"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"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".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Afternoon Update Concerning Mid-Afternoon through Early this Evening

For those in the far eastern reaches of Florida this afternoon. An area of mostly showers and some lightning strikes has been progressing slowly eastward this afternoon from its point of origin along the west coast since early this morning. This area is being proceeded by an area roughly along and west of I-95 from Eastern Orange County southward toward Okeechobee County of increasingly instability with surface based CAPE from 2500-4000J/kG and lifted index of –4 to –7. This would quantify the air mass ahead of this line of showers as very unstable.
There is also two spots of strong low –level lapse rates toward Southern Brevard, Indian River, and St. Lucie Counties. Steering winds this afternoon are toward the NNE, and low level helicity is increasing along I-95 toward the Indian River corridor as Southerly winds blow northward and up the intracoastals.
There is becoming a small threat for waterspouts with activity later this afternoon along these waterways, should the activity manage to hold together upon reaching the  pseudo sea breeze/synoptic scale gradient flow and be forced on through it. It is too hard to determine if that will be the case today. Just keep your eyes pealed primarily for some possible lightning strikes and wind gusts up to 35-40mph in one or two strong storms, especially if it is on the approach after 4:00pm today. We can see in the image the NONSUPTOR values.
nonsuptor  = non supercell tornado. This is not to mean that it is even remotely close that mariners should watch for waterspouts today. There has not been any official notification through the National Weather Service concerning that prospect, but it does seem to be becoming that there is the chance considering how these values have been increasing the past two hours.

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Hoping Atlantis Can Hold Off Launch Until Sunday

LATEST SATELLITE IMAGE AT 10:00AM EDT. Clouds persist near the Launch Pad. Any breaks for sunlight this late in the morning will refill with clouds due to high atmospheric moisture content.  ORANGE: Thunder storm is possible, but not solely (most likely). Most likely near the Gulf Coast but a secondary area near Orlando is emerging past 2 hours now that the sun has risen  GREEN: Where it could sprinkle, shower, or pour rain today YELLOW LINE: Most activity North of the Line will for the most part be earlier, then much later as well  SOUTH of the Yellow Line: Activity will begin shortly toward noon and last through 6-7pm in various locations as things develop and move. See comments for Special Notes.

THE SCOOP: As can be seen below, strong TUTT low in Northern Gulf persists and is currently beginning to fade off to the WSW with time through tomorrow. Thus, today is a transition day of sorts. Weak inverted trough and tropical area of Interest (Invest) will unlikely develop into anything beyond its current state. But never say never. It appears it will be absorbed within its own inverted trough which extends toward the Big Bend at this time during the day. The area south of the yellow line in the image above has less cloud coverage since day break and is therefore most likely to become unstable heading toward noon, more ripe for a stronger rain-shower or thunderstorm. Blue arrows show the surface winds in general and the general storm motion as noted in the image. Storms / showers might have a hard time crossing to A1A in Central to North Brevard due to stronger surface winds up the intracoastal. However, winds aloft, even at lower levels, are pretty strong today and might be able to overcome the sea-breeze/combined gradient surface flow for activity to reach A1A after 3-5pm.

IN THIS IMAGE: Upper level TUTT (Tropical Upper Level Tropospheric Trough) like low has moved little since yesterday but is drifting a bit westward. Meanwhile Showers and some thunder continue along the immediate Gulf Coast as we can see in this recent radar overlay with the upper level winds. We see in the purple over Central Florida that there is divergence aloft as noted by the purple circular blob that was sketched in by the computer analysis tool automatically. I've sketched in orange where thunder could occur due to this divergence aloft, longer daytime heating in this area, and as noted with the red-dashed line, perhaps an outflow boundary to form as the storms near the Gulf Coast collapse and send a boundary out to the east. It is uncertain if anything behind some spotty rain showers can form over far SE Florida today. Very little is working in their favor, at least until nearly dark. Original image courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center's website.

TODAY: We all want Atlantis to launch in perfect order; however, for the supposed near ONE MILLION viewers in the area, it would be very disappointing. Cloud coverage comes and goes, and any brief window to form which would allow launch would be a mere peep hole, with a verybrief actual 'viewing time'. It's possible that showers in the area any way might preclude launch altogether anyway. No sayin' what will be the decision until we're down to the dirty. If delayed, it will be for 48 hours. Much better! Sunday morning looks to be altogether a better situation for innumerable reasons, although it would be inconvenient for the traveler.

Otherwise, mostly showers today, some heavy. Could be an isolated few thunderstorms in North Florida, perhaps  one or two in Central and/or North Central. The biggest impacts from activity today would be over Central Florida, perhaps if only in a heavy rain shower. This would be from downdraft winds that would translate the forecast 25-35mph winds not far above the ground to the ground. Thus, wind gusts could be 38mph in strong downdrafts of a thunderstorm, or around 25-30mph in a heavy rain-shower. Most activity should abate not long after dark as cloud cover will be vast and energy is sapped. SE Florida toward Dade/Broward/and South Palm Beach County could be in for an evening surprise, but so far it's almost a stretch to believe so. I've omitted an area NW of Lake Okeechobee that bears watching as well.

SATURDAY: Looks more like a mid-afternoon to early-mid Evening rain-shower and thunderstorm set up favoring the interior and toward the east coast with time. Afternoon temperatures will start to warm more with less cloud coverage during the earlier part of the day. Overall, storm type will be similar in all regions and possibly of greater coverage than today.

SUNDAY-MONDAY: Somewhat of a variable of Saturday, but with less activity.

BEYOND: There is still a frontal boundary well to the north of the state that is forecast to sink toward Southern Georgia AT LEAST by mid-late week. This will increase thunderstorm chances as opposed to predominant rain showers, but it's not a given. This would fit the bill though given the synoptic set up (all encompassing), as the moisture source will be partially modified by continental air aloft (and thus a little cooler and more unstable) rather than fully tropical in nature as it has been the past 2-3 days.

CONTINUED STORM CHANCES NEXT WEEK: Likely following a 2-3 day cycle, favoring different parts of the state in each cycle. No tropical entities worth mention outside of watching the area of interest in the Gulf of Mexico well west of Key West.

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