencing with lows at the beaches in the upper 60s and more toward the low 60s well inland as far south as SW Florida, Lake Okeechobee, and perhaps the Kendall area. Beaches on the east coast along A1A will be a good 5-9 degrees warmer over night. Daytime highs in the low-mid 80s under nearly cloud free sky conditions. Can't rule out a few afternoon specks of stratocumulus inland...otherwise the "All's Clear" Alert is 'on'.

MONDAY-further out: See "THE TROPICS:"

THE TROPICS: As mentioned yesterday, we suspected that the disturbance in the Caribbean would become a TD (Tropical Depression) by later in the day or over night, as such it is. I say "would become a TD" it is now a storm named "Richard". You can see the image shown in this post which depicts the forecast tracks of now Tropical Storm Richard based on the NCEP global ensemble. The storm is moving SE at 6mph and is located about 220NM SSE of Grand Cayman, with surface winds estimated/sustained at 40mph.

This included track set is just one of a multiplicity of other options from which to decipher through. Problem is though, at this point there really is not yet a code to break. Richard is moving slowly today (really not moving at all) and only slowly strengthening. Much of the slow motion and disorganized strengthening phase it is in now is because of the presence of the trough now departing the U.S. East Coast (the same one that brought the front near Central Florida over night) and resultant shear and drier mid-upper level air on the storm's NW side.

I have included this image because if you look at the tracks, and then the track 'swath of error' issued by the Hurricane Center ( and as shown on The Weather Channel), the margin of error as well as the locations of the tracks almost matches up perfectly with what I've attached.

BUT NOTE: I'm expecting the current official forecast track, and 'swath of error' path, to shift more toward the east and north by later today, or more toward the eastern half of the Yucatan Peninsula. The are other models not shown in the image come fairly close to this depiction as well but diverge more toward the East and North near the 'end time'. The two that come to mind off the top are the GFDL and HWRF. The GFDL takes the storm over the Eastern Yucatan as a Category 3 storm which is then weakened by the landmass. After that point it curves toward the NW and WNW toward Florida as a Category 1. The HWRF tracks the storm through the Yucatan Channel as a weaker storm overall then on toward Florida as well. Time of a West Florida Coast landfall is close to overnight Monday -noon Tuesday based on those models. The storm would then track across the state and exit the east coast as a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane somewhere between Ormond Beach - Ft Lauderdale depending on the assumption it takes a track across the state in the first place. So what, where, why, and when do we make of all this information at this time?

First, we note the storm only slowly strengthens or even moves for that matter for the first 24-48 hours. This is in response to the high pressure area moving over the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. Additionally, shear from the departing trough is hampering faster development right now. But that will change tomorrow as the trough moves further away and high pressure bridges east and across Florida in its wake. Now what we have is another system (the High) preventing Richard from moving further north and as such the track toward the Yucatan. Just how quickly the high pressure area moves further east is all contingent upon the depth, strength, and eastward motion of the upper level low pressure trough now bottoming out over California. The faster it lifts east, the faster the ridge over Florida moves out and provides a steering direction toward Florida. The longer the same mentioned trough lingers to the west the further west Richard will go before making a definitive northward turn (if ever). Additionally, the further north this system gets (assuming it does) the greater a shearing influence by the jet stream the system will experience. In other words, if it gets anywhere beyond the Yucatan or near Western Cuba, this is where sheer increases. As such, the models pick up on a weakening trend, or at least a trend of no further strengthening from whatever status it holds when it first gets into the Gulf of Mexico.

When all is said and done, I'm leaning toward the GFDL track, but not of as strong as a storm. Once Richard crosses the Yucatan and re-emerges into the Gulf it might not even be a hurricane as it will be encountering greater shear after crossing the rugged terrain.

Much to learn in the next couple of days to see what finally evolves. But in the meantime, it does look as though by this time tomorrow (2:00pm) Richard could be on the verge of becoming a Hurricane with Cat 1 winds being measured in the East-NE quadrant by sometime Friday evening into early Saturday. Remembering that the ridge will be passing to the north, strengthening should be relatively slow at first. It all depends on what happens with the big, mean-level feature (trough) over the Western U.S. as noted above, and it's eventual motion toward the east or simply lifting in place to a higher latitude. The more out of the picture this feature is, the stronger and further north Richard can get. It's cat-n-mouse. And in this case, if the mouse (Richard) gets trapped in the cage it's free to go on it's own for a while within limits.

