"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".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scattered to Numerous Showers/Storms West and Southwest Florida Today

Satellite image from 9:15AM this morning. An area of tropical interest is now centered somewhere almost due east of Sebastian Inlet. This area is anywhere from where it is show above to another 50-80 miles further east. It's not really a closed circulation. That area shown is mainly in the mid-levels. The low level circulation is far removed from the thunderstorms and has moved little since shortly after midnight roughly east of West Palm Beach.

TODAY; Not really going to delve into details, since the biggest difficulty today was trying to determine where it is LEAST likely to rain (at least more than a quick passing shower) today.  Virtually every model is handling the precipitation fields differently, so I'll run with the memory banks under similar set ups in the past.

FAVORABLE FACTORS FOR RAIN: Sunshine and lots of atmospheric moisture across the peninsula  However, the sunshine is highly 'filtered' and not impressive.

CONS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA: Descending air on the west side of this weak circulation combined with high pressure trying to build in from the north should suppress most immediate coastal activity by early afternoon. NE winds to pick up which will pile up the shallower moisture toward the West side of the state...especially over SW Florida where circulations are very weak, as well as near Lake Okeechobee due to Lake breezes 'converging' the moisture, namely toward Western Broward/Dade Counties and over toward Collier. Otherwise, filtered sunshine for most of East Central Florida today if not most everyone.

OUTLIER: There is a chance that some stronger outflows from the west side  could penetrate back toward the East very late today and result in some thunderstorms  in western Orange and Osceola Counties. But the majority of the rains today for Central Florida will fall west of the spine of the state.

These areas seem to be the most likely to get the rains, with spotty showers as shown closer to the east coast. The area that gets even more difficult though is around Palm Beach County where surface winds are lighter and Lake Breezes might be able to compensate...west of I-95. The weak circulation can be seen if you know how to read the wind barbs east of Boynton Beach. The mid level circulation is nearly off to the east of this chart and totally not 'stacked' with the surface circulation.  

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Rather than going at length into discussion at how the various models agree or disagree, believe it best to sum it up in saying that the weather for much of East Central Florida, particularly South Central will be sketchy at best the next 2-3 days. I will continue to ride with the general idea of the Good For Something (GFS), since it has faired well the past two weeks.  It is also a bit in agreement with the NAM (for a change) in the next few days. That being, a trough in the mid-levels should persist from just off SE Florida toward the ENE-NE out into the Atlantic. The North Half of the state will remain nearly rain-free the next few days, where'as from near Cape Canaveral to Brooksville  and south there is a chance of showers at almost any time (showers in Canaveral and more likely thunder the further west one gets).  

The hurricane center is monitoring the situation just off shore the Florida coast, but expects that no significant organization will occur in the next 48 hours.  Meanwhile, a  big change in the pattern over the U.S. is expected this week. This would mean an end to the big heat wave over the Central Plains states as a series of vigorous short wave troughs 'ridge ride' across it through the Dakotas toward Minnesota and into the NE States, generating severe weather episodes along the way all across the Northern Tier of states. This will effectively wear the ridge down and begin to carve a broad trough toward the eastern U.S. Coast Line. 

As that trough develops the area of interest (Invest) is then pictured to be absorbed within that trough and be sheared off toward the NE by late this coming week.  A more normal thunderstorm pattern is then anticipated to commence heading toward late Wednesday or Thursday. However, a lot will depend in this regard on how well the trough digs along the East Coast. If this powerful ridge of high pressure over the Plains persists as it has for a week now...all bets are off..and the low pressure area to the east of Florida is free to continue to meander until there's a reason for it to move, or even develop into something more significant like a depression or tropical storm (not expecting that to occur).

There is a reason that if it does meander it will be scooted toward the West though coming late week. The GFS is quite confident that not one but two TUTT lows (Tropical Upper Level Tropospheric Troughs) will move across the Caribbean from the mid-Atlantic toward mid-late week. These would shear and dry out the disturbed area if it is still in place. In fact, last night the GFS tried to form one of this TUTT lows right over Florida?!

Interesting that the 18hr RUC model tries to open that area well off to the east into an open wave and bring it into Florida tomorrow?!!! That's the outlier by FAR right now...and not buying into it. So far, there has been no indication of the area doing that OTHER THAN that convection on radar has weakened quite a bit since sunrise...but that might just be a diurnal/tropical affect.

Otherwise, closer to home, the north 1/2 of the state other than the Panhandle area looks to dry out for a number of days after today if all goes according to model consensus plans. Just have to see, but that's the quick and dirty on the 'quick and dirty'.

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