Can you believe it? Did you feel it? It's actually 'cool' outside this morning by our summer standards! Temperatures right at sunrise are as cool as 66F at the Space Center and Melbourne is at 69F which is just one degree off from tying their record low. WOW. I noticed the difference immediately upon stepping out the door at sunrise. Was looking around for some fluttering snow flakes to catch on my tongue but only swatted at buzzing mosquitos.
REVIEW: In some ways, it's not entirely a total stretch of the imagination to believe that a 'backdoor front' of sorts went through in conjunction with a mid-level wind surge from the NNE yesterday that occurred at 1:10pm. I noticed a line of low topped cumulus and some widely dispersed very light rain showers offshore accompanying this line of clouds along the leading edge of this "impulse" per se. There was a VERY long, dangly rope cloud formation on visible satellite imagery that was quite discernible accompanying this atmospheric transformation which extended several hundred miles east of KSC way out into the Atlantic. Wish I had saved the satellite image. These formed along the leading edge of drier air moving in at the mid-levels along with the slight / temporary pulse.
The end result this morning is easily seen on the porch thermometer as well as the latest sounding where PWAT has fallen to an unseasonably low level of 0.83" (down from 2.00" + inches just 2-3 days ago) and winds at all levels are from the ENE-NE. It is likely that it's the low moisture level that is truly responsible for the low'ish' morning temperatures which is allowing heat to escape into the atmosphere. Within the hour it will be just like any other day temperature wise once the sun comes up in earnest.
SYNOPSIS: Low pressure is still retrograding WSW-W toward the North Carolina coast this morning but is doing so slower than earlier anticipated. Circulation/subsidence around this low and high pressure over the land mass of the mid-Atlantic is creating the dry NE winds aloft over all but extreme South Florida (where rain showers abound across the Keys) and such will be the case for the remainder of the day. This same system could be responsible for some strong storms today particularly for eastern North Carolina where the presence of this same low pressure system will create speed and directional wind sheer over a developing lee side trough during the afternoon. Lapse rates are not forecast to be particularly steep though...and moisture isn't the greatest..so probably the biggest threat would be strong wind gusts in the strongest of isolated storms.
TROPICS: Tropical depression formation was officially proclaimed just about 2 hours ago in the extreme West Gulf. This low appears as though it will landfall near Brownsville in extreme SE Texas. Its circulation is barely visible on IR satellite imagery or even water vapor loops...but is evident on radar to some degree. It won't take much for it to become Tropical Storm Bonnie...but what a waste of a name. Whether it is a low end tropical storm or not will be strictly a matter of naming a closed circulation for the most part since not much more than minimal intensification appears likely. Regardless, it will be bringing more rain to already saturated soil which is not good for the already flooded folks in south Texas where rain has persisted since even before the passage of Hurricane Alex last week.
FORECAST: The low off the mid-Atlantic coast will slowly approach the North Carolina/Virginia coast then merge with a front/trough which is approaching the NE states as we speak. Say goodbye to the heat wave in the Northeast at long last by tomorrow. The low will essentially become absorbed with the front as it takes on more of a northward drift in the process. The base of the trough will deepen into Georgia then move east and begin to lift north as we work into next week. As a result of the trough..a high pressure ridge will be shunted south to South Florida where it should remain through Monday and into Tuesday. This will provide for a SW-WSW steering flow over Florida which normally I'd rejoice in with anticipation of inland thunderstorms being steered toward the coast. One problem though...the air mass does not look like it will particularly moist given the wind trajectory aloft...but this could very well change so let's just wait and see for another day or two.
TODAY: Dry and mostly clear with a scattering of low topped cumulus at best. Despite cussing and cursing data and models I see no features at the surface or aloft to discuss. Just can't squeeze water out of a rock.
TOMORROW: Ho hum...Arizona comes to Florida. More of the same but warmer inland with highs around the 95-96 degree range. Granted, not as hot or dry as Arizona, but you get the drift. Zzzzzzz....
SATURDAY: By Saturday and particularly Sunday the coast will feel a notable temperature difference particularly around noon time when I believe at this time that a morning land breeze (yes, at least we'll have one of those at last) will be slow to wane and allow temperatures to rise above what they have been for quite a while before the sea breeze kicks in. Rain chances pick up from Ft Pierce and points south...as well as along the Panhandle, but the immediate Central Portions might still be hard pressed to wring out a storm from the atmosphere. I'm playing the pessimist though in regards to there being very little chance of rain.
SUNDAY/MONDAY: The big question mark period in regards to storms. Granted, the atmosphere will have moistened some by then pretty much statewide...especially in the North third of the state closer to the low pressure trough in that area...but moisture from the south will be slow to arrive in full. Or will it?
We could actually end up in a phase where we have storm well to the north and south with nothing in between (Central Florida)...other than isolated activity that would pop up where boundaries collide in the vicinity of the larger lakes or where the sea- breezes collide well inland. We'll just have to wait and see how things evolve during the next few days.