Also, if Richard does take a more northward track, the very mechanisms permitting that eventual track will impact the weather locally well in advance of the system with increased moisture, chances or rain showers or thunderstorms, etc...the whole kit-n-caboodle. Thus, I left the period from Monday and beyond open-ended in this post. Perhaps we can at least squeeze out the rain Central Florida needs by this time next week.

Typhoon Megi now has winds of 110mph and is now approaching mainland China. But in looking at the latest satellite trends, the storm seems to really be losing size, and strength will probably following.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"C'mon Man, Shuffle The Cards!"

(Image: Mid-level moisture abetted by a mid-level lifting mechanism <stronger wind aloft> makes for pleasant, sunrise sky gazing shortly after sunrise)
SYNOPSIS: Mid-level moisture introduced in yesterday's discussion continues at noon time, this Wednesday, from the Gulf of Mexico and across the Southern and Central Peninsula. A cold front extends SSW from the Eastern Carolinas, through SE Georgia and into S. Alabama where it then tails off to nothingness.  Further west, high pressure is shifting east across the Northern and Central Gulf. Sounding data shows precipitable water value (PWAT) at 1.32" which is better than some recent days, but a far cry from our 1.90"+ that is present during almost the entire summer.
To add insult to injury from a thirsty man's perspective, the canteen remains empty since the majority of this moisture is locked in the mid-levels or roughly between 6-12,000 feet. Above this narrowly sliced level of moisture the winds increase from uniform direction from about 22kts to 80kts much higher up. Essentially, the higher winds speeds just above the moisture layer air were acting as an escape, or lifting mechanism, for the air below them to rise just a bit before reaching drier air and evaporating at their first opportunity. As such, no rain anywhere in the state as of this writing. In fact, now that the sun is out mixing with the drier air both above and below the moisture layer is acting like the top half of a broiled Monte Cristo other words, it's "toasted'. Nice little cumulus forming though with what moisture remains boiling out under otherwise  full daytime sunshine. This makes for something to at least look at if one happens to look up to see a UFO passing overhead.
Elsewhere , "Go West Young Man!". The cut off low now near the Northern Baja will move E-ENE during the next  36-48 and impact SE New Mexico, much of the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandles, and eventually almost all of Oklahoma by Friday into Saturday with severe weather. Could be seeing a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch box going out for SE New Mexico into extreme SE Texas near Midland/Odessa later today, which will be the first of many in this outlined area through Friday-Saturday. Figured they'd get more than what was originally out-looked for in that area in yesterday's post.
HERE TODAY: Not much change, if any, from yesterday's gaze into the future. As expected, the circulation coming off the N. Yucatan is completely gone, although the general circulation from which it developed is providing the moisture necessary for clouds. Further south off the SW Florida coast, there's actually a decent little line of heavy showers which can't seem to penetrate, which I'm philosophizing as being, the drying low level air mass over the near by landmass (otherwise known as the Florida Peninsula). Also, much to my amazement, there's a teeny-tiny, two-pixel'd shower near Ft. Pierce. Otherwise, nice temperatures and partly cloudy (to maybe mostly cloudy for a brief time near sunset in a few isolated locations) conditions will prevail. Note though, The Weather Channel is calling for a 30% Chances of thunderstorms here in Brevard...I imagine it is, or was, the same case for folks further south). I think they were looking at a 12 hour old run of the North American Mesoscale (NAM) Model when that forecast was generated some time over night. Hey guys, wake up there in Atlanta! Who knows, then again, the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) indicated defiantly with a 'no colored precipitation panel' earlier today that we would remain without rain, but the latest one now shows the possibility of a trace any where south of a Cocoa Beach - Tampa line by 8pm. Wouldn't expect we'll see anything more than a quarter inch anywhere today...since anything that can form will be isolated, small, and moving at a 20-25mph clip from WSW to ENE. And t'were that to occur, it will most likely be south of a Ft. Pierce, Sarasota line.
