"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Thursday, March 31, 2011

STATUS: Severe Threat Continues For Central Florida

Severe Threat Continues , Particularly for a line running north of Sebastian Inlet over to Sarastoa
BRIEF STATUS UPDATE POST LATE THIS MORNING: Latest surface analysis and time lapse loops of actual observations indicate that a region of 70F degree dewpoint air is racing northward from the region shown along the redline above (over South Florida) to its current location shown above as well. The leading edge of this moisture rich air mass of pink colors is forecast by the RUC model to reach the Beachline within the next two hours.

Additionally, although surface based instablity over East Central is weak at the moment, there is still plenty of Multi-layer convective available potential energy aloft combining with strong helicity and shearing winds along an axis running along  where the black line is drawn. This moist air is forecast to meet the sheared environment in the next 60-100 minutes at the same time that stronger jet stream level winds will be crossing North Florida.

Surface observations also indicate that perhaps a weak surface low circulation had developed over Polk County, while a secondary one seems to be forming over Eastern Osceola County. Winds have already backed at the surface along the coast of Brevard County in response to these developments. The RUC model is indicating that further development is expected through 1pm. A funnel cloud (perhaps tornado) was photographed over Polk County earlier this morning near the surface low circulation.

NET EFFECT?: It remains possible for stronger activity to develop as we approach 12 noon over all of Central Florida, namely 50 miles either side of  of the black line drawn above. This activity will push rapidly toward the east coast through 1-2pm.

It appears that the conditions favorable for severe activity will lessen a bit after 1-2pm, but it will remain unstable for further rainshowers and some storms through sunset over North Central Florida. The actual cold front is not forecast to clear dead Central Florida until around 6-7AM Friday morning, so more rains could be expected until that time. The intensity of which is too soon to determine, although guidance leads one to believe it will not be as strong as what is currently or forecast to occur in the next 1-3 hours.

Rain is not indicated for any of South Florida until much later tonight through tomorrow morning, where some strong thunderstorms could occur into the Keys over all of the Southern 1/3 of the state.

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Potentially Significant Severe Weather North Central Through South Florida Today

Current water vapor image shows that 1) strong upper level winds are diving south to the Gulf Coast and 2) subtropcial flow is riding E-ENE across the Gulf Of Mexcio. A surface low near Tallahassee will strengthen and move off to the ENE today.
This image also shows in general where a tornado watch is in affect, with SPECIAL attention of my own doing in the white box.

Quick post today to get to the facts and thoughts, and fore go discussions about the wide spread severe weather that occurred yesterday over North through Central Florida. South Florida did not experience severe weather yesterday, but that will change today. In brief, lots of winds in the 55-85mph range and hail up to golf ball size occurred with wide spread damage, but none significantly so in this area.

Got to make this quick...already hearing thunder!!

TODAY: Strong upper level winds diving south to the Gulf from the Northern Plains and Canada will phase with the subtropical jet stream winds just near or south and west of the Florida Panhandle through the morning. A surface low will strengthen in that area and move off to the ENE pulling a frontal boundary southward with time toward Central Florida.  To cut to the chase, upper level disturbances developing in ever strengthening WSW-W flow aloft (which will be VERY moist), combined with cold air aloft is already generating tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings before the two big wind streams have even phased together.  As such, the severe weather threat will continue and likely strengthen with time. TV stations will be covering the activity live, so bone up and listen in if you have the chance.

Although tornadoes are possible today, the biggest threat as noted yesterday I believe will be very strong straightline winds, possibly embedded within very heavy downpours.  Today will NOT be like yesterday regarding the nature of the storms. These could be very wet storms, with hail possible as well, although hail size might not be as large as what fell yesterday due to the very odd and unexpected profile the atmosphere took yesterday with a dry slot in the lower mid-levels, it will still be cold enough up there for hail generation.

Perhaps, although I've seen no mention of this yet, a bigger severe threat will materialize in South Central Florida and northern portions of South Florida  south of Brevard County where activity will not arrive until a bit later in the morning toward noon. This will allow thermal instability to mount more there.  However, the strongest wind fields aloft will be over Central Florida throughout the afternoon until mid-afternoon at least. Expect we could see possibly 2 or 3 rounds of storms before all is said and done, with lots of heavy rainfall. Storms will move very very fast and out. So rainfall totals shouldn't be overly excessive, just brief and very blindingly heavy.

Rain could remain over South Central and South until sunset and shortly beyond, but should end for all but extreme South Florida by 7-10pm.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Looks nice with pleasant temperatures. Winds start to become more Southerly and strengthen later on Monday going into Tuesday ahead of yet another developing storm system. It is possible that somewhere in the April 5th -6th time frame we will have the threat of more strong to severe weather.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Severe Storms Likely North Central/North Today, Significant Severe Storms Tomorrow

Current Satellite Image with a few highlights annotated for later today.
See text below for details.

RECAP: A few strong, severe storms occurred yesterday over South Florida where a 1" hail report was made. The strongest storm was located over uninhabited terrain, so no official report could be obtained regarding the suspected size of the hail in which the storm appeared to contain from radar imagery. Wind reports that came in were below severe criteria. Otherwise, weather was quite pleasant state wide.

TODAY: The pseudo-warm front that lingered over South Florida yesterday afternoon moved north to South Brevard during the early evening. A 'cold pool' from the NNE filtered down the east coast to Brevard County. Warm air over-running the cold pool with winds at the surface off cool waters created a period of low clouds and coastal fog.  

Between 4-6AM the warm front surged northward to the Florida /Georgia border where it has remained as of this writing. SSE-S winds from South Florida (where it will be quite warm today) will ride northward across Central Florida as a developing Mesoscale Convective Complex runs from West to East as noted in the image above by the arrow drawn in.  A tornado watch will likely be issued shortly for the I-4 corridor, but do not know if the Beachline or 520 area will be included in this watch. Believe it might not be, but might be included in a watch during the early afternoon sometime where I've drawn in the box.

Currently, the atmosphere over Central Florida is already becoming primed for severe weather after investigation of a wide variety of parameters used to make this determination. However, the Storm Prediction Center, last I saw, was not really looking at Central Florida as much as North Central. So we'll will have to 'watch and see what they decide". Meanwhile...other than what will be an active afternoon from Volusia County and north...the region from Pineda Cswy and north to Titusville along the east coast needs to be watched VERY closely.

REASON  TO WATCH CENTRAL BREVARD/SOUTHERN VOLUSIA: Believe that warm air feeding from the south (South Florida could reach 90F today) over this region will lead to strong surface based instability this afternoon due to cold air aloft. Dewpoints will be high, in the low 70Fs. That is moist! Additionally, the near coast surface winds should remain nearly perpendicular to the the prevailing westerlies located just over head (which increase with height), or from the SSE-S as drawn in the image in this post. 

 Any storm that goes up in this environment could rotate. Therefore, the area from North Osceola Couny east to (particularly) Patrick Air Force Base to the Cape needs to be watched for storm rotation as well. Expect the storms will intiate just to the south and rapidly grow as they feed northward into the MCS as it passes just to the north along to just south of I-4. These storms will be isolated, but fairly intense. Additionally, IF they do form, they will do so very - VERY rapidly. On the other hand, they might not consider this a significant "Heads Up!".

