"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".

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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