TOMORROW-WEEKEND: The Carolina cold front will ooze south and lay flat close to a Brevard to Brooksville line before pulling off to the east and losing identity at the southern flank over Central Florida as it does. High pressure will be moving in from the west across the Gulf and over the state by late Friday and through the upcoming weekend. No significant change in temperatures in days ahead. Here we go again, getting dealt the "Joker". Not funny. Go fish!...and speaking of fish....:
THE TROPICS: System Invest 99L (under investigation) continues to become better organized just to the WSW of Jamaica this afternoon. Visible satellite imagery clearly shows there is a low level circulation in place, and I suspect that we will be addressing a TD (yeah, 6 points for the gipper) tonight or overnight. Where it goes from there, in all reality, is not any one's's everyone's. Some models do little with the system for at least 72 hours as it's "sheared, not steered" by conflicting mid-level winds. In fact, all the rain action with the circulation is well to the N-ENE of the circulation center and over Jamaica close to the surface. 
But by 72 hours, if not sooner, these winds should die for a bit before reinforcements come in associated with the high pressure that will shift across Florida. The models seem to have a handle on all this to occur (except the GFDL and HRWF), but what it does in the mean time can be part 1 of many other significant and required chains-of-events necessary for future development and resultant storm track taking. To make a "paint by numbers" portrait based on the latest GFDL run, we have a moderately paced, but steadily developing no holds barred Hurricane in 54 hours and within 6 days we're staring up the barrel at a Cat 5 bullet passing through the Yucatan Channel with an evil eye on Florida. Man your battle stations!! We're playing "WAR!". Interestingly, the HRWF takes a similarly chaotic tracing around/near Jamaica before taking "Richard" to nearly the same location as a Category 2 by Sunday. (spell check tries to correct 'GFDL' to "GODLY'...does it know something we don't?)
Meanwhile, Typhoon Megi is just hours (several) away from SE China.  Looks like it could make a landfall just North of Hong Kong, but this region is very highly populated and even after landfall flooding could pose a problem for days afterward. I bet we'll hear a lot about this system on the nightly news by the weekend if not sooner. This storm is responsible for the loss of approximately 10 lives in the Philippines. But you know, Megi can be one of the reasons that the models are having problems with what happens in the SW Gulf. It's a "Domino Affect"...air currents flowing around the system are disrupted down stream from it, and this has a rippling affect as far east the the next 72 hours..and/or until Megi landfalls we still might see future model chaos.
Now, let's reshuffle the cards. I see a lamb, a cloud, and an image of Christopher Columbus...oh wait, these are Tarot cards. Doesn't matter. The other models show essentially nothing but weak low pressure for the next 72 hours. I believe the make or break point will be known for sure by late Friday, but in the meantime I'm running with gut feeling...which says that high pressure will win out...especially over the weekend as a healthy dose of "happy pills" spills across the Gulf and Florida...forcing the system southward in a state of dismay..."Go Fish". But never say never until all is said and done. It would be nice to get some rain...but I think our first real statewide rain event is going to end up arriving in the form of a tail end Charlie of what will be a squall line passing across the Dixie Region within the next 10 days....hopefully, we too can proclaim, "Gin!"