Storm motion: Although the complex of storms will be moving from west to east, with embedded cells moving around 30-40mph from west to east, storms the might form in the secondary zone near the Beachline will initally form up from the SSW before merging into the complex. So, expecting to see some odd storm motions. Additionally, some storms along the leading, southern edge of the complex might acquire their own, discrete environment and 'break lose' from the complex and drop toward the south suddenly. This would happen near to just north of the Beach line.

Monitor your TV today, especially after 2-3pm, since it is likely that live, continuous coverage will be in high gear by the Orlando stations since portions of their viewing area will be impacted.

Activity all areas will end from west to east by 7-8pm at the latest. Last along the east coast. 

DISCLAIMER: These thoughts/ideas are of my own, and have not been alluded to in any official forecast discussions from formal channels, so take them with a grain of salt. But do be aware that these possibilities regarding the Beach Line region have a chance of occurring (at least, in my mind). Otherwise, the entire day could pass by with little more than a rain shower South of the Beach Line should the above said not materialize.

THURSDAY: Another active day as a secondary system rapidly develops over the Gulf of Mexico during the wee hours and explodes while heading east as another upper level system now located in the far Northern Plains phases with a system approaching in the sub-tropical jet from the west. The two will phase over the Gulf Of Mexico overnight tonight and should erupt fairly rapidly. This system will probably take the form of a Quasi-Linear Convective System (QLCS) with embedded bow echoes and rotating cells along its leading edge.

Currently, all of North Central - parts of South Florida are being outlooked officially in a HATCHED SLIGHT RISK, meaning storms could be SIGNIFICANTLY SEVERE. The main threat with tomorrow's system appears will be very strong winds, gusting to 70-75mph, although hail and a tornado cannot be ruled out. Wind speeds in storms tomorrow have not be formally announced yet, so that number just noted is of my own best estimate. They could end up being even higher. Additionally, they will be moving very fast! Faster than today.

It appears that tomorrow's activity, associated with a strong jet stream aloft and cold front at the surface, will enter the area about the same time as today's will, perhaps a bit sooner. Either way, it should clear North Central through South Central from 2-8pm...but there are some indications that rain could continue until almost midnight over South Central (near the Beach line and south).  

SOUTH FLORIDA: Very tricky. Forecast guidance is showing almost no rain down in South Florida for either system, which does not seem feasible. Therefore, expect a chance of severe weather as far south as at least Ft. Lauderdale in the form of winds and a tornado chance.  

At time, and this will change, the risk for the strongest of activity will be from near SR 520 South toward Martin County. That southern most area needs to be watched even more, since thermal instability appears will be stronger. Antecedent cloud cover over North Central/Central MIGHT tone down the overall intensity of the storms/rain, but that determination is a bit too early to be made with good confidence early this morning.

BEYOND: Another front could clears the state on Saturday/Sunday, but should go through dry. No big temperature falls thank goodness. The next system of contention comes into the picture around April 5th or 6th. It COULD be another severe weather maker, but it's way to early to say with any confidence due to huge disparities between the various models.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chance of a Shower/Thunder Today - Strong or Severe Storms Wednesday/Thursday

Hail depth in the Orlando, Florida area on March 25, 1992! (image from an Orlando paper). It was written that this storm was considerably more costly to this area than Hurricane Donna of 1960 by many millions of dollars.
I've included the attached image as a gentle reminder that March Florida weather can be quite severe. In 1992 Central Florida experienced 2 significant hailstorms three weeks apart, the second and the most costly ones in Central Florida history.  More costly than Hurricane Donna's impact was to the Orlando area. Severe weather (but of what nature?) is becoming more likely for portions of the state beginning Wednesday afternoon/evening and again on Thursday.

RECAP: Boundary that was over North Florida yesterday, accompanied by moderate strength mid-level and upper level winds with weak energy aloft and a lot of moisture throughout the atmosphere yesterday provided the lift for continued rainfall across all of Central Florida.  The strongest weather related reports were those of winds in the 45-50mph over parts of Central and South Florida by the time all was said and done, but no severe category weather was reported.  Rainfall totals were 1-3" inches, with higher amounts determined per radar estimates. 

The strongest storms were associated with what is labelled as an MCS, a Mesoscale Convective System. This was pictured in yesterday's post per a satellite image.  By mid-late evening the boundary pushed toward South Florida as the upper level winds pulled off to the east, with the remnant energy that built up during the day over SW Florida/Keys (where it was rain free all day) generating some thunder in that area. Further north, the rains ended as the stronger winds pulled out, ending the lifting mechanism,  and as of this hour skies are anywhere from cloudy (South and north Florida) to nearly clear in some locations Central. Per surface observations and satellite imagery, it appears the boundary now lies across Broward County and westward north of the Keys. Fog is also being found in variety of locations, but all is quiet (the sun is shining at my location while typing).

TODAY: The atmospheric conditions today look a bit like a modified version of the standard summer day fare, so this unofficial blogcast will follow suit. Modified in the sense that it won't be as a warm as a summer day, but there is that ever looming possibility of a rain shower or thunderstorm.  

Winds today will be light, but mainly from the east this afternoon.  Although low level instability is weak this will be a bit overcome by remaining unusually cold air aloft. There remains plenty of low and mid-level moisture in place, as there really wasn't  a thorough "atmospheric colon cleansing" of the atmosphere behind the front.  Those reasons are about the only signal to support a rain / thunder chance today. What is missing for vigorous storms today is the lack of any moderate to strong upper levels winds/sea breeze/lake breeze convergences or mechanical forcing (although a 'see text' type storm is possible over South Florida (for SPC readers). There is not really any  upper level energy outlooked to pass over head (at least not of this writing), and the only location it appears there will be a sea-breeze collision will be over SW Florida, possibly as far north as Tampa Bay. Steering of showers/storms will remain generally from west to east by early afternoon but start to shift toward a more south to north direction by early evening as the boundary lifts north toward Central Florida , where supposedly it will be located by 8-10pm per 8pm (last night's) model guidance. Main threats from activity over South Florida are those inherent with any thunderstorm, namely lightning....although a strong downburst wind is also possible with the moist atmosphere and cold air aloft in place.

With this said, chance of showers and thunder mainly over SW Florida initially south of the boundary, but gradually spreading east and working north with time during the afternoon. Other showers/thunder could initiate further north near Tampa and work east with time.  It appears this activity will have a hard time reaching east of I-95 north of Martin County (near Ft. Pierce) due to the stabilizing marine influence of the easterly component wind up toward South Central to Central Florida, at least initially.  Best rain chance today looks to be on the west side of the state and all of South Florida/Keys. Secondary area (less likely is late) toward South Central and Central Florida proper, especially near the coast.

 Regarding Central. will be watching the motion of that boundary today to see just exactly how it behaves. What is happening is that it is waiting for the next approaching mid-upper level trough to approach from the west (which will impact much of Louisiana/East Texas for starters today).  As the troughs approach steering flow will be directed to more of a direction from the SE -S-SW with time overnight which will 'buckle' the boundary back north as an ill-defined pseudo-warm front. By tomorrow the same boundary will north of all of Florida.

