"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".

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oppressive Warmth - Thunderstorms With Heavy Rain Possible Late Afternoon

Very typical, tropical-like thunder'shower' near the Merritt Island wild-life refuge at noon today. This light, short-lived activity did produce just a few lightning strikes (maybe 2 or 3); however, all lightning strikes that hit ground, no matter how weak the shower or storm is otherwise, is extremely dangerous.

TODAY: In general, pretty close to a classic summertime afternoon is in progress, with high humidity and overall high atmospheric moisture content across all of North Central through South Florida (PWAT 2.0 -2.2"). Additionally, the atmosphere is nearly uncapped everywhere with moderate to high instability in place. In response to the absence of a cap and the instability, rain and thundershowers are free to form along any wind boundary generated by a body of water--be it lake or sea. The image above I suspect shows a thundershower likely creasted by low level moisture convergence of the Atlantic combined with the winds of the intracoastal over the swampy land near the wild life refuge.  Other showers and some thunderstorms are over far South Florida which began as early as 10:00am this morning and might be on their last leg until late today shortly. Showers that look like the photo below from a distance can generate lightning...even at a near by location where rain is not falling.

THIS AFTERNOON: More showers and thundershowers will form in renegade fashion wherever there is a lake or sea breeze boundary to be found, in pockets. As such, the will be scattered along these boundaries but otherwise very isolated to nonexistent.  Things will change I suspect after 4:00pm as the east coast sea-breeze should pick up momentum from the SSE-SE with the west coast sea-breeze laying closer to that coast, especially south of Tampa Bay (south of the ridge axis which is across Central Florida somewhere, meandering).

LATE AFTERNOON: With peak heating of the day subsiding, and boundaries now in full outward and forward throttle mode, collisions of Lake and Sea Breeze will becoming more likely...with newer and stronger activity evolving and subsequently generating new boundaries to the mix of greater forward motion. Thus, the strongest activity will be the last few storms of the day which I suspect will occur between 5:30pm to 8pm (as usual).

SOUTH FLORIDA: Early day activity should be on the wane shortly over far South Florida except near Lake Okeechobee. This area might have time to recover toward Dade County this afternoon to have a relapse in the early evening west of town.

NORTH FLORIDA: A lot of the activity here will be generate from the Gulf Breeze with less atmospheric moisture at should be a bit more isolated except toward the west half of the Panhandle.

CENTRAL. Strongest activity should be focused late toward Tampa Bay and over toward Lake County, Polk County, and possibly into West Orange and Seminole. Outflows could back build activity after 7pm toward Central Osceola County (northern), and Orange. Additional activity which could be meandering around for a while near Ocala and SE toward the West side of Sanford seems possible as well. By late afternoon the A1A corridor might start to cloud up a little mid from mid-level debris clouds floating lazily into the area.

STORMS LATE TODAY: Note I have used the verboten word of old, "thundershower', today. There's really no better way to describe what I'm seeing out there right now. Hardly quantifying as a 'storm' with the caliber of prolonged flooding rains, strong wind, hail..etc. REGARDLESS: Any of today's activity will have the potential to create lightning, which does not discriminate. Late afternoon, now there's your thunderstorms. I've drawn in red where I'm thinking that as of noon time those seem to be most likely.

But, like any  that time..5-6 hours from now, things may change. The only real change I foresee now would be to shift that red area a bit more to either the west or east. That is because it will depend on how far west and how strong the east coast sea breeze is by early evening. Note that the latest short term ACTUALS does have activity to move in a general NNW direction, although the latest guidance is also showing that by late afternoon that motion could change to be from toward the NNE across the inland areas and along the depth of east coast sea breeze westward penetration..which will probably be close to Orlando ...north/south. This could bring activity into Western Volusia/Flagler (perhaps as well).

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Could be a down ward trend in activity with a similar pattern in regard to timing of storm initiation and location throughout the day...just less of it. There is more moisture in the atmosphere than was forecast though, so with that in mind we'll have to see how much moisture is around again tomorrow morning and Sunday...things might go even lower on Monday...before an uptick heading toward mid-week or July 26th/27th time frame, but see the next paragraph in those regards.

TROPICS: There is a tropical wave being monitored by the Hurricane Center over the Caribbean moving west to west northwest. So far, none but one model believes this wave will amount to anything more that as a focal point for increasing shower and thunderstorm activity. One model has tried to form it into a depression which then passes just east of the Florida East coast next week, but at this time that appears very unlikely to occur given what the long range models have consistently shown the pattern to be since way before the inception of this area of interest. That being, the Atlantic Ridge Axis being in firm control into Florida until a trough from the north (as mentioned in a post nearly 5 days ago)...breaks it down. This could be the reason the one model (NOGAPS) lets it curve northward.  But latest on those models shows no breakdown to occur until after this wave is west of the state.  Whether it does so or not, it could mean an increase in rain chances for the Southern 1/3 of the state next week....unless of course, it decides to curve more toward the NW-NNW on Sunday or Monday. Something to watch is about what it sums up to be for now.

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