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

L.ocal S.torm D.eprivation (LSD) Symptoms

RECAP: Local Central Florida L.acks S.erious D.evelopment of any storm or even rain shower development. I think the weather God's are on 'happy pills', which is great for celebrating outside in early, fall-type weather. Such has been the case since the departure of the pre-mature birth of Tropical Storm Paula, and so the trend continues.
SYNOPSIS: Mid-upper level low pressure circulation referred to in the previous post was off the California coast yesterday just SW of San Francisco. This system continues to wind up and has dropped southward just offshore and down the coast, but now appears poised to shift toward land over the Northern Baja. Cut-offs are notorious for being difficult to forecast as far as how long the will persist within any one general we approach the forecast for that the Desert SW region and Southern Plains with a swift, broad brush of relative uncertainty. The low appears that it will finally, but slowly, be caught up in the southern branch jet (which is weak) and shift across extreme Southern Arizona, Central New Mexico, and gradually lift and fill as it moves across the Southern Plains and finally skedaddles off to the ENE as the remnant circulation and energy (vorticity) gets wrapped around low pressure east of James Bay by the weekend. This system will leave widespread impacts in its wake, first across Southern (SE) California, much of Arizona, New Mexico, Southern (especially SW) Colorado, and then the Panhandle region of Texas/Oklahoma. We'll probably be hearing about severe thunderstorms and maybe a few tornadoes as a result anywhere in this zone through Friday before it begins to loose identity. It will be interesting to see what other types of weather erupts in the areas currently not forecast to receive any...especially over Oklahoma and Northern Texas.
Meanwhile, high pressure prevails over the Southeast States, the Gulf of Mexico, and Western Atlantic. The only noteworthy Item of Interest has been a weak, mid-level circulation off the Northern Tip of Yucatan which was forecast and finally analyzed late Sunday per model consensus. There is no active weather associated with this feature; however, it is now caught up in the weak southern branch jet/upper level flow and getting reading to pass over South and Central Florida as a remnant non-entity. It has managed to draw some moisture with it from the Caribbean, but in passing overhead it is essentially riding over high pressure at the surface (in other words, there's no depth to the system (and in calling it a 'system' anymore is a big stretch)). I've read no references to this item in forecast discussions from weather service offices, but I've been watching it for a number of days now in hopes that it would at least be a 'siggy' rainmaker for the every increasingly drought parched portions of Florida and/or other southeast states.
TODAY: Moisture at the mid-levels is being advected across Florida ahead of what remains of the aforementioned, dwindling circulation aloft and it's presence is clearly visible outside this morning (see included image). The moisture is just now arriving and will continue to flow overhead like a gentle stream through the day and tomorrow...particularly south of a Tampa Bay - Sebastian Inlet line. What remains of an elongated surface boundary well to the north will press south during the next 36 hours in a significantly dwindled state and interact with what remains of the moisture plume before it exits east of the state or full out dehydrates in place. As such, expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies early today...with maybe a light spinkle anywhere from near a Melbourne to South Tampa Bay line and points south. Per latest satellite trends (visible loops are only just not becoming viewable due to the early time of day), the clouds should break up by late morning to near noon time over portions of Central Florida, at least for a short time. However, daytime heating may work on the incoming moisture in such fashion that we would see an up-tick in cloud coverage once again by late afternoon, if not sooner. Temperatures will run a little cooler today by a couple of degrees due to the clouds, especially inland where the moderating affect of the sea-breeze is never as pronounced as it is along the coast. Come to think of it, the sea-breeze might altogether be hard pressed to form in earnest. As such, either way, the winds will be quite light with comfortable temperatures.
TONIGHT-WEDNESDAY: Continued periods of partly cloudy to occasionally cloudy, especially over South East Florida south of Ft. Pierce. Best rain chances currently appear to be east of Lake Okeechobee. The clincher though in all reality, that light surface winds combined with abundant cloud coverage will offset sea breeze/lake breeze formation and/or strength and thus low-level convergence boundary interactions...that precipitation will be of stratiform/light nature for the most part where it does fall due to the deepest moisture being aloft. It looks like the best chance of anything truly measurable though will be ENE-SE of Lake Okeechobee and extreme South Florida from Naples-South Beach and points south. Temperatures running around normal or perhaps just below where clouds persist in depth and coverage the most.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY: What's left of the mid-level moisture dissipates in form and function as high pressure approaches from the West (which will be south of the pesky low mentioned earlier). High pressure to move over head, thus precluding any frontal passages and/or moisture influxes. Thus, temperatures running around normal, or maybe even above that under sunny skies, especially by late Friday all regions of the state.
WEEKEND: LSD continues brewing. What the "high" (pressure) does is to continue the drought over East Central Florida. Note: South Florida is not in drought. Perhaps a 'trip' with a spiral design on the blot for the storm Gods is in order.
TROPICS: Just a few brief statements. The SW Caribbean is not yet to be forgotten, at least not in the world of models. Just to provide you with an idea of what is being depicted, the models show anything down there from nothing more than what is there now (unsettled weather) to development of a Cat 4 Hurricane within a week near Jamaica. I think both scenarios are unlikely. Hate to do it, but I'm riding down the bottom end of the curve and going with development of a least a depression with 2 days per observation of satellite loops and climatology (which of course, considers the time of year for this location where the weather is now occurring). This is in deviation from the assumption that the activity would simply be lost over Central America as written earlier, so anyone near the East Side of the Yucatan should keep at least one eye open to any future wild cards that might be dealt.
As far as the United States is concerned there does not appear there would ever be a threat no matter what happens down there, but I digress. Remember that cut off low approaching Southern California/Northern Baja? Need to keep watching what becomes of that. Should it slow down as often does with these systems we could all be thrown for another Hula Hoop. Those cut offs, especially in early spring (though) can be quite the thorn in the side of even the best forecasters. In the meantime though, at least for the next 72 hours..."round and round they (both go)...where they stop..nobody knows".
Elsewhere, Typhoon Megi is a very large storm and posing an entirely different forecast problem for anyone within a few hundred miles of Hong Kong. They have a good 2 days to narrow down the storm's eventual track and to prepare accordingly. Just how strong it will be and where it eventually makes a second landfall remains unknown.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking the Brrrr out of Octoberrrr