Best chance of rain further north earlier today will be on the west side of the state west of Orlando (but moving east), then contingent upon the timing of the boundary's return northward, East Central Florida could get in on the much needed rain (although, not as needed prior to yesterday) by early -mid evening. Contingent upon how nice and sunny this afternoon remains over Central Florida, some of this activity (assuming it generates as anticipated) could easily contain thunder and some strong wind gusts. Local WRF model indicates a strong storm of 'see text' nature riding along the coast of Brevard early tonight, but I'm not buying it.

WEDNESDAY:  I've been expecting this day to be highlighted by 'official outlets' for a few days now, and finally (as of this morning) the Storm Prediction Center has upgraded their 'see text' for a portion of Florida to a "slight risk" of severe weather. Namely all of Florida along and north of the Beach Line (SR528)...a.k.a - "The Magic Dividing Line" so often referred to the past several months when it comes to delineating where various weather parameters begin to differ or converge over Florida. Must be the geography of the peninsula or something.  

In any case, the first of two (or more) more significant upper level disturbances to cross North Central/North Florida passes overhead. Actually, the signs of its forthcoming first begin to appear before midnight tonight in the form of stronger upper level winds spreading east from the Central Gulf, overspreading the north half of the state going into Wednesday morning. By morning  the warm front over South Florida this morning  will be well north of the state line. North/North Central Florida will be directly under the left exit region of a departing jet (upper level wind) max at 300mb as well as in a region of divergence aloft within the height region of the 250mb level jet (even higher in the atmosphere) by late afternoon as the troughs at various levels approach.  Very moist atmosphere otherwise and good start to daytime heating (although thermal instability will be somewhat limited), stronger instabilitiy in the mid-levels due to continued cold air aloft accompanied by these strong winds higher aloft will produce the lifting mechanism (per horizontally stretched helicity (coiled like winds) of modest value) to generate very strong to severe thunderstorms. Expect to see a tornado watch issued tomorrow if not already in place over the Panhandle at sunrise, with another watch to be issued further east and south...maybe as far south as the Beach line or Route 60/Sebastian Inlet. But at this point, no further south than a Cocoa Beach - South Tampa Bay line.

Further south, the wind fields decrease in strength significantly rather rapidly, however South Florida will have stronger instability. With that said, the most likely area to get a storm tomorrow further south of the more outstanding region noted above will be on the east side of the state as far south as Southern Palm Beach County later in the afternoon.

The events of Wednesday will NOT be in the form of a squall line, but rather rapidly moving discrete thunderstorm cells and small bowing line segments, particularly across far North Florida. Southern most extent storms will be more isolated...but any storm to erupt could contain hail and severe category winds. A tornado is possible, especially far North Florida/Panhandle, but not as likely working further south into North Central Florida (but you never know).  

Might end up seeing all the activity from near the Beachline passing just to the north over far north Brevard County (east coast residents)...hitting the Daytona area/Oak Hill/Mims.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT / THURSDAY: Looks as if activity will end rather quickly across Central/North Central Florida by early evening while the atmosphere 'locks and loads' for Thursday.  Much of what occurs across Florida on Thursday will be contingent upon how much remnant cloud cover or development of flat out clouds upfront limits instability from the get go.

However, wind fields that approach Central and North Florida on Thursday will be even stronger than those on Wednesday. Forecasts are showing jet stream level winds by late Thursday to be in the 100-120kt range, with even lower portions of the mid-levels in the 40+ kt range. These winds will be accompanied by very cold upper level temperatures once again by Florida Standards. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) already has most of Florida in a 'Slight Risk" for severe weather on Thursday, but if skies clear up more than it is anticipated they will over night Wednesday night would not be surprised to see Central Florida upgraded to a 'moderate risk'. A rarity! Time will tell. 

Activity will be on the start at sunrise, over the Gulf, spreading east with time and reaching much if not all of Central Florida by late morning to near noon. Again, not anticipating a 'squall line', but rather a mish-mash on radar returns on TV of discrete storm cells and bowing line segments. Some quite vigorous, possibly intense. Radar could be quite the plethora of colors, like a painters pallet. Look out for the "dark red everlasting gobstoppers" and "purple meanies" and those 'spiraling thingy icons' the TV weatherman will point out. Those mean business.

The most likely area to receive this high chance of rain will be north of a Ft. Pierce  to just south of Sarasota line. Expect, if things develop as has been portrayed by the models now for over a week, that local TV channels will be broadcasting continuously "Live" in animated fashion by some point in time. That possibility also stands true to a lesser degree on Wednesday.

Guidance is not painting very  high precipitation totals over North Central Florida, although localized areas could receive over an 1'. This would be because, if my interpretation is correct, storms will more right along and not linger over any one area for long. Higher totals will be due to repeated passage of showers or storms in any one location. The highest totals are over far north Florida.

Further South toward South Florida, it gets sketchy. Models have been on again/off again with even a rain chance at all south of Palm Beach County on the east side. Curious. Believe strong subsidence aloft due to the 'so close yet so far' jet stream max is the reasoning models are tapering off the chance of even a rain drop to fall over South Florida, because that is where all the sun will shine early to heat things up.  Problem is, this area will likely be the most thermodynamically most a strong thunder storm  at a minimum cannot be totally ruled out, at least not at this point. SPC already has most of South Florida in a Slight Risk as well regardless of what the models are showing, namely because I'd think that it's simply too soon in time to determine (if ever possible) where to 'draw the line' of decreased active weather in this particular atmospheric set up.

FRIDAY/APRIL FOOLS: For two runs now, the models are showing a last and final surge of moisture and a weaker disturbance to cross far South Central and South Florida from early morning through noon time before the 500mb trough finally pushes further east. Thus, there may still be the chance of some rain/storms from Martin County and South through the Keys for the first half of Friday, while the north half of the state clears out.

WEEKEND: Pleasant with near normal temperatures, perhaps a bit below normal but still comfortable. No rain and light wind.

Next frontal boundary to approach on Monday. Chance of rain/storm increase on Tuesday. Do not expect that activity with the next system early next week (around April 5th) will be as strong (not nearly so), as the atmosphere will be barely recovered from the drying out we will experience over the weekend. The wind energy 'willing', but strong storms not "able". But that could change. Long time from now. All of the state could get rain as well early next week in a 'one shot deal'. Nothing lingering. 

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Off and On Again Unsettled Through Early Friday

Post-MCS (mesoscale convective complex of storms) mammatocumulus clouds over Cape Canaveral at 9:15am this Monday morning.

RECAP: A complex of storms, some containing gusty winds, crossed portions of Central Florida early this morning and is now weakening as it pushes through South Florida. Below is the enhanced infrared satellite image clearly depicting the storm complex, coupled with the radar image saved at about the same time frame.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for South Brevard County, but the strongest of winds reported were actually to the north of the storm from Patrick AFB to Cape Canaveral, where winds gusted to 49mph near a Center Street mesonet reporting 'tower'. Winds remained in the 20-40mph range for a good half hour is the storm collapsed sending continued outflow northward.

