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 tomorrow...so 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)...so 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 TV..so 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.