(Image: Sunrise flame)
SYNOPSIS:  High pressure encompasses the entire SE U.S., the North/Central Gulf, and the Western Atlantic. Low pressure is developing near Southern California. Stratocumulus clouds along the immediate east and southeast Florida coast overnight kept overnight minimum temperatures warmer than days past, with a 5AM temperature at PAFB of 74F, whereas Crestview, FL was a frigid 39F. Prior to sunrise the clouds broke up allowing the temperature to drop to 73F at PAFB and Crestview had dropped to 37F! It's likely they had frost there with a dew point also at 37F. Tallahassee was the second coldest at 45F.
TODAY: High pressure will continue to prevail over all of Florida today. The wind this afternoon to gain a more ENE-E component of light nature under nearly clear skies with some inland diurnal, scattered low topped cumulus clouds. Late afternoon and evening hours may introduce some nocturnal stratocumulus clouds along the east side of the state with an easterly, light breeze. Otherwise, it looks to remain dry in the rain gauge.
UP COMING WEEK: Low pressure near California will move inland and cutoff at the mid-upper levels. As a result, the main jet stream will ride up and over the low into SW Canada and take a dip across the mid portions of the country and into the northeast states (New England) where it remains a bit on the chilly side for morning lows. A secondary southern jet will round the base of the cut off and flow across the Desert SW-Texas-Northern Gulf and Florida. The low will gradually fill and move ENE with an accompanying cold front to enter the Deep South Tuesday and Wednesday but never really make it through Central or South Florida. The only affect from it will be to shift winds a bit to SE-SW for a brief time as high pressure to our east repositions. The winds will shift back to the NE as the front lays flat to the north and another bubble of high pressure approaches from the Northern Gulf and then to our north, re-enforcing the dry air mass overhead. Temperatures along the immediate coast will remain in the low to mid-60s with highs in the low-mid 80s. Inland temperatures will be both cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon, with highs in the upper 80s range by Tuesday and Wednesday. Other than a happen chance trace of rain late Tuesday or Wednesday (and that is being generous), things look to remain dry. Looks like we are headed for a record dry October over portions of Central Florida as it stands now. Most locales have received not even a trace, and where measurable amounts fell it was less than 0.10".
The first low will be absorbed by much larger low pressure circulations encompassing the Canadian Maritimes to the Hudson Bay area, as yet another one follows in its heels by next weekend. Meanwhile, the southern branch jet will continue in a modified form across Florida for the most part and the North and Central Gulf as we head toward next weekend and Halloween.
TROPICS: Continuing to watch the extreme SW Caribbean, but as things stand now given the current outlook for the continental United States and the Gulf, anything that does form down there now appears that it will remain out of the picture.  Still need to watch what comes after the first aforementioned low yet to form near S. California though as well as the one to follow. Models have really shifted gears the past 24-36 hours and now take future development in this region westward across Central America north of Panama. The big story of the day is Super Typhoon Megi/Juan approaching the mountainous terrain of Northern Luzon of high end Category 5 Hurricane strength. Quite an awesome satellite presentation on this storm this morning. 