Below is a more recent satellite image. We see the MCS has weakened while a newer complex has formed over the Gulf, the rains associated with the newer complex are now moving across Central Florida as I type.
Weakening MCS South Florida with a newer complex over the Gulf

Recently saved radar image shows more storms moving across Central Florida. Freshest activity is popping up every 10 minutes I go back to re-investigate the situation.

TODAY: To be frank, model guidance for today is of very little use. Ongoing convection is leaving model guidance in the dust. No outstanding features of note other than a frontal boundary across North Florida and notable mid-level lapse rates providing lift. Now guidance indicates this feature MIGHT sink toward SR528 or south of there  by day's end through the first portions of Tuesday before retreating North to the FL/GA border by Wednesday.  But I'm not laying down any bets on any of the model solutions. Therefore...

Today, with convection in redevelopment as I type, and afternoon yet to approach, believe Central Florida will see at least one or more rounds at any one location of rain, some heavy with lightning and strong wind gusts through late afternoon. Activity is not organized so a watch might not be issued for severe weather, but any one storm could reach severe limits.  The NWS will issue warnings and special weather statements for any potentially significant pockets of stronger storms. 

 Best bet is to be weather wary and carry an umbrella when venturing out. Although there is not a severe thunderstorm watch out at this time, one 'could' be issued, but based on latest information available and based on previous activity being non-severe, a watch seems unlikely...but don't bet on it. Things could change very quickly going into noon time and the afternoon hours.

TUESDAY: Now, per model guidance, could see a lull in activity...however, this would be in departure from the previous model runs so will handle tomorrow's weather in a later post. From best I can tell, continued unstable mid-level lapse rates (with cold air aloft) is keeping the convection going as minor ripples in the west to east flow flow cross the state, the timing of which is very difficult to ascertain. But the area that seems most likely to continue to be impacted is South Central/North Central Florida, not to knock of far north Florida as well. In fact, about the only area that appears immune to this activity will be far South Florida and the Keys.

WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: Again, because the models are suffering from feedback from the  morning MCS...the daily basis forecast is difficult until the main 500mb trough moves east of the state, which appears will not be until sometime Friday. At time, the Storm Prediction Center is already watching Day 4, or Thursday going into Friday for a more significant severe weather outbreak which totally jives with the evening GFS run. This would be from April Fool's Eve (all day) into the morning of April Fool's Day. To be in a Day 4 outlook in our part of the country is unusual, so take that piece of information with caution. This could be a 'very big deal' later in the week.

Outside of the rain chances..temperatures will run about normal..perhaps a little below during the afternoons and warmer than normal overnight due to cloud cover. Again, though, the NAM has Central and South Florida warming to near or above average on Tuesday. Stay tuned to local nowcasts...and  especially to developments heading toward Thursday. Before then, it will remain unsettled from time to time, with periods of completely benign weather...perhaps running for a good 18 hours in any one location before the next rain chance approaches. 

In summary, don't believe everything you hear regarding future days until all is said and done. Expecting compounded model discrepancies from reality as events unfold on a daily basis.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Showers/Storms (Some Quite Strong) Possible Late Today - Friday

Image acquired from the NWS Melbourne, Fl. website (Impact Weather). I've added in the red circled area to address rainfall chances/a storm or two to be addressed in the text below under "Today/Tonight"

TODAY: Pleasantly warm to 'hot' this afternoon with a SW wind of 10-20mph this afternoon. As we can see from the graphic image above from the NWS MLB web-link (Impact Weather), they are thinking the same concerning the warmth. Additionally, model guidance does show some subsidence this afternoon conducive for compressional heating. On a side note, The Weather Channel is showing Orlando to reach 96F today. This warmth will assuredly send spring breakers and non alike to the beach today, so watch those rip currents if venturing in the water.

LATE TODAY/OVERNIGHT: Chance of rain or a storm can be thrown in beginning late this afternoon for the east side of North Central  north of SR520.  The NAM model is showing a thunderstorm for the North Half of Brevard County between 3-5pm, but is probably jumping the gun.  There is a slug of energy as shown in the image above (circled area in red) over the GOM, moving east and toward the peninsula. But do not believe it will arrive until late this evening toward midnight, so wouldn't be surprised to see some lightning and/or hear thunder during the overnight from Cocoa Beach/Melbourne  to just north of Daytona, Rain chances then cover more real estate toward morning...(but read on in the following paragraph for additional thoughts).

MONDAY: First off, The Weather Channel is showing 80% chance of rain/storms, some severe, on Monday.  This is in line with my thinking on Friday, but I don't see it quite that vigorous as of 10AM this Sunday morning. The moisture will be here for rains, but feel  instability might be minimized due to antecedent cloud coverage early in the day due to the overnight rainfall potential (precluding greater thermal instability). However, should Monday morning break at only partly cloudy and remain so, Monday afternoon cold pan out as forecast by The Weather Channel "experts'.

The other thing to consider is that TWCs 'severe' might be referring to overnight tonight going into Monday morning (regarding the system mentioned in the preceding paragraph).  Rain chances decrease significantly south of Martin County, but not entirely so. In other words, heightened awareness should be made by Central Florida readers later today per your favorite local media outlet(s). Could be a bit crazy tonight (Sunday night to very early Monday morning)  across North Central/Central Florida. Not expecting a tornado threat, but if these storms develop as some guidance indicates for cold temperatures aloft, the primary threat would be minimally sized severe category hail (up to 1").

TUESDAY/BEYOND: Frontal boundary on Monday is forecast to sink to Central Brevard County, perhaps North Brevard, before washing out. This is a bit different from Friday's outlook, which took the front well down to the South. Either way though, by Tuesday afternoon a new boundary reappears across Far North Central Florida by mid-late afternoon which was the case previously either way. Otherwise, things aloft change very little. By late afternoon/early evening storm re-develop is forecast from Central and Southeast Florida.  Expect that any storm 'could' be strong, with small non-severe sized hail.  However, this is at least one day heading toward the weekend where the atmosphere will need to "Lock-n-ReLoad". This time frame will be noticeably quite compared to any active weather that might occur previously, and before we're ready to shoot another round of ammo.

Note: Even beyond Monday the forecast becomes increasingly convoluted due to model discrepancies, so will not divulge into intricate details since they will change. Either way though, and has been mentioned for a few posts now, the pattern remains unsettled through at least Friday (this might be extended).  However, they are coming to better agreement that "Something More Wicked This Way Comes" going into late week (late Wednesday through late Friday time frame).

