TODAY: Mid-level shortwave trough is crossing North Florida and other eastern parts of the Deep South this morning as I type. Rain, some heavy, is being observed in the Florida panhandle, but the net affect across a broader expanse of the peninsula is merely abundant mid-level clouds. In viewing satellite imagery this morning and comparing with overnight model runs, I see no supply shortage of these clouds until at least early afternoon; they may in fact stream overhead from dawn til dusk which is a little more uncertain. Otherwise, no issues.
Expect, like yesterday, a sea breeze just strong enough for a flag to show a wind direction but nothing more (less than 10 mph). Afternoon high temperatures most locations will be in the low-mid 70s, barring the A1A Strip from Ormond Beach to Sebastian Inlet (beach side) where the light onshore wind component combined with the off and on clouds down to the 67F (north) to 73F (south) range. Temperatures away from the sea shore though, even Merritt Island as well as south of Brevard will make it into the mid-70s, and maybe even some upper 70s far south and southwest Florida.
TONIGHT: Very mild overnight with clouds clearing. Weak inverted trough extension from the Cape and off the coast will aid in keeping an onshore wind component (very light) over night in the wake of the short wave trough as a mid-level short wave ridge passes overhead. Coastal overnight low near or just above 60F and a little cooler inland.
TUESDAY: BIG SHOW unfolds overnight Monday into Tuesday morning leading to a Storm Jamboree Event from Eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas eastward. Severe weather potential in the form of thunderstorm related activity for the Houston area north and east into all of Louisiana, Southern Arkansas, Mississippi spreading eastward through the day approaches the Florida Panhandle late in the day. Elsewhere, ice/snow/wind/very cold air will impact a broad expanse from South Central Plains states spreading east and north into the Ohio Valley and Southern Great Lakes region, eventually reaching the Northeast states into Wednesday. Won't go into breaking down where the greatest 'potential' threat for actual tornadoes will be as it's too soon to say for sure (beside, that topic in and of itself could be an entire dissertation), but there does appear to be an enhanced threat over Southeast Louisiana into Southern Mississippi with another area to the north of that for two distinctly different reasons. No impact to Central/South Florida so will leave it at that.
This will be a long, ongoing event all day impacting over 100 million United Statesans in major metropolitan areas such as Kansas City and Chicago (for starters). Power outages due to strong wind blowing upon heavily ice covered power lines and trees falling on them are a given. Folks are taking note and stocking up on supplies in preparation.
WEDNESDAY: The potent storm system will be impacting the Ohio Valley and approaching the NE states. It's worth noting that parts of the NE will already be receiving light snow well in advance of the actual storm itself. The potent surface low/upper level high energy duo will tag team with plentiful Gulf of Mexico moisture as well as that from the Pacific throughout this event, spreading a potent dose of life threatening winter weather. Life threatening, that is, for those who choose to venture out in it.
Personally, I'll be kicking back with a bowl full of Bon-Bons watching all frozen-over hell break loose, with a hint of intrepidation for those poor folks. But what about Central and South Florida?
No worries to cut to the chase. All the ingredients will be delivered away from the peninsula proper, although the Panhandle could see some of the severe weather into early Wednesday. The front will progress into Central during the afternoon as barely a shadow of its more nasty northern extent counterpart. The Storm Prediction Center has almost the entire peninsula outlooked in a "See Text" on their graphic for strong and maybe severe thunderstorms on Wednesday, which means they are watching for strong storms here. But at this time I do not see it. If anything, some rain showers are all I'm going to throw in until later numbers come in during the course of today and early tomorrow. There's still plenty of time to reassess the situation before then in other words, but nothing stands out to sound an 'all hands on deck' alert out just yet.
Otherwise, temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday will generously donate mild overnights with lows in the low-mid 60s and highs in the 70s, especially overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Cloud cover will keep overnight lows warmer, but day time highs are a bit sketchier, especially on Wednesday along A1A when by that time we will have lost the onshore wind component with a pre-frontal southwest wind. Wednesday could be an upper 70s to near 80F day, but at this time think that clouds will be an issue for 80F to occur, expect over South Florida.
