(Images: Surface moisture flux divergence max shown at the Cape; My Canaveral precipitation October calendar)
SYNOPSIS: Weak warm frontal type boundary taking shape from near Tampa to Cape Canaveral early this Election Day morning across the sunshine state. Relatively large mid-upper low pressure system is becoming more organized near the E and SE Texas Gulf Coast as another system approaches extreme northern portions of the Plains across Montana and into N. Dakota.
SYNOPSIS FORECAST: Mid-upper level low pressure over East and SE Texas continues to develop and sink south to SSE into the Northern Gulf of Mexico as northern trough continues east and deepens as it enters the Great Lakes and Northern Ohio Valley. These two systems will eventually merge as the southern low pressure system opens up. They will move progressively east in tandem and exit the U.S. East Coast Friday. High pressure over South Central Florida in the mid level will shift east of the state later today and into Wednesday.
LOCALLY: Isentropic lift along a weak warm frontal boundary over Central Florida is generating clouds and some spotty showers. As of 7am, the most significant areas of rain were over/near both the west and east coass and along the warm front where meager CAPE values and Lapse Rates are also being maximized. So far two rain showers have passed directly over Cape Canaveral in the small blue patch shown in the attached image where surface moisture flux is the greatest and where the front resided at the time depicted (6AM).
ELECTION DAY WEATHER: Expect the warm front to make slow-n-steady progress northward and toward the Panhandle by late afternoon. Believe the greatest chance of showers will remain along the front, however south of the boundary (over the peninsula) and in the 'warm sector' ample low-mid level moisture will reside for periods of somewhat abundant cloud coverage and spotty showers. Thus, a spotty shower is not out of the question anytime / any where, although they should be more likely inland over North Central Florida once the East Coast sea breeze sets in. Continued pleasantly warm. Overall, it should be a nice day though.
TONIGHT/LAUNCH DAY: Low pressure near the Texas Southeast Coast will deepen and being to move east while Florida remains in a muggy, warm air mass. Instability over the state will be somewhat limited; however, with increasing moisture being advected over the the state in advance of the approaching low pressure system, clouds could prove to be a problematic reality as may rain showers over or near the launch pad. At this time, it actually looks like the best weather tomorrow could be before the launch window with favorable launch conditions becoming more likely to become unfavorable during and more so, after, the launch window as we work into the post-sunset hours. It's going to be another one of "those" touch-n-go situations as it looks now. It'll all be in the details when push comes to shove, but would hate to have made a long trip to Florida to see this launch if time constraints are an issue. At the moment though, they are giving the launch a 70 percent chance of a go, but I have a feeling that number might go down to 50/50 later today.
THURSDAY: Best chance that the Severe Drought Conditions over portions of Central and North Florida will get a small reprieve from further short-term damage. In other words, it looks like a darned good chance that many areas could receive rain. The amount, if any, of thunder included is a topic of whimsical debate amongst forecast offices...but for now...it looks to be a reality in my mind. Wind fields and instability levels do not look very conducive for generation of severe weather at this time, but thereare hints of such desires craving to be met particularly across North and Central Florida late Thursday into very early Friday (post midnight). Looks like the best chance if we are to get a thunderstorm will be over night Thursday into Friday.
FRIDAY-WEEKEND: Shiver my Timbers!, darned it. Cold front should be lying across Central Florida at sunrise, Friday while on a SE -S trek down the remaining peninsula during the course of the day. Winds will pick up from the NW-NNW, ushering in drier and much cooler air throughout the day. Our temperature on Friday will vary little from that from which it will be at sunrise due to cold air advection during the course of peak heating/maximum sun angle. Contingent upon the remaining cloud cover, good insolation combined with cold air advection from the north could result in some very breezy conditions in open locales during the mid-afternoon hours.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Coldest days since early spring for everyone in general! Details / refinement on the 'wheres' are being reserved for future posts. But for now, it appears a typical drainage type, north flow set up, will be in place by Sunday or perhaps Monday morning. This leaves the A1A corridor from the Cape to Miami the warmest spot in the state, with the coldest air being reserved for the spine of the state to as far south as the Kendal area west of Miami, extending from near Okeechobee to Punta Gorda/Naples on the west coast, and of course all of North Florida from coast to coast. Would not be surprised to see, in general, lows in the upper 40s in the coldest locales Sunday morning with mid-50s at the coast. Highs will be only in the low to mid-70s. But again, we can investigate these numbers with greater precision come that time frame.
DROUGHT SUMMARY (data courtesy of the Melbourne, FL NWS):
THE COLD FRONTS THAT PASSED THROUGH DURING OCTOBER PROVIDED
LITTLE...IF ANY MUCH NEEDED RAINFALL TO THE AREA. SOME OF THE
LOCALLY HEAVIER ONE DAY TOTALS SUCH AS 1.54 INCHES AT STUART (STRF1)
ON THE 25TH WERE MORE A RESULT OF CONVERGENT SHOWER BANDS MOVING
ONSHORE FROM THE ATLANTIC WATERS.