As of this morning, the worst case scenario mentioned in my previous post would be for a late Friday afternoon/evening (April Fool's Day) storm system composed of some sort of a QLCS convective system remains in the pickins. This has been shown to occur on the synoptic scale for nearly a week now. The timing is narrowing down to a time-frame now, but exactly how things will manifest as well as the timing will remain aloof probably up until a good 24 hours before the actual event.  And of course, these events almost never unfold exactly as one expects them too. But for now, heads up heading toward Thursday and be 'weather aware".  Before that time, much needed rains over the driest spots in Florida is anticipated.  Don't think anyone will be rain free by Saturday morning.  Heavy totals are expected right across Central Florida Thursday into Friday, with other big numbers (not as big) for the now drought stricken southern portion of the state.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Very Warm Sunday, Chance of Showers/Storms Monday - Thursday

General Current Location of Surface Boundary Expected to make further southward progress into mid evening

TODAY: Image shows the current location of a surface front, apparently having just cleared Southern Brevard County past hour. About the only indication of this feature is drier air (lower dew points) and slightly cooler temperatures, but not by too much. Temperatures into the upper 70Fs/low 80Fs are still reaching well into far north Florida this hour (not pictured).  Temperatures today a good 5-8 degrees cooler than yesterday most areas, little in clouds and lower dew points combined with lighter wind makes for a nice day to wrap up the week.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: No rain for starters. Pleasant again on Saturday, similar to today but a bit warmer with an afternoon sea breeze both coasts. On Sunday a storm system which will have impacted much of the Deep South on Saturday (tornado watch(s) expected there) will be approaching North Florida. Surface high pressure over the state will be forced to the east and south of the state, inducing conditions similar to those we had yesterday. That's is, a WSW wind, warm, with increasing moisture (higher dewpoints).  Very warm with highs near 90F plus/minus a degree or two.  Strong to severe thunderstorms will likely occur on Sunday close to I-10 all across far North Florida, and possibly a strong storm near far Northern Volusia County into Flagler County Sunday evening.

MONDAY: "Weather" finally begins for the state for the week (off and on). A chance of much needed rain to douse the ever increasing drought conditions; most notably Central/North Central Florida for starters, but no one will be immune to the chance of rains/storms. 

Surface front will move in toward Central Florida during the day. Although wind profiles will be mainly unidirectional with height (not turning), a sea breeze is expected this day to aid inland low level wind convergence, much like would be expected on a summer day. Additionally, the NAM has been forecasting a slug of mid-level moisture to cross the Keys courtesy of Cuba  over night Sunday night and to be fully in place all across Central Florida by shortly after daybreak, Monday.  This moisture will be what separates Monday from Sunday for the most part.

The thing that  further separates Monday from  say, a summer day, will be the mid-upper level temperatures. 700mb temp. is forecast to be only about 2-3C (last summer it ran around 10F), and 500mb temperatures are forecast to be around -12C (last summer they were around -5C). So you see, they will (or are forecast to be) quite cold in comparison to a summer day. Conversely,  the surface temperatures will be in the mid-80Fs, assuming there is not too much mid-level cloud cover accompanying the arrival of the moisture pool from the south during this day.  With this said, believe the SPC (Storm Predicition Center) will have Central and North Florida in a "See Text" on their website over Florida for marginally severe sized hail and/or strong downburst winds. Most likely the strongest of storms, if they materialize, will be restricted to west of I-95, namely in Orange/Seminole/Volusia/N. Osceola Counties. Steering will be toward the East Coast, but at this time believe that the still cool ocean temperatures (low level subsidence behind the sea breeze boundary) will sap storm strength east of I-95. Something to watch. Otherwise, a generic forecast of a 30-40% chance of showers/thunderstorms is expected to be made widely known over the media prior to this day, with little to no mention of a strong storm unless the National Weather Service sees things the same way as I just wrote. Too early in time to make the proclamation for a strong storm just now anyway.

TUESDAY/FRIDAY: Surface boundary might make it further south after Monday night toward Lake Okeechobee, but appears will rebound back to the north on Tuesday afternoon with day time heating. Once again, another day of showers/thunderstorms is possible, but will not divulge in trying to get down to specifics (storm strength possibilities) until we see what transpires on Monday unless something new stands out in model guidance prior. 

Same holds true for Wednesday, but at current time it looks like either Tuesday or Wednesday we'll see a significant break in the rain chances as the atmosphere 'reloads'.  For now, expect that this differentiation in elements will not go out to the general public considering that lack of confidence in the models is already becoming increasingly uncertain after Monday.

Thursday, March 31st, is where things get very interesting at least by the GFS model. Strong surface low is forecast to form close to the Florida Panhandle with all fields in place to provide for a severe weather event...possibly as soon as the 31st during the afternoon, with a replay event in the form of a Quasi-Linear convective system (QLCS) type squall line composed of small bowing segments and discrete cells  going into April Fool's Day at some point in time on this day. 

There is not model consensus on this eventual outcome, so just something to watch for most definitely.  If the GFS model does materialize, we could end up seeing a portion of the peninsula in a severe thunderstorm watch Thursday afternoon, with a tornado watch far North Florida/Panhandle (portions).  Severe Thunderstorm watch replaced by Tornado Watch or another Severe Watch for the remainder of the  entire state going into either the overnight hours of the 31st or by mid-morning on April Fool's.  Still a lot of time to watch what develops regarding this storm system potentially developing...worst case scenario would be if the storm holds off until the afternoon hours of Fool's Friday when thermal instability would be maximized, recalling that last time a similar scenario developed earlier this year when we had that tornado watch was purely a low CAPE/high shear event. This go around, we'd have CAPE (instability) thrown into the mix; however, wind fields will not be as strong.

Enjoy the very pleasant weekend Central and South Florida. Far north, not so nice on Sunday due to potentially strong storms.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Probably the Overall Warmest Day of 2011 On Tap This Afternoon

"Go Fly a Kite!"
TODAY: Surface ridge axis has dropped further south to nearly the Florida Keys over-night. KSC morning sounding and area KSC profilers propose that the winds today to be from the WSW-W at 15mph with gusts in the mid-upper 20mph range. Warm and dry too with high temperatures this afternoon flirting with record high readings, although not sure we'll quite make it East Central. More likely to hit some lower 90Fs South Florida where the atmosphere is already drier to start out, and as such heat energy won't be used initially for going into evaporation. Probably some afternoon, fast moving cumulus Central of greatest extent North / North Central and far West Central. In fact, the Rapid Update Cycle model shows a shower or two this afternoon West Central Florida  (opt out).

TONIGHT: West winds continue tonight but decrease to the 8-15mph range by 7pm and beyond. Clear skies for the majority of the early evening through the night, with some low very clouds possible while everyone is asleep (except the 'paper boy').  Surface boundary will sink south of Central Florida between 4:30am -6am, continuing south, mainly off shore. Either way...this leads us to Friday.

FRIDAY: Not quite as warm after the boundary exits the picture, continued dry with a NW wind around 8-12mph during the afternoon under near clear skies. Highs in the upper 70Fs/lower 80Fs, a bit warmer South Florida. Cooler Friday night, mainly around normal. Lows along the coast in the lower -mid 60Fs, mid-upper 50Fs inland.

SATURDAY: Light wind, sunny, highs in the low-mid 80Fs, not too humid. Pretty much stellar. Coolest along the coasts with a sea breeze, around 78-80F.

SUNDAY: Could be that this will be THE warmest day of 2011! Highs in the low to lower end mid-90Fs South Central and South. Warmest on the east side of the state with reinstatement of west winds state wide. Beach side temperatures near 90F up and down A1A from Jax to Miami.

