(Image: Classic KSC Cape towering shower forms yesterday as sea breeze develops. We've seen them much larger than this one yesterday...but this was a nice reminder that waterspout producing showers can and do form in this area)
RECAP: Big rainfall totals yesterday for the West Central Portions of the state with Polk and Hillsborough Counties overall being the leaders of the pack with one isolate Orange County report, with one total over 5" near Tampa. Other high totals came in from Lakeland, Plant City, Winter Haven, Bartow, Bloomingdale to name just a few. On the east coast we had only light totals with nothing on the intracoastal. Once the day evolved and the sea breeze set up everything generally moved from NE to SW...piling up over Polk County toward Sarasota while skies elsewhere became partly cloudy. Tower clouds went up over the Space Center with a possible funnel sighted there around noon, but the confirmed reports were from near Naples and just off the Keys.
SYNOPSIS: Surface trough lies across Southern Ga/Al/Miss. with high pressure ridge as far south as Cuba. Low pressure resides over the Northeast states extending down the East U.S. Coast through South Carolina with an additional reflection into Georgia. Mid-Level low has taken shape well off the coast of Ft Myers. Deep, moisture laden SSW-SW flow from the surface to 700mb is in the process of establishing over all of Central Florida with the outliers being extreme the SE portion and the Panhandle. This pattern will strengthen throughout the next 24-36 hours and become potentially quite interesting Tuesday. The KSC Sounding data is finally available this morning. It shows generally a SSW-SW steering flow with continued warm air aloft with 700mb near +10C and 500mb near -4 or -5 (in other words, no different from what it's been for a LONG time).
NOW-MID AFTERNOON: Surface winds over much of Central Florida are generally from the S-SSW. Gradient flow will likely prevent formation of a true ECSB (East Coast Sea Breeze) today from Volusia County south to between West Palm/Jupiter. Line of sustaining showers extends from north to south from north and over Lake Okeechobee...with a cloud line extending from the north end of the this shower line northeastward toward the Cape Canaveral Port Entrance. Light showers are forming as I write along this cloud line as well. Aloft, high level cirrus clouds across the north half of Brevard toward Orlando are being generated from activity off the South Carolina coast which is streaming overhead due to NE jet stream level winds. These high clouds are currently putting the breaks on cumulus development over said region, however more clouds/showers could develop here as well, maybe even before I finish typing this late morning blog entry.
The aforementioned shower line morph in size,intensity, and northern extent as it moves toward the NE-NNE during the course of the next 2-3 hours into Osceola, Indian River, and South Brevard Counties. Anyone in this region up to maybe north central Brevard might or might not see some rain before 2pm as a result. Meanwhile, other showers could form along the cloud line extending toward the Port...with all other areas slowly filling in with showers. From noon to 3pm more showers/storms will likely fill in across Central Florida making timing for a shower for any one locale impossible to determine. Motion of activity will be from the SW though..so "watch this way". Anvil level winds will continue from the NE so the cirrus from activity will stream back from the direction of motion during the day...but this will be changing as we head toward Wednesday.
MID-AFTERNOON THROUGH EVENING: Some areas by this time may have received rain more than once today. Showers will move right along so large accumulations not expected. By 2-3pm I'd be watching a lot more for lightning from activity though. A lot of what occurs later today will be contingent of what results with the early afternoon activity. Lots of remnant cloud debris could aid to stabilize the atmosphere...but believe that as the SW flow strengthens, mainly from Oak Hill south toward Vero that we might see a stronger round of storms during this time frame into the evening hours. Also to watch will be the amount of cirrus clouds steaming across the region off the Carolina/Georgia Coasts. These could inhibit late day destabilization. Additionally, without a sea breeze convergence boundary setting up not expecting giant storms...other than a few in isolated pockets...but just where this could occur at this time of day would be like picking B9 out of the bingo ball stir pot on the first try.
Further north toward Daytona to Jacksonville. Sea breeze could set up in this region with light gradient mid-level flow overhead. However, this region is closer to the deepening mi-level trough...so activity could be more robust along the coast up that way which is a bit closer to the surface boundary.
TOMORROW: More changes at hand. The surface boundary will sink a tad further south to just about the FL/GA border as the mid-level low over the Carolinas deepens and closes off. Gradient mid-level flow over the immediate Central Florida region will strengthen to 25-35mph just over head with ample moisture. Due to deepening of the mid-level trough temperatures aloft might decrease a degree or two...but nothing overly significant is anticipated aloft over Central Florida...north Florida folks will need to be watching this though, as storms up that way could be quite strong as a result from Flagler County toward Jacksonville and inland toward Gainesville and perhaps with Ocala being on the southern fringe of these affects.
Otherwise, synoptically speaking...winds the whole way up to jet stream level (25K-30K feet) will change to a westerly direction along with the maintained SW-WSW mid level flow direction. As a result, storms will move even more quickly tomorrow with no sea breeze most assuredly. Temperatures aloft will maybe a degree or two cooler...and pockets of mid-upper level vorticity will be passing over the region. Thus, I maintain a high level of chances for convection on Tuesday..particularly from near Ft. Pierce and points north to Jacksonville along the East Coast...and from Ft. Myers and points north on the West Coast..then everywhere in between. We'll see how things develop during the course of tonight for yet another post tomorrow. One thing to watch though for now, now that I think about it, is that any robust storms tomorrow could have strong winds associated with them due to the stronger mid-level winds.
WEDNESDAY: A little bit like today all over again as mid -upper flow weakens to some degree. Ample moisture once again abounds. Whether or not a sea breeze will develop on Wednesday is tricky. One might develop late in the afternoon as mid level gradient flow will be weakening during the day. Otherwise, still looks like there will be storms in the same place as Tuesday.
THURSDAY-SATURDAY: Continued weakening of mid-upper level flow with a gradual 'normal' sea breeze / outflow boundary collision pattern re-establishing. Not so sure about the A1A corridor though as far as rain chances go..but as we work more toward the weekend coastal storms look less likely.
SUNDAY: We'll see. The last GFS run I saw is sticking with the deep Easterly flow pattern setting up as alluded to yesterday..but for some reason it has the Cape in a precipitation bulls-eye..which sure isn't dry like it seemed it would be yesterday. It's only Monday now though...so we'll see.
TROPICS: Danielle will probably be a hurricane by noon tomorrow....fishing out in the Atlantic. On a side note, the GFS last night was showing a storm/hurricane to form off the N. tip of the Yucatan and brought it to North Central Florida by September 4th. Not showing anything remotely close to that now though..just thought I'd throw that out there.