Images: First image shows the current lightning activity as of 7AM focused around Tampa Bay and over the Gulf Of Mexico. Also shown in this image is where there is a small chance of hearing thunder today within the bounds of fuschia colors, within the light blue colors is where I'm expecting a better chance of general thunderstorms, and within yellow is where some stronger storms "could" occur today between 1pm -4pm. Also included is the image from yesterday's post for today's forecast. Not too much of a difference between yesterday and today. The area in the second image over Volusia/Flagler was being considered for last night (yesterday). Indeed, some storms did approach this area between 8:00-10:00pm.
RECAP: Most everything unfolded as expected yesterday initially. The 925mb winds from the south overspread the western Panhandle and far south Alabama. Some tornadoes were reported in these locations as was expected might happen when those winds overspread this region.
We can also see there was a large number of strong to severe strength wind reports and damage related to those winds (where the little palm tree icons are). The stronger gusts over Florida are not aligned quite right. Those occurred primarily from near Orlando NNE toward St. Augustine where gusts were in the 40-50mph range (strong).
After the stronger winds aloft pulled out of the area over North Florida the squall line sank south as an Outflow Boundary minus the upper level support later in the afternoon. The storms over Orlando toward Flagler county were associated with sea breeze convergence induced storms and not the squall line activity other than up by St. Augustine. The line could have also sank south as more of a reflection of colder air aloft sinking south, reflected at the surface on the leading edge by the well organized line of weak convection that moved into all of Central Florida later in the evening.
NOW: Thunderstorms are occurring as I type of the Tampa Bay region, with a broad area of light to moderate rain spread across most of North Central Florida at this time. Everyone over most of Brevard west to near Sarasota and north will soon be in the rain, some heavy, with some lightning (mostly aloft) by 10AM. Not expecting this activity to be strong early today. Actually, we see below the storms have already cleared the Tampa Region now that I go back and look one more time before making this post. Can probably discount any chance of thunder today other than where the strongest potential area was drawn in the image above.
TODAY: Most of the area of some thunder and a better chance of it will be getting overrun by cloudiness, preventing surface based destablization. However, it is also in most of this area that the best wind and voriticity fields, as well as mid-upper level thermodynamic profiles exist. Further south in the potential 'strong' storms area wind fields are not as supportive, but surface based instability combined with cold upper level temperatures, although not as cold as those further north, are still cold enough to support strong wind gusts in the 40-50mph range as well as pellet to peanut M&Ms sized hail, maybe even big as large gumballs (worst case). There might by one or two storms that COULD produce said criteria.
Outside of the storm 'potential' (stressing that word), much of Central Florida will be in light to moderate rain through early-mid afternoon as upper level energy at various levels passes overhead, coupled with cold air aloft and moderate instability. The actual cold front has just cleared Tallahassee. Rains will end on the west side of the state first with ending of the rain from North and west toward the East and South with the east coast from Central Brevard to the Keys being the last to clear of those rain chances between 4pm -7pm.
There could also be a good break in the rains over Central early to mid-afternoon, but the actual cold front still has a lot of energy associated with it, so lifting mechanisms will likely produce a line of showers passing through once again before all is said and done during those hours noted above. Not expecting any thunder with those showers at this time, but it is possible. Not really expecting this 'second round' over far Southeast Florida by the time it gets down there tonight. In general, the front will be crossing all of Central to South Florida between 1pm -7pm.
TONIGHT: Following the front tonight will be WNW-NW winds of 12-20mph with some stronger gusts up until about midnight. Lows will fall into the mid-upper 40Fs and closer to the lower-mid 50s further south.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON/SATURDAY: Winter returns, sort of. It will feel cold Friday morning and just too darn cool during the day with winds expected to remain somewhat elevated in the 10-20mph range from the WNW-NW, perhaps gusting to 25mph during the afternoon under full sunshine. Lows temperatures will be colder further north, looking at some 30Fs. Saturday looks to be the coldest statewide, with everyone sharing the wealth in regards to it feeling too darned cold, relative to what one is used to in their region, especially since it's been so warm lately (above average). Could be seeing upper 40s as far south as the Southern Tip of the state. Afternoon highs on Friday I'm fearing will struggle to break 63F degrees with cold air advection still in place, and of course warmer south and colder north. Saturday the wind won't be nearly as strong, and early spring sun angle should warm things up considerably (probably make it feel warmer than it actually will be in wind protected areas). Likely not a cloud in the sky.
SUNDAY-MONDAY: Very cool morning lows, with gradually moderating afternoon highs. Returning to near normal on Tuesday or Wednesday. There are hints that we might have another shot of showers/storms on Tuesday, but will discard at this time. Factors just don't seem lined up well enough, and there is no consistency between models. Also opting and singling the next system out because ever since the GFS started showing this entity, it has progressively been slacking off on its impacts to the state.