BEYOND: Changes in store, finally. Looks like some help with the drought conditions (which have spread over a broader expanse of real estate across South Florida) will be in order beginning Monday into the first week of April.  There has been indications that severe thunderstorms could be in the offing down the road around April Fool's Day out through the 7th April on a few days. Will be watching this aspect for sure, but  model(s) disparity and outside time frame from now is too soon to determine what form increasing atmospheric moisture will take, whether it be strong storms, rain showers, or merely cloud cover.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nicely Warm Most of Florida's East Coast - Rain Chances Finally Appear Next Week

Gigantic Hibiscus on the Loose

FORECAST THRU THURSDAY: No change from the post the other day. Surface ridge has sank south to near Metro Miami through the Keys during the past 24 hours. Shallow but strong low level inversion with moisture trapped beneath generated a good coverage of fog in some places, low clouds in other, early thru mid-morning across Central /South Central Florida which was quick to dissipate by 10AM.  Other than a few low topped skimpy-cumulus today, strong subsidence and SW-WSW flow from the surface and on up take inland temperatures on up to near those felt yesterday inland. The east coast along A1A may very well feel the low-mid 80s today as well, with a pocket or two of upper 80Fs or a 90F somewhere inland. A very late afternoon sea breeze might be felt only right along A1A or I-95 south of West Palm mid-late afternoon as 925mb flow at that level over South Florida is not as strong as over Central and North Florida, but either way it will be comfortable. More of the same tomorrow, although it appears that none of the immediate East Coast will receive a sea breeze. Additionally, with compressional heating still at play the forecast high temperature shown by the models might be getting under-played (they are showing low-mid 80Fs). In other words, expecting to see more wide-spread upper 80Fs tomorrow than today, and a few more locations reaching 90F with a WSW-W winds of 12-22mph during the afternoon.

THURSDAY/SUNDAY: Dissipating cold frontal boundary over the Deep South will essentially be sapped out as it skirts along the east coast of the state. The only impact on the state will be to end the all-day land breeze set up of today/tomorrow, taking afternoon coastal temperatures back down to upper 70Fs /low 80Fs, inland in the low-mid 80Fs. Very light afternoon sea-breezes and light to calm winds over night with little in clouds.

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Pretty big changes in store from Sunday night through into the first week of April as the synoptic scale blocking weather pattern of the past 10 days starts to break down.  To early to say with just exactly what/when the net affect will be realized over Central/South Florida, but based on the models trends over the past several days the rain/thunderstorm chances will appear in earnest beginning Monday, more so on Tuesday. Several other opportunities for needed rainfall appear throughout the first week of April as well. We should all be happy for the much needed rainfall as we enter the peak of Fire Season. All of us, that is, except the pyro (s) that has (have) been setting the fires across parts of the state. Apparently they find Brevard County to be of most formidable prey.  It seems there's always fires near Malabar/Palm Bay  or Port St. John/Canaveral Groves every season doesn't it?!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung (In the Northern Hemisphere)

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’,
I wonder where the birdie is?
There he is up in the sky,
He dropped some whitewash in my eye!

I‘m alright, I won't cry,
I'm just glad that cows can't fly!

FORECAST: Nothing new from Saturday's post. The backdoor boundary, or rather the leading edge of higher surface barometric pressure pushed through Central Florida yesterday as expected. The remaining boundary is now near Miami  where some showers remain along and just ahead of it near the Keys. High pressure at the surface will continue to influence the weather over Florida today under mostly clear skies, although some stratocumulus appear will continue to come ashore over South Florida.

Temperatures maybe a few degrees cooler inland, but the A1A corridor won't notice a difference with breezy onshore winds this morning abating through the afternoon North Central and North Florida. Coastal lows will remain in the mid-upper 60s overnight, warmer south toward low 70sF. Inland lows in the mid-upper 50Fs.  Winds calm down all areas overnight though to near calm.  

The ridge axis over Florida tomorrow will sink south toward South Florida Tuesday. Expect a delayed sea breeze on Tuesday, warmer on this day away from either coast. No rain. The ridge will be breaking down and sinking south in response to a trough pushing through the Central and Northern Plains States which will be pushing east bound, but the main energy from this system is well to the north. With the ridge breaking down and the axis remaining south...

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: ....Expect again another delayed sea breeze on Wednesday, and possibly no sea breeze from near SR520 and north as the remaining tail-end of cool front sinks south into Florida. Thursday will be about the same with no sea breeze most guaranteed with a warm, west wind of 15-20mph during the afternoon. Warm with highs in the low-mid 80Fs with some cumulus clouds.  Might see some upper 80Fs as well! Spring has Sprung!!The front now appears will cross through with zero fanfare Thursday night, accompanied by a wind shift after dark Thursday night. 

FRIDAY-WEEKEND: Winds swing around the clock very quickly from the north to a southerly direction going into Friday and through the weekend. Warm Spring Breaker weather. Expect crowds and traffic at all beach thoroughfares with beach access roads filled to the gills. Possible rain/thunderstorms enter the picture late Monday/Tuesday time frame.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Clear Sky (Florida) for Rare Super Perigee Full Moon - Equilux vs Equinox Revealed

Looking to see the Super Moon or more correctly the "Super Perigee Full Moon" tonight? Along the East Coast of Florida the moon will rise at 8:56PM EDT this evening as the moon approaches its closest orbit to earth during a full moon cycle. The graphic notes that the moon will be 14% larger; of course, the moon is not any larger, it just looks larger due to its closer approach (perigee) to earth. Conversely, an apogee moon will appear much smaller. We can get a better idea of perigee vs. apogee from this second image.

It's much easier to see here that the perigee is closer to earth than the apogee during the moon's orbit.  All in all, we might not be able to tell the difference other than during the first 2 hours of moonrise (8:56PM) and again an hour or two before moon set, Sunday morning at 7:42AM. During those times it is closer to the horizon and points of reference such as trees, buildings, mountains, power poles, etc. create the  illusion of the moon being 'larger' most dramatically.  So, if you miss it tonight and happen to be an early riser it will still look pretty cool between 6-7:30AM Sunday morning above the western horizon.

Coincidentally, as the Super Perigee Full Moon sets Sunday morning, we will be entering the Vernal Equinox as the sun will pass directly over the Equator on its way to the Summer Solstice (June 20/21) over the equator at 7:21PM EDT (2321 GMT) Sunday night, the Vernal Equinox (or so it's called). See why this might be considered a "myth".

Found a neat piece of info this morning that explains why I wrote  "a 'myth' revealed" in the title of today's post (at least in my mind). I'd always thought, and maybe you did too, that on the first day of Celestial Spring that days/nights are of equi (equal)-duration (hours/minutes), but I noticed this was not the case by pure coincidence, about two weeks ago. So I did some research.

