"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
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"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, July 3, 2010

Treading Water Without a Trigger

(Image: Lightning near the community of Eden in Osceola County, FL)
Point blank, initial implications are that today will end up being much like yesterday, although there is a small hint that rain could manifest. But lets look at a few things before going into more of the "ifs, and, or buts" shall we?

SYNOPSIS: Four things stand out - (1) Per the KSC latest sounding, yes the air mass over Florida is not lacking by any means in the moisture department at neither Tampa or KSC. PWAT levels are at 2.00+ inches which is contributed at all levels of the atmosphere with no real steering to speak of the whole way up to 30,000 ft; (2) A low-mid-upper level low is drifting WSW well off the Gulf Coast of Tampa which initially was indicated as only a surface low yesterday in the Northern Gulf south of Tallahassee; (3) a variety of ill-defined trough axis' range in location from South Florida at the surface, South/Central Florida in the mid levels, and near the Florida/Georgia border higher up in the atmosphere; (4) A fairly decent boundary of convective parameters exists further north along the FL/GA border area as well where the cutoff of atmospheric moisture exists

TODAY: Much like yesterday the day has started out overcast. An area of showers/thunderstorms exists off shore both coasts as of 8am. And like yesterday, the same problem exists for convective initiation. With the overcast sky conditions surface heating is about at as much as a minimum as it can get for this time of year. As a result, we do not get the rising air currents which results in a definitive sea breeze and/or lake breezes to materialize to the levels which would otherwise instigate low-level wind convergences at the localized level. There are also no apparent upper level disturbances/ positive vorticity maximi (?) to stir the pot and create atmospheric eddies.

Essentially what we is happening is that we are treading water in an atmospheric pool of moisture with no where to go. But there is a small glimmer of hope for rain initiation today. As mentioned earlier and as discussed yesterday, I believe the surface boundary did push south of even Lake Okeechobee yesterday...the mid-level trough seemed to have pushed down to south Central Florida as well. Latest radar and water vapor loop trends seem to be indicating that this axis has become an extension of the low pressure system in the Gulf, and it appears to be retreating back to the north as a "mid-level warm front" (very loosely speaking though). There was radar echoes along this boundary over South Central Florida extending across the entire peninsula earlier but they appear to be waning as we speak as they move northward with the retreating boundary. At the same time, it seems that a weak outflow boundary of sorts seems to have reached the immediate coast during the past 30 minutes as a result of the also waning convection well off shore and as a result the wind picked up out of the ENE for a short time and breaks in the clouds are now evident. Sure enough, the sun just peaked out for the first time today. Is this an omen of things to come?

Expecting that whatever prospects we'll have for rain today will come from the northward propagating mid-level axis combined with the remnant outflow and cloud breaks which would come together across East Central Florida during the late morning hours. Not expecting strong storms although should they initiate lightning isn't out of the question by any means. It is a little overly presumptions to think that just because it didn't rain yesterday that it won't today either. (actually, it did rain during the mid-afternoon on a few areas over the "gator lands of the St. Johns River Valley basin").

The atmosphere beckons to be squeezed out..but in all honesty I'm looking more for an excuse for it to rain rather than one for it not to. All the crystal balls (models) are saying that it will rain over a good portion of our area today so that's a start, and that is hard to totally disregard. But other than there being gobs of moisture around I don't see any reason for it to do anything without a triggering mechanism.

I see the media are again hyping the rain chances (I guess that would be a given since all model guidance "says so")...but if I had my dithers I'd be disobedient again today and tell them that perhaps Mother Nature doesn't always know best. So prove me wrong Ma and give my ass a good whooping and "Let it storm, let it storm, let it storm". Should add that rain chances are not limited to only the afternoon and evening hours. It could rain about any time it darned well decides to until we can get a definitive 'cycle' at work...and that won't be until a large portion of the area receives some good sunshine for at least several hours.

FUTURE DAYS: Almost forgot, I have an inkling that better rain prospects will exist tomorrow and Monday. Whatever is left of the mid-level boundary should remain nearly stationary right along the immediate Central Florida latitude by tonight through Sunday. Numerical guidance literally paints the word "TSTRMS" (thunderstorms) for everyday this coming week across the interior portion. Believe that by Monday the extensive cloud coverage will not be as prevalent, surface heating will ensue, and the thermal/wind boundary collision engine will get a jump start to get the thunderstorm machine running in earnest once again. Details as to just how this will/could/might/maybe/should/possibly evolve will follow...

Lots to look at too in future days. We have another TUTT low in the Atlantic heading west and some inverted troughs to approach the area from the east-southeast in coming days with no real sign of the atmosphere being wrung totally dry in coming days. Each days apprears as though it will present its own set of challenges for the forecasters in Florida.

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