The above image highlights the ongoing, over-souped with moisture, air mass quality over Florida today. Much of the moisture in the mid-upper levels is over-flow from the Bay of Campeche area associated with thunderstorm activity there which is getting caught up along an inverted trough extending toward Florida; thus, the partly to mostly cloudy sky (except SE Florida this morning). Another interesting feature is what appears to be some sort of 'vortex' embedded in the prevailing easterlies in the tropic north of Puerto Rico. This area looks very organized, for what it's worth, but does not appear to be fully tropical in nature. Not development is expected. The area in The Bay of Campeche (BOC) appears to be in nomination of Tropical Depression status, if not a very brief Tropical Storm. However, if elected, it will be running a very short term of office...in Mexico.
Zooming in closer to the state of Florida:
TODAY: "Same Old Story,Same Old Song and Dance"...just a different verse in a different key. But most will hear "Rainy Days and Tuesdays Always Get Me Down". Extensive cloudiness is in place over Central Florida but SE Florida has cleared out nicely, for a short time. The clearing skies will be the catalyst to start of thunderstorm in this area, with a prevalent but weak northward push.
Steering currents are quite light from the SSW-S - SSE today around the ridge axis, and will have little bearing today in the long run. When push comes to shove, storms that do form will move little more than 5-10 miles in their life span. Expect that collapsing outflows will send further storm growth toward the N-NW with time...with storm debris laying low around any side of Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach and Okeechobee Counties (for example) after an early to mid-afternoon round of thunderstorms. Debris clouds will spread east and north with time toward Central Florida coastline communities, with some light rain possible.
Could be some localized flooding of South Florida today, but it appears the longest duration of heavy rains might occur in mostly rural areas away from the coast. Lightning and careful driving are about the only precautions really, but given that clouds have cleared there pretty nicely (at least so far)...some stronger storms could put out some stronger winds in the down pours. A wet microburst (a short period of strong wind in heavy rain) or two in the strongest storms could occur.
SOUTH CENTRAL: Storms also possible in this area near the East Coast..possibly toward Vero Beach..with a storm or two further north. The greatest concentration will be well west of I-95 from 3pm and beyond.
NORTH CENTRAL: This area seems to be the least likely to have storms today. But note the ***DISCLAIMER at the end of this post. Mostly cloudy North Central today.
NORTH FLORIDA/PANHANDLE: Best chance of strong, late afternoon and early -mid evening thunderstorms.
OVERALL: Most folks today will not have a thunderstorm over head today, but might be able to hear thunder. A larger portion of folks will receive rain from thunderstorm debris (three fold). Most folks north of SR 60 and east of I-95 might not see any rain today (or north of Vero Beach). There could still be isolated thunderstorms though north of Vero just west of I-95 with the weaker sea breeze. Most thunder will be over by 8:30pm other than over North Florida.
|NOTE CAPTIONS IN COLORED TEXT ASSOCIATED WITH EACH CORRESPONDING AREA|
***DISCLAIMER: Much of the weather today over Central Florida will be contingent upon how well the clouds break up. It is possible that some showers and storms could sprout out regardless. If so, these storms will move little from their point of origin during their brief but heavy life span. If clouds break up more than expected, much of this post in regard to 'coverage' north of a line running from Vero Beach toward Tampa will need to ramped up substantially to include higher coverage toward I-4, including inland Osceola, Orange, and Western Brevard.
WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: There is a weak surface boundary/front forecast today to move well into the Southeast states by tonight. This front and the associated upper level trough could provide a change in steering currents on Wednesday for a more typical thunder storm regime (albeit..a bit modified)....for Wednesday and/or Thursday wit plentiful moisture still in place. Believe Wednesday and Thursday will play a different song than the same one of yesterday and today.
BEYOND: A lot will depend on what happens in the Bay of Campeche
Beyond that time, this would mean that a change toward more cloud free skies could be in place for the weekend. Models vary between a more prevalent SSE-SE flow across the state, favoring the west side for late afternoon thunderstorms..or that of a generic inland late day thunderstorm regime (with storms away from either coast other than Tampa Bay). But first, the system in the Gulf (and the mechanisms driving it)...need to move on out.