This time of equal day/night length does not happen during the equinox, but rather during the "equiliux". Our days/nights were of equal length more than a week ago (the days are now longer by about 9 minutes). Additionally, from a technical perspective, it might be better to refer to this time of year as the "March Equinox" rather than Vernal Equinox. Vernal is the Latin derivative of "spring" (and it will not be spring in the Southern Hemisphere), so that faulty reasoning is obvious to the reader; for your info, equinox is Latin for 'equal night'. 
Again, although the word equinox is often understood to mean "equal [day and] night," this is not strictly true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal; those days are referred to as the "equiluxes" to distinguish them from the equinoxes. Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart, and like I wrote above, this has already occurred here in Florida (can't speak for the rest of the country, but I'll gander this will not occur until later in Spring).
And another thing! Said with a light heart and mind of course, as written in several posts ago, spring in many parts of Florida from the meteorological perspective already began a few weeks ago, when  from this writer's perspective and other schools of thought, the average high temperature is equal to or greater than 75F (which of course varies with where on lives in the state). On a side note, the same school of thought infers that summer begins when the average high temperature in Florida meets 90F. This  has to vary in regard to the temperature threshold for the immediate coast though from my observation, because this average high temperature is never met along A1A where average highs during the summer are usually around 87F due to the prevailing SE winds blowing off ocean waters. It is interesting that for the most part, our big 'heat waves' (loosely written), occur not in summer but rather in spring. You know, those years when it gets near 100F degrees. These almost always occur before June 21st (the first celestial day of summer).  Based on this observation combined with the 'average high 0f 90F' reasoning,  Florida summer probably begins sometime toward the last week of May - First 10 days of June.
Now, that is based from a temperature perspective. Another way to look at (not of one of which I've read), is to herald summer in by when the diurnal daily thunder storm cycle begins, which considers all the variable atmospheric requisites.
On to the weather outlook for the "Super Perigee Full Moon" and the first day of the sun's passage over the equator.
TODAY: No change from yesterday under a near clear sky and coastal sea-breezes. Highs along A1A in the upper 70s, warming to the low to mid 80s away from either coast. Warmest NE and SW Florida.  A back door boundary ("cold front") is on the approach from the N-NE tonight.
TONIGHT: Looks to be clear or nearly so for moon viewing. Coastal lows in the low to mid 60s, warmest coastal SE Florida/Keys. Inland lows in the low/mid 50s...although there have been a few small pockets of upper 40s just about anywhere in the state the past few mornings. Could of fooled me, but they are occurring. Even in far South Florida.
SUNDAY: The March Equinox occurs at 7:21PM EDT, Sunday evening. But before that time, North through South Central Florida will herald in spring with of all things, a cold front? No fears.  The front will move into Central Florida sometime in the morning/early afternoon. It will initially pass through undetected to the casual observer, but will be followed a few hours later by stronger ENE winds of 15-25mph Sunday afternoon, as well as some clouds.  Model guidance is painting some light rain coverage over the East Coast of Florida, first to the North then spreading south toward Miami by late afternoon/early evening. However, due to the fact that we will remain atmospherically dry right up to and through frontal passage (at fire weather criteria in South Florida for instance), believe the moisture provoking 'rain' on the models will manifest as stratocumulus clouds. Sunday afternoon will be cooler everywhere by about 5 degrees, probably most notably inland though.  SW Florida will be the warmest tomorrow pre-frontal passage and furthest from the developing easterly flow (and likely without a cooling west coast sea breeze there).  Breezy all day Sunday beginning early afternoon through 8-9pm, with winds gradually relaxing overnight and becoming a faded memory by Monday. No significant changes to overnight low temperatures.

MONDAY-TUESDAY: Back to status quo as high pressure regains control and winds relax. Fire weather season conditions showing  true colors once again as we approach April...albeit, hopefully minus the fires. High pressure at the surface and aloft almost directly overhead with light overnight coastal land breezes, and afternoon sea breezes. Temperatures running like what you've felt the past few days already.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: Minor weather change in store, mainly for the East side of the state.  We are entering another meteorological period influenced by a negative phase of the  NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), this was the case for much of our cold weather periods this past winter...YES, we can say winter in the past tense by now. Feat not, it won't be getting real cold, at least not yet per guidance. Prior to the next frontal passage, the East Coast will likely lose the afternoon sea breeze effect, so high temperatures on these two afternoons (or maybe only one of them) will reach the low-mid 80Fs next week prior to frontal passage.
Front appears will pass through dry, but have low confidence at this point to declare this as fact. But rainfall of any noteworthiness declaration will be absent.  For now (as of this morning), will watch Wednesday/Thursday time frame though for  somewhere in North Central to South Florida, because I'm not quite ready to discount the possibility of a good shower or maybe a thunderstorm mid-late week (next week). Long time from now, but that chance looks pretty skimpy.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day To Yield Circular Areal Coverage of Pleasant Florida Weather Across the Radius

Like a Barbershop Quartet these Hibiscus Blooms Sang in Four Part Harmony this morning, celebrating Pi Day and  the bounty of sunshine to continue today with very comfortable temperatures round the clock

So what does that title of today's post mean anyway? Today's date is March 14th (3.14.... =  Pi). In a mathematical notation, it looks like the image below. This 'constant' (when rounded off to 3.14) is used in innumerable mathematical equations in all walks of science, including meteorology, the most common of which perhaps is the calculation made to determine the area of a circle (pi times the radius squared). Bored with the weather to resort to this discussion?..."Oh Pi, Yes!":

TODAY: Surface ridge axis across the South Central peninsula at the surface and across North Central in the mid-levels today through Tuesday. Net effect, near calm wind at night and light land breeze toward daybreak through mid/late morning all of North Central and North Florida with sea breezes both coasts in the afternoon. Near clear skies with some patches of stratocumulus perhaps advecting on shore only South Florida/Keys. Later today, could start to see some high cirrus clouds passing over Central and North Florida toward mid-late afternoon, not affecting South Florida. Temperatures running in the lower 70Fs along A1A north of Ft. Pierce, with perhaps some mid-70s prior to delayed onset of sea breeze. Otherwise, upper 70s / low 80Fs interior everywhere. Warmest SW interior Florida.

TUESDAY: Really not much change, except the surface ridge axis will relax a bit further south as a weak disturbance moves through Georgia approaching the Mid-Atlantic. Patchy ground fog over night interior. More clouds again likely tomorrow, mostly of the high cirrus variety.  Warmest over SW Florida running the diagonal line through Orlando to Jacksonville. Might not get a sea breeze from Daytona Beach and north to JAX tomorrow with a stronger SW flow. Delayed sea breeze more likely tomorrow East Central, so looking for some mid-upper 70s here tomorrow. Otherwise, little change for Southeast Florida where coastal temperatures will be just below 80F, hitting the mark along and west of I-95.

WEDNESDAY: Little change continues the regime. Looks now like a good chance of a  late afternoon line of cumulus will form on this afternoon (and perhaps Tuesday as well) from Orlando north due to sea breeze convergence, favoring  more toward the east side of the state and approaching I-95 by 6pm; any showers with this would be restricted to north of Daytona as it appears, of extremely light nature (although models are not showing rain at all).  Either way, no impacts.  Wind on Wednesday of much more southerly nature, but light.

No weather worth mention in the extended as well. Normal to just above normal temperatures. Immediate coast Central and all of Southeast Florida will have lows in the low-mid 60Fs overnight, interior in the mid-upper 50Fs. Highs all regions in the low 80Fs, coolest along A1A up and down the coast, ultimate coolest along A1A from Sebastian Inlet and north where highs will linger around the 74-77F mark during the afternoon sea breeze. Calm at night.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Superstorm Anniversary and Daylight Savings Time - Check Smoke Detector/Weather Radio

State radar image from the SuperStorm Derecho Event of March 12-13, 1993. Details follow in the information below. This storm impacted not only Florida, but the entire eastern seaboard with high winds, tornadoes, coastal storm surge, and blizzard conditions. At the time, this event was unprecedented and remains so to this very day.

