SYNOPSIS: Surface low at noon positioned over extreme N. Georgia with attendant surface trough (cold front) extending south into the Gulf across the Florida Panhandle. This low is located within a much larger area of generalized low pressure extending from the eastern Great Lakes south to all of the Western Caribbean Sea. Upper level cut off low is located a bit to the west of the surface low over northern Alabama. Another area of low pressure in the Caribbean appears to be trying to organize per the deep convection occurring down there. Surface low will move NNE during the course of the day as the upper level supporting system begins to open up and toggle NNE as well. The surface front will be pressed slowly east as this action occurs. Latest KSC sounding indicates an increase in precipitable water values over East Central Florida in the atmosphere aloft since early morning, and now reads 1.81", with a convective temperature of only 83 degrees. Early morning shower activity that formed off shore moved off quickly to the NNE, and new generation of showers has begun over the immediate coast near Indian River and St. Lucie Counties. Motion in general is to the north. Thus, parts of Brevard County might be seeing some rainfall between 2-4pm (for starters), with possible thunder and strong gusty winds. These storms are moving fairly steadily, so impacts for any one shower should be relatively short-lived. In the short term, look out Brevard County as I now write!
TODAY: The front will try to move further east into tonight but have a hard time making much additional eastward progression as the parent low pressure system moves NNE and the surface feature loses its support. Ongoing convergence along and ahead of the front has warranted an alert for severe weather from North Florida to the Carolinas. For the most part, East Florida will be sunny today, save for the fact that there are some showers further south at this time, which I'd expect to increase in coverage and intensity as we work into the late afternoon hour. Shower motion will be from the S to SSW.
TONIGHT: Convergence ahead of the front should continue over North Florida with some of this activity expanding into Central portions after sunset toward after midnight. Thunder is quite possible in these showers/storms as would some gusty winds be expected both within and near the vicinity of this activity.
TOMORROW: Much of tomorrow will be similar to today but with more clouds and showers / thunderstorms likely to develop ahead of the surface front which will have gone stationary very close to a St. Augustine to Brooksville line. In the meantime, the Caribbean will be a witches brew of TNT just waiting for someone to light a match. By late tomorrow, under the premise that thunderstorm activity will be much more likely that today due to the proximity of the trough combined with a booster shot of moisture from the Caribbean, all eyes will most assuredly be Western or Central Cuba as the first of what may be several; storm systems makes head way into or very close to Florida. These systems will be on the approach from the South so naturally it will be the Keys and 'southern tip peninsula' to experience the first affects, particularly by mid-late afternoon.
WEDNESDAY: Over night into Wednesday is the big question mark in the darkening skies. We could end up waking up Wednesday morning with a rapidly strengthening tropical storm on our hands. Or maybe not. Point is, "A word of the wises, be prepared for surprises". There is one model that actually indicates a storm or perhaps hurricane could form a take a similar track to that of Charley 2004, from near Ft-Meyers-Napes on the SW coast to near Melbourne to Daytona on the East Coast during the course of the day. On the other hand, the other models agree that the energy from the Caribbean won't be so nearly focused on any on point, but rather widely spread out in the form of piece meal 850mb lobes of vorticity, producing periods of heavy rain fall. Should the latter be the case, there has been a trend over the past 12 hours to shift the impacted region in Florida east with each consecutive run. With the final run this morning indicating that it would be the Naples-Ormond Beach zone, east of the surface front that would be most impacts. Brevard would fall right on the cusp of either drought or drown! Take your pick.
Another item of note is the potential for severe weather activity ahead of either one of the aforementioned scenarios. The system as a whole, whether it be a concentrated bundle named Nicole, or an un-named cyclonic blob, will be preceded for a 3-6 hour period of time by a mid-level speed max over head East Central Florida as the Caribbean system gains dominance over the entire synoptic scenario. As such, and this is very iffy considering the number of uncertainties already on the plate (which hopefully you have been able to realize), the possibilities of land falling, rotating cells could become an increasing possibility sometime in the wee hours of Wednesday toward mid-morning this day. Rotating cells equates to the possibility of severe weather in the form of a brief tornado or land falling waterspout. This is a worst cast scenario, but given the level of uncertainty this bears watching. The main reason I wanted to at least mention this is because the timing at which this appears most likely this would occur...that being while everyone is asleep. So take that and do with it what you will; hoping one has an on-alert weather radio.
Should the Nicole situation develop, well then, we have a hurricane passing over South and Central Florida. Wouldn't that just be too much?! This really doesn't seem very likely though. On the other hand, per the second scenario...heavy rains seem a given for Southeast Florida with increasing doubt as to rainfall amounts once one gets north of the Cape. But to end this portion of the post with some sense of finality, best bet now is to expect a lot of rain from St. Augustine- Daytona-just west of Orlando-Charlotte on the west coast. Other portions of the state north and west of this line might remain close to dry.
BEYOND WEDNESDAY: Whatever happens Wednesday, things should change significantly by noon Thursday as 'the system' impacts the Outer Banks on its way to New England. It appears now that there will be another system of possibly much larger impacts going into next week to come out of the Caribbean. Keep attuned!