"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 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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