WEDNESDAY LATE/THURSDAY: Looks like we'll eke out frontal passage, uh sort of, for about 18-24 hours. But keep in mind that storm potential otherwise noted above. It'll be a wimpy one though in regards to cold air, and probably never make it much further south than the southern shores of Lake Okeechobee as the surface features essential 'undercut' any upper level supporting features/dynamics for a clean fropa (frontal passage) . Down that way (somewhere) the front remains until overnight leading into Friday morning. This will be a very 'shallow' frontal passage depicted purely by surface wind direction in the lowest few thousand feet. Should mid-upper level clouds clear we could be looking at a very foggy Friday morning. Otherwise, hardly noticeable in the temperature category, although Thursday could fee cool with highs in the 60s under cloudy skies with a northeast wind gradually increasing and veering to east then southeast by the post-sunset hours.
FRIDAY/SATURDAY: Front retreats northward as a warm front as a surface low takes shape in the Central Gulf close to the loop current and moves ENE toward the Florida Big Bend. We'll be in warm sector air all day, so could be a warm one with a good SSW wind of 15 gusting to 25mph all day (big change from Thursday). The low will shift off the Florida NE Coast near the Florida / Georgia border leading into Saturday, with yet another cold front extending hencefrom which will cross the state Friday night through late Saturday, with the rain for Central ending by early afternoon. I think if we're going to be hearing thunder, it will be with this boundary.
SUNDAY: Pleasant, post cold frontal weather as high pressure builds eastward across the Deep South into the Atlantic to our north. Cooler Saturday afternoon (post cold front) and all day Sunday, but totally no big deal with the east coast not even getting below the low 50s at sunrise, Sunday.
NOTE: The details for Wednesday and beyond are still in the 'being ironed out' stage, so inevitably it stands to mention that further refinement of the Wednesday - Sunday time frame will require much further scrutiny.
Side Order: In regard to lack of a strong frontal passage this go around and beyond the upcoming week, we'll be watching strong mid-surface high pressure over the Dominican Republic toward the southeast Bahamas and just to the north of there holding fast, thus precluding this currently developing scenario early this week as well as those in the near future further upstream into next week from significantly impacting South and Central Florida in regards to cold air.
TODAY'S TOPIC FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK FOR 2011 IN FLORIDA IS LIGHTNING. I have simply done a copy/paste from the Public Information Statement put out by the National Weather Service who deserves the credit for the following. Please read word for word. There's some good tidbits here. To see a website which addresses the entire week, refer to:
WHETHER A THUNDERSTORM PRODUCES 10 BOLTS OR 10,000 BOLTS...THEY ALL
ARE POTENTIAL KILLERS. A DISTANT...DEVELOPING...OR WEAK THUNDERSTORM
MAY NOT APPEAR THREATENING...BUT STATISTICS INDICATE OTHERWISE.
STUDIES HAVE DISCOVERED THAT STORMS WITH INTENSE LIGHTNING TEND TO
STRIKE FEWER PEOPLE THAN STORMS THAT ONLY PRODUCE OCCASIONAL
LIGHTNING. THIS IRONIC FACT SUGGESTS THAT PEOPLE RECOGNIZE THE
LIGHTNING THREAT ASSOCIATED WITH STRONG STORMS BUT FAIL TO PERCEIVE
THAT VERY SAME THREAT WITH WEAKER ONES.
ONE CHARACTERISTIC THAT MAKES LIGHTNING SO DANGEROUS IS ITS EXTENSIVE
RANGE. OF ALL THUNDERSTORM THREATS...ONLY LIGHTNING HAS THE ABILITY
TO STRIKE OUTSIDE THE STORM PERIPHERY...MAKING IT THE FIRST STORM
HAZARD TO ARRIVE AND THE LAST TO LEAVE. LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE MORE
THAN 10 MILES FROM ITS PARENT STORM. BY CONTRAST...MOST THUNDER IS
INAUDIBLE BEYOND 10 MILES. THEREFORE...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU
ARE ALREADY AT RISK.
THE OTHER CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKES LIGHTNING SO DANGEROUS ARE ITS
TREMENDOUS POWER AND SPEED. THE AVERAGE BOLT CARRIES 20 THOUSAND
AMPS OF ELECTRIC CHARGE...100 MILLION VOLTS OF ELECTRIC
POTENTIAL...AND GENERATES A TEMPERATURE THAT CAN EXCEED 50 THOUSAND
DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. FURTHERMORE...ALL THIS ENERGY IS CONCENTRATED IN
A CHANNEL WITH A DIAMETER NO LARGER THAN A U.S. QUARTER. THIS ENERGY
DENSITY IS UNMATCHED IN THE HUMAN WORLD...EVEN INSIDE A NUCLEAR
REACTOR. FURTHERMORE...IT TRAVELS AT SPEEDS THAT APPROACH FOUR
THOUSAND MILES PER SECOND.
