RECAP: Early in the day rainfall yesterday produced rain amounts over 2.00" in many locales. In Cape Canaveral we received 2.19" bringing the total from Friday and Saturday up to exactly 5.00". So much for a local drought...since more could be on the way. There was a waterspout reported offshore Clearwater, FL yesterday, but most active weather reports outside of rain were wind gust reports from storms near Patrick AFB, Cape Canaveral, and Lake Okeechobee (just to name a limited few) which were in the 40-45mph range.
SYNOPSIS: This morning it appears a weak surface low might by located just off shore the East Coast NE of Cape Canaveral, but equally low surface pressures are being measured on land areas as far south as West Palm Beach. At the mid-levels low pressure seems to be taking shape somewhere over extreme SW Florida whereas in the upper levels it is most discernible over the West Central Bahamas well offshore Ft. Lauderdale. So as we can see, it is a very disorganized and broad area of low pressure that is in the cards for today. Some drier air in the upper levels wrapped around the front side of the upper low after the passage of yesterday's rains, but that area of 'dryness' has thinned out and is moving out from the Northeast portions of the state. The mid-low levels remain very moist though, and as such many areas are reporting light fog and low cloud ceilings as of 8am which will likely burn off by 10am.
TODAY: First off, and amazingly, little change in forecast thinking from yesterday's post. Believe that with some daytime heating the surface low will eventually move right on to the coast initially but then relocate somewhere west of Ft. Pierce (or in the Lake Okeechobee region) closer to the mid-level low which seems to be near SW Florida at this time. Winds will remain light most of the day but assume a general easterly, sea breeze type direction and rain chances along the coast north of Vero could remain pretty low most of the day, but heating of the day (by early-mid afternoon) will more assuredly have more to reveal. But as of this time, expect that any significant rains to fall most of the day will be across the state from Ft. Pierce, south. Particularly just south of West Palm Beach, through the south half of the Lake Okeechobee region, all of the Florida Keys, and to just north of Ft. Myers on the west coast. There will remain the threat of waterspouts and thunderstorms in this same region.
TONIGHT: The surface, mid, and upper level lows will begin to coalescence into 'somewhat' more of a concentrated area somewhere just west - southwest of Lake Okeechobee after sunset and continue to organize slowly and somewhat chaotically more so over night as the upper low near the Bahamas moves generally west and perhaps a bit south of that same location. As such, a stacked gradient midlevel flow behind all of these systems from the E-SE will increase along the east coast of the state from near Flagler County - Indian River County with Brevard in the central locale for strongest winds aloft at all levels from about 8,000 ft to around 18,000 ft (at least). This deep, stacked gradient flow (note, I didn't say 'low') should advect even more moisture through atmospheric layers into East Central Florida originating from the Bahamas beginning post-sunset and through all of Tuesday. Surface winds shouldn't be that big of a deal since the surface low will remain weak...but as moisture, and thus rain chances, increase downdraft winds from rain showers could be noticeably gusty. I see rain chances for tomorrow as shown on The Weather Channel as well as numerical models are already indicating a 60% chance of rain for Tuesday, but wouldn't be surprised to see that number boosted upwards for portions of Central and South Central Florida by tonight if the above conditions develop as stated. Temperatures aloft will remain on the warm side though, so robust thunder and lightning is not expected. However, we'll have to continue to monitor the situation for the possibility of land falling waterspouts with the heaviest rainstorms, particularly on Tuesday.
TUESDAY: I'm painting a worst case scenario for this day. If conditions do develop as noted, then Tuesday will be a good day to keep an umbrella handy. Rain showers could move onshore from the Atlantic at just about anytime from sunrise-after sunset well into the evening toward early Wednesday. Minor street flooding would be possible where training of fast moving rain showers and possibly some thunder occurs anywhere from near Daytona to West Palm Beach. Keep tuned into your favorite media outlets by this evening to see how things are developing (assuming they do).
WEDNESDAY: Again, no change in thinking. This will be a transition day. It appears the low pressure system will become a bit more organized and move west-northwest to passage almost directly over the infamous oil-spill region toward the coast of Louisiana or perhaps Mississippi. High pressure will weakly reassert itself across the state as gradient flow at all levels significantly abates and shifts toward more of a southerly direction during the day. Normal diurnal sea breeze/lake breeze convection anticipated with most of it likely remaining just west of the US1-I-95 corridor over Central Florida but almost anywhere for the southern third of the state.
THURSDAY-SUNDAY: High pressure ridge axis to slowly sink south toward the southern tip of Florida as a large low pressure area NE of the Great Lakes region and associated mid-low level trough takes shape down the Appalachians. Mid-level flow will be from the SW-W while surface flow will remain weak, permitting daily sea breezes on both coasts to form. Rain chances will return to around the 40% range...but shower/thunderstorm motion during the mid-late afternoon will be slowly toward the east side of the state, with early morning-early afternoon activity developing along the west side.