As has been the case for what seems like eternity the rain chances remain low today, although not as low as has been the case for the past several days. As discussed previously, a low pressure trough will be digging down the U.S. East coast for the early portions of the week which will most assuredly swoop a cold front trough the Northeastern states. Also, the high pressure ridge axis that was stretched from east to west across the Deep South and well north of the state has shoved south and is now directly over Central Florida if not a little south of the region. This ridge axis will waver north/south within the parameters of Central Florida through Tuesday as the aforementioned trough makes its final dig along the east U.S. coast. This process began to a very small degree yesterday and will continue through Tuesday...and as such, thundershower activity will be on a gradual increase but not likely affect the immediate coastal communities at least not through Monday.
Early start to some morning cumulus clouds, although sparse, are at least indicative of the gradual changes taking place this morning. Yesterday we saw a thundershower of two near I-95 in S. Brevard, and expect to see at least if not more of the same today as moisture ever so slowly is allowed to slowly increase in the next few days. This process actually began yesterday as reflected on earlier...but the moisture influx and weakening of the ridge aloft will become more apparent as we work into the upcoming week.
As mentioned the other day, the GFS was most aggressive with the east coast trough...and actually pulled a cold front into the peninsula. Nothing has changed in that light as of last night's model run...but the way in which this occurs (per that model) has shifted gears. It is now joining the trough associated with Tropical Storm Alex with the NE U.S. trough into one huge robust system...and as such draws gobs of moisture (and resultant storm activity) across the state beginning Wednesday-Thursday. Additionally, it was one of the 'outlier' models to actually draw Alex well north and east of nearly all of the other forecast models toward Louisiana. Believe this entire scenario, at least at this time, is highly unlikely and will disregard such aggressive behavior.
Regardless of that unlikely scenario, it does appear that once Alex moves yet further west and the east U.S. coast trough digs even more the ridge axis aloft will be close to non-existent or at least relax considerably if only for 2-3 days toward the middle - end of the upcoming week, which will result in what one would be considered normal rainfall/thunderstorm coverage over Central Florida once again.
Meanwhile, for today expect to see some thunderstorms sprout up, which like yesterday, will at least be visible from a distance at the coast, but will remain along or west of I-95. Because the ridge axis has sunk considerably south of its location late last week the steering current, albeit very weak, is more from south to north, thus any rampant offshore activity is unlikely to reach coastal communities. The surface winds have veered to more of a SE-SSE component as a result of the sinking ridge axis as well. Once the sea breeze begins in earnest this afternoon that should be enough to stabilize the atmosphere along the coast so that by the mid-late afternoon all the convection will be west of I-95. The most favored areas for storms today will be along the west side of the state from Tampa toward Ft. Meyers as well as all along the panhandle and toward just south of St. Augustine further north along the east coast.