THE INSTANTANEOUS NATURE OF A LIGHTNING STRIKE MEANS YOU CANNOT AVOID
A STRIKE THE SAME WAY YOU WOULD A TORNADO OR HURRICANE. OUTRUNNING A
LIGHTNING BOLT IS NOT AN OPTION. FEW LIGHTNING SURVIVORS REMEMBER
EVEN BEING STRUCK...LET ALONE REMEMBER SEEING THE BOLT THAT STRUCK
LIGHTNING IS MOST DANGEROUS NEAR THE EDGE OF A STORM BECAUSE PEOPLE
OFTEN ASSOCIATE ITS THREAT WITH PEAK RAINFALL. HOWEVER...STUDIES
HAVE SHOWN THE MAJORITY OF LIGHTNING VICTIMS ARE NOT STRUCK DURING
THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT. INSTEAD...THEY ARE
STRUCK BEFORE THE STORM REACHES ITS PEAK BECAUSE PEOPLE DO NOT SEEK
SHELTERS QUICKLY ENOUGH...OR SHORTLY AFTER THE RAIN HAS ENDED
BECAUSE PEOPLE LEAVE SHELTER TOO SOON.
ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE OUTDOORS IS SAFE FROM LIGHTNING. IN FLORIDA...
MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN STRUCK WERE NEAR A BODY OF WATER.
THEREFORE...PEOPLE VISITING THE BEACH OR INVOLVED IN ANY WATER
ACTIVITIES NEED TO PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO LOCAL WEATHER
CONDITIONS. OTHER VULNERABLE LOCATIONS INCLUDE OPEN AREAS SUCH AS
ATHLETIC FIELDS...PLAYGROUNDS...OR GOLF COURSES.
NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHERE LIGHTNING WILL STRIKE...BUT FORECASTERS CAN
PREDICT THE CONDITIONS THAT WILL PRODUCE IT. WHILE THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE DOES NOT ISSUE LIGHTNING WARNINGS...PRODUCTS SUCH AS
THE GRAPHICAL HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK DESCRIBE IN DETAIL THE DAILY
LIGHTNING THREAT ON A SCALE RANGING FROM NONE TO EXTREME.
IN ADDITION...SHORT TERM WEATHER FORECASTS INFORM WHEN AND WHERE
STORMS ARE FORMING OR ARE EXPECTED TO FORM...WHILE SPECIAL WEATHER
STATEMENTS ARE ISSUED TO WARN WHEN A STORM IS PRODUCING OR EXPECTED
TO PRODUCE EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING. THESE PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE
GENERAL PUBLIC THROUGH THE INTERNET AND THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND
SHOULD PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN DETERMINING WHETHER OUTDOOR
ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE DELAYED OR CANCELLED.
IF OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE PLANNED...GET CONTINUOUS WEATHER UPDATES IF
THUNDERSTORMS ARE PREDICTED. BE PREPARED TO TAKE SHELTER INSIDE AN
ENCLOSED BUILDING IF A THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES OR FORMS NEARBY.
PEOPLE SHOULD HEAD INSIDE WHEN DARKENING CLOUDS APPEAR...EVEN IF
THUNDER HAS NOT BEEN DETECTED.
IF THUNDER IS DETECTED...HALT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IMMEDIATELY AND MOVE
INDOORS. REMAIN INDOORS UNTIL 30 MINUTES AFTER THE LAST CLAP OF
THUNDER IS HEARD. PICNIC PAVILIONS...BASEBALL DUGOUTS...BEACH
SHACKS...AND ISOLATED TREES SHOULD BE AVOIDED. IF AN ENCLOSED
BUILDING IS NOT AVAILABLE...THEN AN ENCLOSED METAL VEHICLE IS THE
NEXT BEST ALTERNATIVE. CONVERTIBLE AUTOMOBILES AND GOLF CARTS DO NOT
PROVIDE LIGHTNING PROTECTION.
FOR FURTHER LIGHTNING INFORMATION...HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOKS
INCLUDING THE DAILY LIGHTNING THREAT ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA...
AS WELL AS SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENTS...PLEASE VISIT THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE WEBSITE AT