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pleasant Weekend State Wide

(This weekend won't require updates for local weather)
SYNOPSIS: A weak cool frontal boundary is currently located just offshore the Florida East Coast from near Vero Beach northward. Further south this boundary becomes difficult to locate, but appears to meet to a weak area of low pressure just off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. Only a wind shift accompanies this boundary. Cloudiness across Central and South Florida is associated with moisture from the region encompassing diminutive Hurricane Paula (located just off the NW coast of the western tip of Cuba) combined with what appears to be an approaching mid-level wind speed max rounding the base of a mid-upper level trough approaching from the WNW. A more significant cold front associated with this feature is a bit difficult to locate at the surface, but inspection at 5000 ft definitively draws out the front extending from a low over Pennsylvania extending southward through the Carolinas and nearly bisecting the Florida panhandle. The low pressure over Pennsylvania will swing toward the W-WNW during the next 48 hours producing wet-n-windy weather for Northern New England for at least the first half of the weekend.
TODAY: Locally, cloudiness at sunrise this morning exists over Central Florida on a line from roughly extreme N. Brevard County toward southern portions of Tampa Bay, more extensively the further south one goes.  There are some rain showers associated with the cloudiness mainly south of a Vero Beach to Ft. Myers line, and for the most part this will continue to be where the showers will remain today. There's a fine line between where the clouds persist and suddenly cut off. North-Central Brevard on the east coast is on the cusp. South Brevard to Sarasota and everywhere south are well within the clouds and will probably remain there today. Winds should remain from the NW to W this afternoon, although a light NE component could develop close to the coast this afternoon, either way, wind speed will be insignificant. Any rain chances, it appears, will remain south of Brevard in the region outlined by the denser cloud shield from roughly Vero Beach to Sarasota and south through all of the Keys; however, there is a remote chance of a sprinkle along the coast during the mid afternoon as far north as The Cape as the cold front approaches from the west.  Best rain chances overall appear to be down the east coast from Vero to Miami this afternoon. It appears the the main weather change later today associated with the actual front will be clearing sky conditions as drier air aloft penetrates southward from the north accompanied by a more definitive NW wind. Frontal passage will occur first along the Florida West Coast, Jacksonville, to Orlando- the eventually the coast north of Vero by sometime between 4:30pm to sunset.
TOMORROW: Dawn should crack at the face of nearly clear skies across North and Central Florida, with the front still pressing south and east across the southern peninsula. Very pleasant day in store with a NW-NNW breeze and drying air at all atmospheric levels.  It has been quite dry this month, in fact, ever since Tropical Storm Nicole was in the neighborhood. As such, the dry air combined with the northerly breeze will set the stage for possible Fire Watch criteria during the afternoon hours over the inland counties. The coolest air will not arrive until overnight Friday night into Saturday morning, so we could still reach high end low 80s tomorrow under such dry conditions and full sun shine.
WEEKEND: Great weekend for the fair in Cocoa Beach with a north wind and nearly clear sky. High pressure behind the front will pass overhead and eventually into the Western Atlantic by some time Monday. Lows where the fair will be (Cocoa Beach) in the low-mid 60s and a high near 80 both days. Much cooler mornings inland. Looks like Sunday will overall be the coolest of days. Winds should veer to NNE-NE (off the Atlantic) by Sunday afternoon tempering temperatures.
