"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".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Windy, Mostly Cloudy to Cloudy, Rain Chances End Mid Afternoon

Cold front approaching the Peninsula, with two other troughs behind it today. These troughs will affect the weather over the state (the last one in particular) through Thursday night

FLORIDA DODGED A BULLET: Although there were 3 tornadoes (so far) yesterday, no more appear to be likely as winds become unidirectional with height and helicity and instability are moving out and away. The Tornado Watch which had been extended  shrank in size overnight has since been lifted entirely. Yet, the most lightning seen  with this event has occurred and continues over the Keys mainly this morning, where heavy rainfall of over 14" has fallen there in some locations. By far, this was a "Key's Event" for the duration, with coastal SW Florida toward Ft Myers having one of their own.  Wind was never as strong as with the event further north in these locations as what occurred over a week ago though, with a peak gust in a storm of 43mph.  Three  tornadoes have been logged though per the SPC Storm Reports from their website:

TORNADO and Wind Reports noted per the color code. Preliminary.

Even though these tornadoes were reported, Florida still dodged a bullet compared to the rain (reign) of cannonballs that could have occurred had a few factors been different. Already noted previously was the warm air aloft being a negating factor. Another two major factors are that even though the surface low in the Gulf got a bit more organized, it lifted much more north rather that east. As a result, the warm frontal like boundary associated with it,  and the very richly moist and warm air behind that boundary, was never able to make it north of St. Lucie County. The boundary was never able to work north, being trapped underneath a 500mb jet streak from the sub-tropics.  Warm air aloft without the more buoyant moist air present over Central simply could not mold storms despite the tremendous amounts of wind energy present. 

Like a potter molding a vase, Central  had the spin but no clay. 

Even so, despite the fact that the wind energy was not as tremendous over South Florida, there was still 3 tornadoes. Image if that quality of air mass had extended north into the twisting wind profiles over Central and North Central Florida. Results could have been MUCH different.  Florida dodged a bullet, but it looked pretty clear this would be the case by late afternoon toward sunset.  The urgency placed by the press on this one was not unwarranted though, all things considering.  As noted often here, the word 'potential' means just that.  I could potentially scream in the middle of a church service, but chances are, that will never happen. 

TODAY: Cold front to clear Central Florida and South Florida almost simultaneously today in the 3-6pm time frame. The front is followed by WSW winds becoming West ahead of the 925mb trough, then eventually west behind that one. Winds breezy to gusty in the 18-23mph range, but gusts to 32mph might be in the offing. It does not look like we will see a long period of significant cloud breaks today, although there will be a period when we could see the sun briefly off and on..not likely over South Florida though. But at least it will not be cold with highs in the upper 70s toward 80F,very muggy and wet feeling.

TONIGHT: The latter of two boundaries will cross the state, with the 850mb trough (the third) hanging up a bit across Central and lifting northward, never quite clearing as high pressure builds in rapidly behind it from the NW Gulf and South Central Plains.  The associated areas of low pressure are being lifted north just as much as progressing east, all into an area of low pressure in the upper Ohio Valley. Very windy near the Windy City of Chicago (named for folks who blew hot air, not the weather). Which thankfully, will prevent Florida from getting all that cold.

THURSDAY: Cool with winds letting up substantially by morning, but picking up in the 15-22mph range in the afternoon. Skies could start out partly cloudy, but become cloudy at times with the last boundary and associated moisture with it in the area. Highs in the low 70Fs, but warmer by a 3-5 degrees far south Florida.

FRIDAY: Winds subside shortly after sunset with better clearing. Friday morning lows mainly in the mid-50s although a few lows near 48-52F are possible inland and west and south toward Okeechobee. The A1A corridor will be teetering and teasing the 6-0 mark on "Ole' Mercury', at least for a brief time give or take 2 degrees.  Friday afternoon similar to Thursday, with lighter winds and less chance of clouds even still.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: High pressure in the low to mid levels will cross the northern Gulf and SE States over the weekend. Despite moisture still alive and well (but very shallow and much less), Florida will be on the descending side of the clockwise circulation around this high, clouds might have a harder time being seen except toward the Gulf Coast side.  Atlantic Stratocumulus clouds should stay well offshore through Monday afternoon with a light north wind in the afternoons. Lows remaining in the 50Fs inland and mid-60s along A1A.with highs remaining in the mid-upper 70Fs and near 80F far south.  

MONDAY/TUESDAY: Winds gradually become light and onshore Monday afternoon, but the depth of onshore flow will be to shallow to generate anything more that stratocumulus clouds.

WEDNESDAY: Here is where the line in the sand is drawn....potentially BIG CHANGES in store with two regimes Wednesday/Thursday...and then beginning next Weekend through the first week of November.

REGIME 1: Cold front will develop and move toward the state once the 700mb high pressure center moves east and off the coast of the Carolinas. A chance of onshore showers, and maybe thunder  late Wednesday with a front to move through around Thursday. As mentioned yesterday, the pattern of highs and lows begins to look quite bizarre, which usually means it could be exceptionally beautiful or the contrary for an extended time. So far, it is looking like the 'contrary' from near Halloween and Beyond.
In fact, it looks very typical for mid-fall some years. A not pretty one. 

Front moves through, but with a very rapid switch in winds to the NE-ENE at all atmospheric depths as the high off the mid-Atlantic is re-enforced, with possible onshore moving showers beginning within 48 hours after fropa (frontal passage). This is number one on the check list of 'questionables'.

REGIME 2: Contingent Upon the net affect of Regime 1. Our old TWO frontal boundaries. Both lying eventually across the Northern Caribbean ..don't forget them. One being from today and tonight, the other from mid next week. It is possible that cyclogensis could occur along these boundaries underneath the sub tropical jet.

THE GFS is implying that a tropical storm could form in the Central Caribbean and move west toward the western Caribbean generally south of Cuba. Tropical or not...perhaps just a large area of low pressure will be in place. Either way, this is to combine with strong high pressure over where else, the Carolinas. Sound familiar?  WINDY is the result, with showers. In fact, if the low pressure area develops per this latest run, sustained winds of 'sub Tropical Storm Force' could occur or develop about 3-4 days after Halloween, with our without a tropical storm.

At this point though, given the recent implications, even the word 'potential' to 'cry wolf' on for such an event is stretching it . More appropriately, there seems to be some long-range model consensus that high pressure will be to the north, and low pressure to the south. But how they will align and what comes out of it is an entirely different matter.

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