"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
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"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 3, 2011

Will "Iron Horse" Smoke/Smell Meet It's Namesake Sunday?

To the left is an image of the location of the Iron Horse Saloon north of Daytona Beach as annotated. The yellow area sketched in is where smoke and/or smell could become an issue on Sunday from Sunrise to early afternoon. Arrows show the expected shift in surface winds from sunrise through 3pm. The following image is a forecast generated by the North American Model (NAM) this morning for Sunday afternoon.
We can see from this forecast image that surface winds overnight Saturday into Sunday morning will shift from SSE to SSW-SW. The net affect would be to advect the smoke and/or smell
from the Iron Horse Blaze location toward the Saloon.
Again, above we see the forecast per the NAM for Sunday at 1pm. SSW winds of 20mph are forecast to develop with daytime heating ahead of the pre-frontal trough. These will gradually become more SW to finally NW overnight going into Monday.  HOWEVER, there could be a saving grace for North Volusia County/Southern Flagler. Rain chances go up during the course of the wind shift. See more below in the detailed forecast discussion.

TODAY: Continued easterly fetch. with embedded bands of enhanced cloudiness, and perhaps some very light spurts of rain in the worst cases. Any showers to impact land will be very brief and light with the quick flow indicated at steering level aloft. This image above was just now saved from the web site called "weathertap". It is totally overcast as I type as that small 'green' area by the Cape is passing overhead. Other areas of similar conditions, which might have some trace rain are moving ashore, and this will continue to be the case this afternoon. For the most part skies will be partly cloudy, with east winds gusting to 22-28mph at the beaches (east coast). Highs in the mid-upper 70s, warmer interior and west.

TONIGHT/FRIDAY: Similar situation for today with no measurable rainfall expected. Wind not as strong late night through early morning, but do expect winds to again be breezy on Friday.

SATURDAY: Winds will become more SE-SSE during the day, possibly stronger than today. A cold front will be approaching the state. At this time the smoky stench from "Iron Horse", whether or not it is still burning, will be advected toward Deltona/Deland/Sanford/Osteen areas. However, rain chances also pick up for the coast and the burned/burning area beginning later Friday through much of Saturday from Cocoa Beach and north. It might be just enough rain to appease the flames, but could actually make the smoke/scent situation worse for folks close to and upstream of the blaze as the particulates will be closer to the ground. I'm definitely not a fire weather/particulates forecaster, so this is just a heads up from what little I do know.

SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY: Winds overnight Saturday into Sunday should let up after midnight to early Sunday. At this time the vector points toward the "Iron Horse Saloon". Again, will it have rained enough, if at all, to prevent the vapors/smoke from reaching that far NNE? If it doesn't rain, could get pretty crummy even that far north. Especially since winds will really die down overnight Saturday night. Could get really nasty around Edgewater north toward "Wilbur-By-The-Sea".  Otherwise, expecting increased cloudiness at day break over all of North Central Florida, decreasing further South as one gets south of Brevard/Osceola Counties.  High temperatures in the upper 70s, with lowers 80Fs far South Central/South Florida.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING: Latest NAM/GFS have indicated a frontal passage sometime Sunday night, and this continues to be the case. The only fly in the ointment concerns rain chances. Could be raining as soon as mid-morning for the east side of the state north of Melbourne Beach between the eastward advancing pre-frontal trough and the retracting high pressure area over the Atlantic that will have been generating all this wind today through Friday.  

Due to the time of arrival of the pre-frontal trough (peak heating hours), some of these rains 
could translate to thunderstorms (weak).  Guidance shows little in thermal instablitiy, but there is some shearing as well as more mixing due to voriticity both in the lower/upper levels of the atmosphere than I've seen in sync with a surface boundary than I've seen with previous systems. The impacting values are pretty weak, but the sum total of them all could result in a storm with thunder.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Probably our best chance of rain North and North Central will be associated with the pre-frontal trough, and not the front itself, although rain (but not thunder) could still occur until the front has cleared this region. Do believe the percentage of the region of North Central Florida up to Jacsonville to receive measurable rain from the period beginning late Sunday morning through evening will be about 70%.  It won't be raining that entire time by any means. That number just reflects total possible recipients over the entire time frame.

Further south toward Southern Portions of South Central and South East Florida (or roughly from Sebastian Inlet to Miami), rain/thunder chances are notably smaller. However, SE Florida from Boyton Beach to Miami might get convective type showers Sunday afternoon indirectly related to the pre-frontal trough as well as with the front. Not sure the pre-frontal trough will ever reach any further south with an impact other than a wind shift from SW to W south of Vero Beach.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: Will tackle this time frame tomorrow. But for the most part this system will have cleared the state, or be dwindling in some form or another over far south Florida where a rain chance will linger on the SW side of the state. No big temperature changes at all, if any, from recent days after the period of abnormal warmth ended the other day.  And lastly, if rains don't add up enough (although I highly expect they will)...could smell kind of smoky for the north half of Brevard County on Monday.

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