NEXT WEEK: Carte Blanche check signed, "give me more benign weather". Winds will veer more toward the east through Wednesday with modifying temperatures and a gradually moistening air mass approach from the south as high pressure pushes further east and north as yet another dehydrated frontal boundary approaches. Periods of clouds during the afternoons due to day time heating, and perhaps some nocturnal/early morning stratocumuli along the coast with more moisture present. Maybe even a sprinkle along the coast in the day preceding and 'early morning of' the next front which right now has an ETA of very early Wednesday morning. This front, although as equally benign as the one today will be, could be the 'make or break' determinant concerning the weather over Central, and more so, South Florida next week. See TROPICS:
TROPICS: At 7AM bare minimalistic Hurricane Paula was located 45 miles west of Puerto Esperanto, Cuba (just off the NW tip of Cuba), moving NE at 5mph with seemingly 75mph over the water. The storm is encountering shear from all directions via opposing forces, both from high pressure in the Atlantic which is blocking eastward motion and the approaching trough in the NW Gulf of Mexico tearing at the system aloft from the west (these same winds are generating the clouds over Central/South Florida at this time). These winds, combined with the storm's close proximity to the Cuba landmass and its dismally small size will put a demise to the storm in the next few hours. I'd bet the next advisory is no longer indicates a storm of hurricane status...and in 24 hours it will be all but gone. A piece of upper level energy will likely breaking off during passage of the mid-upper level trough to the north which will cross the Florida Straits and the Bahamas, whereas the low level energy and remnant surface circulation could eventually move ESE to SE and dwindle, dousing western Cuba in the process.  The Keys will continue to have a period or two of heavy rainfall, and perhaps some thunder as the moisture from the storm interacts with the approaching frontal boundary in that area through much of Friday.
Elsewhere in the tropics. An area of vorticity remains in the far SW Caribbean and over Central America with a broad area of cyclonic circulation. Another, an more importantly, is another vorticity area approaching the Leeward Islands. At this time, there's only a few showers associated with the second feature. The vorticity will continue to move west and become imbedded within the first area in the SW Caribbean by Monday, and in all probability instigate the initiation of the next named tropical system, "Richard" in the Tuesday time-frame NNW of Panama. This a quite some time from now, and seeing as how this chain of events is only apparently beginning to unfold quite a bit could change.
So, in speaking from persistence of the GFS model: This particular forecast model has been indicating that this transformation in the SW Caribbean would occur for over 48 hours now, and has been fairly consistent on the timing of a Hurricane crossing Cuba sometime late next week. Just exactly when or where will be critical for South, and perhaps Central Florida, when considering the next front to affect the state referred to several paragraphs previously. Since the time of forecast inception, what would be named Richard has taken directly from as far west as across Florida from near Naples to Ft. Pierce to as far west as off the Florida East Coast and across the Central  Bahamas. The latest available run was the furthest east with this system never directly affecting any part of Florida.
In summary, the meteorological community will be approaching Wednesday with furrowed brow of inquisitive interest. No matter how one looks at it so far, somewhere in the Bahamas is most likely to be dealt the Ace of Spaces in a game of Russian Roulette.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