THE LACK OF RAINFALL AND NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITHOUT ANY
MEASURABLE RAINFALL WAS RECORD SETTING FOR MANY LOCATIONS:
-ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAD THE DRIEST OCTOBER ON RECORD WITH
NO RAINFALL (0.00 INCHES) REPORTED. SO FAR SINCE THE END OF OCTOBER
THERE HAVE BEEN 33 STRAIGHT DAYS WHERE MEASURABLE RAINFALL HAS NOT
BEEN OBSERVED. THIS IS THE 4TH LONGEST RAIN-FREE PERIOD ON RECORD
FOR THIS SITE...WHICH TIES ANOTHER 33 DRY DAY PERIOD BACK IN 1990
THAT LASTED THROUGH JANUARY 25TH.
-MELBOURNE HAD THE DRIEST OCTOBER ON RECORD WITH ONLY A TRACE OF
RAINFALL. AS OF THE END OF OCTOBER...MELBOURNE HAS TIED FOR THE 6TH
LONGEST STRING OF DAYS WITH NO MEASURABLE RAINFALL...CURRENTLY AT 32
DAYS. THE LAST 32 DRY DAY SPELL WAS SET IN 1956 WHICH LASTED THROUGH
-VERO BEACH ALSO HAD THE DRIEST OCTOBER ON RECORD WITH 0.01 INCHES.
THIS 0.01 INCHES OCCURRED ON THE 14TH WHICH ENDED A 14 DAY RAIN-FREE
STREAK. HOWEVER SINCE THE 14TH...NO MEASURABLE RAINFALL HAS FALLEN
AT VERO BEACH. THIS HAS LEAD TO ANOTHER 17 DAYS WHERE RAINFALL HAS
NOT EXCEEDED TRACE AMOUNTS.
-DAYTONA BEACH HAD THE SECOND DRIEST OCTOBER ON RECORD WITH ONLY
0.18 INCHES. THEIR 26 DAY RAIN-FREE STREAK ENDED ON THE 25TH WHEN
0.01 INCHES WAS OBSERVED.
TOP 5 DRIEST OCTOBER RANKINGS (IN INCHES):
DAYTONA ORLANDO MELBOURNE VERO BEACH
1. 0.04 1940 1. 0.00 2010 1. TRACE 2010 1. 0.01 2010
2. 0.18 2010 2. 0.35 1967 2. 0.39 1984 2. 0.48 2009
3. 0.19 1967 3. 0.43 1979 3. 0.62 1976 3. 0.75 1962
4. 0.93 2000 4. 0.46 1963 4. 0.67 1940 4. 0.77 2003
5. 0.97 1960 5. 0.48 1974 5. 0.69 1979 5. 0.98 2006
TOP 6 LONGEST PERIODS WITHOUT MEASURABLE RAINFALL (NUMBER OF DAYS
AND PERIOD END DATE):
1. 58 05/04/1967 1. 37 05/12/1971
2. 47 12/02/1967 2. 36 05/18/1979
3. 39 01/03/1934 3. 35 12/07/1967
4. 36 12/31/1932 4. 33 10/31/2010, 01/25/1990
5. 35 01/11/1929 5. 32 06/10/2000, 05/28/1965...
6. 34 04/12/1978 6. 30 02/21/1989
MELBOURNE VERO BEACH
1. 46 01/03/1969 1. 41 05/24/1970
2. 38 12/10/1967, 03/13/1961 2. 32 02/04/2003, 01/29/1960
3. 37 05/12/1971 3. 31 12/09/1995
4. 34 12/27/1961 4. 29 03/11/1951
5. 33 05/07/1986, 03/15/1956 5. 28 12/06/1942
6. 32 10/31/2010, 12/28/1956 6. 27 05/23/1967, 03/15/1962...
BELOW IS A LIST OF OBSERVED PRECIPITATION TOTALS AND RAINFALL
STATISTICS FOR SELECT SITES ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA FOR OCTOBER
STATION OCT 2010 30 YEAR DEPARTURE PERCENT OF
RAINFALL NORMAL FROM NORMAL NORMAL
DAYTONA BEACH 0.18" 4.37" -4.19" 4%
ORLANDO 0.00" 2.66" -2.66" 0%
MELBOURNE TRACE 4.76" -4.76" 0%
VERO BEACH 0.01" 5.04" -5.03" 0.2%
CLERMONT 0.34" 2.40" -2.06" 14%
DELAND 0.14" 4.09" -3.95" 3%
SANFORD 0.00" 3.56" -3.56" 0%
TITUSVILLE 0.17" 4.29" -4.12" 4%
FORT PIERCE 0.32" 5.82" -5.50" 6%
STUART 1.87" 6.29" -4.42" 30%
CAPE CANAVERAL 0.29" (unofficially from my backyard)
FOR MORE LOCAL CLIMATE INFORMATION...PLEASE VISIT OUR WEB PAGE AT
HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/MELBOURNE AND CLICK ON THE "LOCAL" LINK UNDER THE
CLIMATE SUBSECTION ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PAGE.