TODAY THROUGH MONDAY FORECAST:  No changes from yesterday's post. A bit warmer today all areas, coolest at the very east coast north of Vero Beach, with highs in the low 70s. Mid-upper 70s elsewhere and warmest far SW Florida. Partly cloudy to most cloudy at times from West Palm Beach and south through Monday.  Light onshore Sea breeze this afternoon all coasts will make way to near calm winds toward sunset. Overnight lows a bit warmer than last night, but still chilly (especially inland).

TUESDAY: Coastal stratocumulus clouds could affect the east coast as far north as Titusville. Short-wave trough crossing Dixie  provides reason to introduce high cirrus clouds into the mix, especially Central and North. Probably not quite as warm on Tuesday as those that will be felt Monday due to expected clouds. No rain Central and North, put possible sprinkles far South and the Keys. Temperatures anywhere South Florida today through Tuesday will be lower than official forecasts indicate (more than likely) where clouds are most found.

Celebrating or begrudging Daylight Savings Time today? It's a good time to check the batteries in your Weather Radio as well as those in the smoke detector, and see if your computer time corrected itself.

Below are some recaps of the intense severe weather events recorded from the Super Storm that occurred beginning last night (March 12th). The magnitude of which has yet to be met for the Southeast States.  Read on, it's interesting:

The Southern Survey Team
The southern survey team found that for the most part the information disseminated to the
public, the media, and EMOs was timely and accurate. There were a number of separate
hazards created by the storm for those in the southern states affected by the  Superstorm.
As the storm gathered strength over the Gulf, the first threat was from severe thunderstorms
and tornadoes. As it neared landfall, high winds and coastal flooding became the primary
hazard and finally, as the system moved up the Atlantic coast, very cold temperatures
became the peril.

The perception and response to these various threats were uneven, however. The lack of
personal experience with severe non-tropical storms resulted in a large number of people, and
some EMOs, failing to fully appreciate the seriousness of the threat.

For example, in recent history, severe coastal flooding has not occurred in Florida in storms other than hurricanes.  It must be noted that a winter storm of this ferocity was simply beyond the scope of
experience of anything the southeastern part of the country had faced in recent memory.The
subsequent lack of response led to difficulties for the populace in preparing properly for the
approaching storm throughout the southeast U.S., particularly in Florida. Many people and
some EMOs were simply unprepared for the event.

March 12-13 1993 - 2200-1430 - All Florida - Tornadoes, Thunderstorm Winds, Hail, High Winds, Storm Surge, Flood, Beach Erosion, Snow - The "Storm Of The Century" or "SuperStorm" roared across Florida
producing a variety of severe and unusual weather conditions for about 18 hours from late Friday the
12th through late afternoon Saturday the 13th.

A severe squall line raced eastward at over 50 mph ahead
of an intense low producing several tornadoes and strong downbursts as it moved through the state and
directly caused seven fatalities. This was followed by an unprecedented (for the Gulf Coast) winter
storm surge of nine to 12 feet in Taylor County, with storm surges and/or tidal and wind driven flooding
of five to 9 feet elsewhere along the Gulf Coast to the Keys. This was followed by a period of eight to
12 hours of high sustained winds of up to 50 mph with gusts to 70 mph, keeping tides much above
normal along the west coast and causing severe beach erosion in many areas. As colder air poured in
behind the intense low up to four inches of snow fell in the panhandle from north of Pensacola to
Crestview, and a trace to 3 inches of snow fell elsewhere across north Florida. Record or near record low
temperatures occurred over much of the state the following two nights. Total number of fatalities from
the storm was 47, including 14 from storm surge and flooding, seven from tornadoes and/or strong
downbursts, and four from high winds in the aftermath of the squall line. Eleven people drowned
offshore in the Gulf of Mexico after strong winds swamped or capsized ships (including seven crewmen
from a 200-ft Honduran freighter). Eleven others died during rescue operations and cleanup activities.
Total property damage was estimated at $l.6 billion. Details follow, first number shown for each heading is the date in March, followed by year and 24 hour time.

Date obtained from the NWS Melbourne historic weather events database:
12 1993 - 2338 - Levy Co., Chiefland - A tornado struck a home in which four people were asleep,
pinning two of them under a fallen wall and suffocating them. Two others were injured. A nearby
mobile home was destroyed killing its elderly occupant. The tornado went on to destroy or damage other
mobile homes injuring five more people, and knocking down trees and power lines.

13 1993 - Manatee County, Terra Ceia Bay - Thunderstorm winds -A man who lived on a houseboat
drowned while apparently attempting to evacuate the boat in strong winds.

13 1993 - 0020 - Alachua Co., LaCrosse - A tornado destroyed a mobile home killing l person and
injuring four others. Trees and power lines down. A few houses destroyed, one by propane explosion.

Howey-in-the-Hills and moved northeast striking Mt. Dora and continued northeast until dissipating in
Volusia County. A 5-month old baby boy was killed in a mobile home 10 miles northeast of Mt. Dora at 0050 EST. The mobile home was destroyed and two adults in it were seriously injured. In all 13 homes
were destroyed, 80 suffered major damage and 266 reported minor damage.

13 1993 - 0405 - Pinellas County, Clearwater - High Winds - Winds to 6l mph were recorded at the
Clearwater Pass Bridge. Two boaters in a sailboat were drowned when they apparently were pushed into
the bridge pilings and capsized.
13 1993 - Citrus County, N. Homosassa - High Winds -Two males were apparently washed overboard
from a fishing boat and drowned. Their bodies were recovered a week later.

13 1993 - 0420 - Taylor County, Coastal Areas - Storm Surge - A 10 - to 12-foot storm surge moved
into the coast destroying 57 homes. Ten people were killed, nine at Dekle Beach and one at Keaton

13 1993 - 0452 - Dade County, Narrowrowanja - Thunderstorm Winds overturned a mobile home,
killing one person and injuring another.

13 1993 - 0530 - Hernando County, Aripeka to Hernando Beach - Flood - Flood waters about nine feet
deep inundated the coastal area with most residents in water chest deep. One person suffered a heart
attack and died attempting to evacuate out of the flooded area. 6l homes were destroyed, 3,300 damaged,
and 100 people evacuated.

13 1993 - 0530 - Pasco County, Hudson to Aripeka - Flood - Water at least 9 feet deep flooded homes
and businesses. An elderly woman drowned in her home.

13 1993 - 0545 - Levy County, Cedar Key - Storm Surge - A 9.5 foot storm surge was reported and 120
homes were flooded. An elderly male died while attempting to evacuate the flood.

13 1993 - 0600 - Pinellas County, Honeymoon Island - High Winds - A 38-ft fishing vessel was
swamped by 20-30 foot seas seven miles west of the coast. One crew member drowned and the other
was rescued by the Coast Guard.

13 1993 - 1035 - Broward County, Davie - High Winds uprooted a tree that struck and killed a person.

13 1993 - l134 - Broward County, Pompano Beach - High Winds caused a building to collapse, killing a
motorcyclist who was standing near it.

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