TThunderstorm gust fronts move in on Cape Canaveral, Florida
Unlike the winter time when we were in a high shear, low CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) environment, we are in more of a low shear, high CAPE one which is typical of summer in Florida. These conditions aren't here to stay just yet...but a sampling of summer, like yesterday, will be with us once again today and tomorrow (more so across South Brevard and points south of there tomorrow). These conditions both days will be especially prevalent east of the I-95 corridor where a sea breeze convergence at the low levels of the atmosphere will occur and CAPE/EHI (Energy Helicity Index) Values, and LIs (Lifted Indices) are maximized.
SYNOPSIS: Strong high pressure to remain well to east of the state over the Atlantic Ocean extends west toward the Florida Straits as the old cold frontal boundary disperses its remnant ashes across the Central Florida Peninsula very VERY early this morning. This boundary (if one can even call it THAT)...will be in place today as it slowly buries itself and digs its own grave through tonight and into tomorrow. After tomorrow it will be non-existent as high pressure builds across the Gulf of Mexico and joins forces with the Atlantic high pressure system. The combined forces will assert their strength over the state as we move into the weekend and for most, if not all, of next week.
TODAY: With the boundary in place and plentiful sunshine to start the day we will initially receive some good environmental atmospheric heating with lots of moist air (high dew point temperatures) in place. We might see some good low cloud coverage develop shortly after sunrise as this moisture laden atmosphere starts to get worked on by the suns heat.,..but by mid morning those clouds will wane as true cumulus clouds begin to form in earnest.
The low this morning in the mid 70s will clear the path by noon for a high temperature heading toward 88 degrees...at least before the sea breeze kicks in which it will assuredly do today. In fact, yesterday Patrick AFB was nearly 88 degrees; then, within one hour after the sea breeze pushed in, they dropped a full 10 degrees as cool air above the ocean's surface was transported onto the coast east of I-95. The sea breeze doesn't make it inland very far under this synoptic set up, therefore no one west of I-95 or even US1 experienced the big temperature drop. No wonder though...the latest water temperature taken from Cocoa Beach was only 71 degrees!
Expect the true cumulus clouds to increase in number and size by noon...with thunderstorms and rain showers developing by mid afternoon and continuing and increasing in coverage until sunset after which they will quickly dissipate without support from the suns heat (for the most part). Any particular storm that happens to go up late in the day or early evening in an area that hasn't been worked over by earlier convection could linger until 9-10pm.
Some storms could be particularly strong today as we will have CAPE values in the 2500-2900 range, LIs around -7, and good EHI values right along and immediately east of where the sea breeze convergence occurs. In other words, all these values will be maximized east of Orlando in a zone bounded by Titusville to the north and West Palm Beach to the south and east of I-95. In other words, all of extreme East Central Florida has the chance to experience some frequent lightning (always dangerous), strong wind gusts, and maybe even small dinky hail under the strongest of storm updrafts. Storms will approach today from the west of just south of due west at 15-20 mph. We might even hear a severe thunderstorm warning or two during the day across portions of the east central peninsula! And as such, the possibility of a waterspout is not entirely out of the question (either over the rivers or the ocean).
Anyone planning outdoor activities should plan to have all actions completed by 2pm...not to say it's going to rain right after that time...but the possibilities will certainly exist by then...if not sooner. Rain coverage for the entire central peninsula, but the possibilities will exist mainly just for the east half of the state..with a wider coverage west of that axis.
TONIGHT: Rapidly improving conditions near sunset or shortly thereafter once the last vestiges of any storms that might have formulated die a painless death before the last quarter of the moon even begins to rise. Low in the low -mid 70s.
FRIDAY: Conditions will be similar to today but with slightly less dynamics as the focal point for the most likely activity shifts more toward the southeast quadrant of the peninsula. South Brevard will be more likely to experience that chance of a storm than those folks further north into Central Brevard. North Brevard will likely be entirely clear of any rain possibilities
We will again see a warm start to the day, but again cooling rapidly right along the coast east of US-1 and particularly east of the rivers once the sea breeze becomes established. Highs generally in the mid-80s.
THIS WEEKEND AND BEYOND: High pressure both at the surface and aloft will initially be the dominating feature across the state which will greatly inhibit convection (rain/storm chances) other than over extreme S. Florida. A cold front, however, will push through by Sunday morning (a dry front) shifting our winds to the North and eventually NE-NNE by mid-late day Sunday. These winds will harbor in dryer and a little cooler air for the second half of the weekend and into mid-week next week. Lows around 71 and highs more toward the lower 80s. Actually, the folks right along the coast won't feel the impact from the front since they've already been feeling the cooling affects from the ocean (as mentioned earlier). It's is those folks well inland who have been seeing highs in the low - mid 90s lately that will really notice the cool down.
Our next true shot at rain is beyond the scope of any reliable information currently available. But if this upcoming pattern is true to form for this time of year, it will be quite some time before it rains again after today and perhaps tomorrow for Central Florida