Images: (1) The thermometer on my porch and the 2pm colorized temperature depiction for Florida with surface fronts analyzed. At this time Patrick AFB was 83F, my porch read 84F, and Melbourne was 85F (2) But all great things eventually come to an end as we can see the clouds on the approach associated with a surface cold front and strong mid-upper levels winds streaming from SW to the NE ...(3)..those winds can be seen in this image of the averaged winds aloft combined with atmospheric moisture content (note the correlation of the blue colors (most moist)with the clouds)
TODAY: Late post today, as it is now 2:30pm. As we can see, a weak frontal boundary is being led by a weak pre-frontal trough by the dashed blue line. The surface image is a little behind in the timing with the satellite image which was saved most recently. Rain showers as I type are right along I-4 from near Daytona and through the Orlando area on the pre-frontal boundary which just barely leads the cold front proper, with a renegade very light shower or two in Palm Beach County. There was a little kink in the front right over Tampa Bay which I'd guess is some sort of mesoscale affect from the Bay waters, so they might see more rain than their current line of thinking there. Temperatures ahead of the front are in the upper 70s and low 80s, with a few spots in the mid-80s along the east coast in the absence of any sea breeze today as SW-SSW winds prevail ahead of the front and blow across the greatest expanse of warmed land before reaching the east side of the state. Last I looked it was just about 84F on the porch, while Tampa was 64F with light rain.
The front will continue east but likely begin to slow down after peak heating. At this hour it seems to be feeding off the warm air mass of the peninsula and being shoved east ward on its southern extent by cool high pressure beginning to develop over the waters of the western Gulf which will push east overnight. In any case, the boundary is on its way to the east coast, and is followed by a pretty rapid fall of temperatures into mid-60s, and obviously a lot of clouds.
Showers could fall anywhere ahead of this boundary (but very close to it) mostly north of Route 60 as the boundary moves east. These are low topped showers with no real triggers aloft. Any shower activity will produce less than 2/10" as it looks now although in a few select spots there's a shower that could be considered 'heavy', and should last no longer in any one spot more than 10-20 minutes...although suspect the boundary might get hung up very close to, if not on the east coast near Port Canaveral for an hour our two late this afternoon/early evening. But that given, without heating of the day the prospects of rain should end either way during the early evening, but it will be cooler everywhere tonight and into morning other than maybe South Florida as the remaining boundary dies with the setting sun.
SUNDAY: Hard to make heads or tails of just exactly where the surface front will be located by this time tomorrow. Surface prognosis paints it to be somewhere close to Lake Okeechobee, and maybe a bit north of there. But if this ends up like last time, that was where the previous front was to end up, but instead it ended up just barely clearing Brevard County. Think this one will though to at least as far south as Ft. Pierce. In any case, the supporting troughs aloft never got this far and actually are taking off to the northeast and out of the picture as I type, so its definitely not going to be a clean frontal passage other than below 2000 Ft (the height of a 20 story building).
Do believe tomorrow will be cool and cloudy for Central, and maybe some light rain with temperatures mainly in the mid 50s - 60s but much warmer South Florida. Clouds could be an issue just about anywhere in the state in varying degrees, but most likely right across dead Central. Light wind on Sunday.
MONDAY: Front will translate a bit further north from where ever it will have ended up by Monday morning and now appears will be located very close to somewhere between I-4 and the Beach Line, with I-4 preferred on this post. Looks like an all day rain event setting up for those under and north of the boundary, with a sharp decrease in rain chances to zero chance 50-75 miles south of the boundary. That means all of South Florida is in the clear either way, but somewhere along and within the bounds noted in the sentences above northward toward I-10 will be in the murk all day.
MONDAY AFTERNOON: Highlighting this time frame for a specific reason. Sometime around noon time it looks like the mid-level support to put some wheels in motion will be passing overhead as the base of a new mid-level trough axis that will have been approaching from the northwest Plains states which will be aligned NNW/SSE crosses Alabama and Georgia as it crosses Central Florida (and over the surface front). The support will come in the form of winds possibly as strong as 50mph just over head at 2000ft or stronger higher up as they round the base of the trough and meet the blocking ridge that has persisted to our east over Cuba/Bahamas/SW Atlantic since the 'Day of The Blizzards' began.
Just exactly what the net affect will be, if any is a bit difficult to determine, but the chance of thunder shouldn't be entirely discounted, especially between the hours of noon- 6pm Monday (sooner near Tampa Bay spreading east with time) from Vero Beach north to Ormond Beach (on the east coast) and across the state to the west. At this point this is only a precautionary note in the mind's eye when we consider that any thunder producing updrafts that can develop could transport those strong winds not far over head to the ground.
In other words, this would equate to very strong wind gusts in thunder storms or even a heavy rain shower. Definitely not set in stone at this time while typing, but the possibility appears will be real given the information placed in front of me early this afternoon.
It is interesting that MAYBE the folks south of I-4 and the Beach Line east of Orlando might not see any rain at all until after 1pm while folks just a 30-45minutes drive to the north will have been getting wet all morning. It is also interesting that temperatures per the model data are generous with 70s for high temperatures on Monday right on the east coast of Central Florida (Brevard specifically and south along the coast) just south of the boundary...this would imply that there wouldn't be much cloud cover there either. There is a very sharp temperature gradient cutting Brevard County in half per the NAM model. Hopefully, you get the picture here. Somewhere across Central Florida is going to be very touch and go, while others are in the muck all day, and others further South of Route 60 will see no rain at all ever. Most assured Lake Okeechobee and South until later in the day.
IN ANY CASE: Tuesday will dawn like a new day once we've washed our hands of Monday's dirty dishes. Light NW wind and significantly cleared skies with highs in the mid-60s and warmer south. No weather issues through sunrise Thursday, with temperatures cooler everywhere, even South Florida, from what we've been feeling the past few days.
IS A BIG BAD COLD SPELL COMING? The news keeps getting better, yes it still looks like a cold one is coming sometime around Friday ...but a statewide freeze is no longer a concern as it was 2 days ago, for almost anyone in the state. The worse I'm seeing is a morning of mid-upper 30s north of I-4 with mid-upper 40s at that same time east of a line from North Brevard southwest to Naples. The trend has been getting warmer and warmer, but I do think this final front will be the end of one synoptic scale weather pattern for the U.S. and the beginning of a more zonal flow across the eastern 2/3 of the country with the coldest of air well to the north (once we warm back up again, which will be quickly)...this means an end to the cold for the Deep South and Texas and warmer across the Southern Plains and Mid Atlantic region.