(Images: There are 2 images included today; Facebook viewers will need to open this post to view in entirety).
Shown: Bi-polar Jekyll and Hyde twin conditions shown in today's mid-level(700mb) presentation of the U.S. The polar opposite is shown in roughly 4 days in the second image when by this time each stormy low level pressure system is replaced with high pressure, leading to the U.S. Synopsis.
As can be seen in the first image, an "Omega Block" pattern is at perfect peak performance this morning. "Jekyll" is over the Northeast U.S. and being his sedate self: mostly cool, cloudy, and somewhat wet. A sop. On the other hand, Mr. Hyde is up to devilish no goodness over the Desert Southwest region.  In between these two characters is high pressure over the mid-section of the U.S. Note this as this area will be discussed again later.
The dynamic duo began the adventure over the weekend with some severe warnings in S.E. California and wet, cold slop over the Great Lakes into Pennsylvania (of many locales), and since that time Hyde has continued to be nothing less than the Devil's Advocate in Arizona, especially since near noon time yesterday up to the time of this writing. Numerous severe level hail and wind reports have been driving the teletype in full gear, with a plethora of sub-severe level yet exciting weather conditions jamming the lines. Two confirmed tornadoes already, with warnings going out as I type. The weather services in Phoenix and Flagstaff are quite busy. Might add, there has been some tornado reports with significant damage as well. As Flagstaff puts it: "IT CONTINUED TO BE A VERY ACTIVE MORNING WITH NUMEROUS SEVERE/TORNADO PRODUCING THUNDERSTORMS. A CONTINUATION OF THIS ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED THROUGH THE DAY AS A STRONG LOW SPINS OVER CALIFORNIA." North/Central portions of Arizona and portion South/Central Utah are in a Tornado Watch until 8PM EDT.
Second Image: But there is a good side to everything as well as a bad one. Jekyll will run out of potion. By the end of the weekend instead of Jekyll and Hyde (the old toy "Clackers" comes to mind if your old enough to know they even existed, but were banned due to their propensity to apply personal injury to the 7-8 year old users)...we will be looking at Pom-Poms in the NE and SW U.S. High. Sort of like going from hard to soft porn...a pleasant break from the rough and tumble. Meanwhile, right where we have the High Pressure over the mid-section mentioned above, we will find a trough cutting through the mid-section of the U.S. At time, doesn't look like there will be much impact directly associated with this, but honestly have not delved deeply into this fairly fast moving system. It will head toward the N.E. states in Jekyll's wake, while the Desert S.W. remains sedated, living up to its good old self once again -- dry.
LOCALLY/TODAY: Wow, cold this morning in Crestview at 41F and Tallahassee at 45F! But that's long gone, in fact those temperatures rose almost 15 degrees in the first 3 hours of day light. Locally, breezy N-NNE winds and a few clouds. Cool with a high in the low 80s. Tonight, like last night. Much the same through the end of the work week with winds letting up noticeably by later in the day Thursday and a little warmer, but not by much. SE Florida could have the winds until Friday though.
WEEKEND: Little change, but even nicer. Winds die down significantly, and what wind there be will exist will be NE-E. Slight chance of a very light rain shower, but really and for the most part, negligible. Will watch to see if more moisture advects toward the coast to generate showers, but it appears the low/mid level winds won't be strong enough to do the trick.
LATER TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: A front approaches as winds become more southerly to perhaps southwesterly for a brief time, but of light strength. The front might go through dry though (no rain)...but it's still too soon to say for sure. Gonna have to monitor the trends as we go through the weekend.
TROPICS: I think we'll be seeing Tropical Storm Otto if not by early evening then by tomorrow morning. The low pressure system is located just north of Puerto Rico and is currently tangled up in a meteorological mess with an upper level low near by, as well as with the low pressure trough off the U.S. East Coast. As such, it's categorized as a sub-tropical depression. Whatever. But everything is pointing toward this low probably going from a 'subtropical low' to a flat out Tropical Storm at whatever point the Hurricane Center opts to flip the switch. Exactly how long the system remains a tropical entity varies per model runs, but it won't be too long. Perhaps only 2 days, maybe 4. Regardless, it'll be history. Although the eventual impacts to Great Britain are intriguing.
Elsewhere, Otto (I'll call it that for simplistic sake and since it doesn't matter either way) might have a little sister Paula. Are you seeing the trend that I am? Things are happening in pairs. Named or not named, it appears likely another 'system of sorts' will form within the same broad, scheme of things, trough that 'yet to be named Otto' forms in. Only at the extreme tail end which is somewhat intermingled with the area of low pressure that's been over the Caribbean for quite some time now. This system is up for grabs for now, considering that other than model hints, there's nothing to prove its eventual birth...but the Caribbean still looks a little pregnant.
To paint an entertaining picture though and to emphasize how nuts things get when foreseeing something beyond the horizon, last night's 00Z GFS run turned this area into a full blown hurricane and took it north across West Cuba...heading straight for Florida. But fear not, the 06z run came out and simply took this area on a free tour through the Western Caribbean across the Yucatan and back to it's origins...and at perhaps Depression status it is picked up by a trough off the U.S. East Coast to follow a path similar to "Otto". The 12Z shows similar, but lets the system die in place, never being named. Almost likes the tropics has an abortion (all seriousness aside,pulleez). We'll see.

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