"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".

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Isolated Strong to Marginally Severe Storms Possible South Central Interior Late Today

Saturday Morning Sunrise as showers pass along the Gulf Stream waters just offshore

TODAY: Somewhat of a tricky forecast today considering how things have been molding toward since early morning. The tendencies of the level of instability and slightly increased moisture (more than anticipated earlier),  adumbrates that strong to severe thunderstorms could be in the offing today for a select location in SW and South Central Florida, possibly working even further north by early evening.

NOW: Flat out,, instability as of noon over portions of South Central Florida is extreme. That is, it is extremely unstable with CAPE approaching 5000 j/kg, and lifted indexes up to -9C. These values are on the far side of the scale from stable and up thru unstable to very unstable...higher than those.  Moisture levels are not quite up to yesterday's level of 2.0 -2.2" inches, ranging in the 1.8 -2.1" range with the highest moisture over SW Florida.  Showers in the now uncapped environment have developed along the west side of the intracoastal of Brevard, which all in all, is THE most unstable at this early hour. Some of these have some thunder.  However, all of this tremendous instability is only a potential, without a trigger it means little.  

TODAY: Believe showers will continue to form along the east coast sea breeze through early afternoon and develop into some thunder possibly quite soon (as of 12:00pm). There is very little in wind at the surface, and for the most part, winds aloft are close to unidirectional from the South to SSE..with a bit of a more SSW component toward the east coast in Volusia and Flagler Counties. However, from DAB and north the atmosphere exhibits very little potential  for even a rain shower to form, as has been the case all morning. Not sure if this will ever change. Hence, believe the best chance for the big activity today will be mostly along and South of I-4 other than much further north toward I-10. Things could change by late afternoon, but the area will have a lot of catching up to do.

LATER TODAY: East Coast sea breeze might not get all so far inland, perhaps as far as yesterday, if even. I'm starting to wonder considering ACTUAL data coming in is not matching up with what models are spitting out. As it now is trending..steering will be nearly parallel to I-95 South of the Beach-line and lean a bit toward the east North of the beach line.  However, it's only about 10 mph. This is significant because should any strong storms form and propagate further west over West Central and SW Florida..outflows could over-rule whatever steering exists.  Additionally, with the steering from this direction, storm outflows over South Florida might advect the deepest moisture Northward later today as they collapse. ASSUMING, that is, that they can even form.  There is a fly in the ointment for that area, as impressive as the values are. Namely, very poor mixing of the moisture with dry air as is see by the bulls eye of lower mixing ratios in the region of SW Florida. which extends N and east toward Daytona Beach. hard to bet mover than a rainshower started in this environment. But this could change quickly. Even now, rain showers refuse to form much further north into the green area into Daytona, and this might be why. Poor mixing of the moist and dry air.

Otherwise, the area not in the green is more primed to be rained on along and west of the East Coast Seabreeze. It is very slow to start today...and might take yet a while longer to get going. In fact, I'm not 100% sold on a lot of factors today, so today's post is a bit supposititious, angling toward the likelihood of storms. 

The other fly in the ointment is the sea breeze collision factor. Like noted before, we will need a trigger. Which sea breeze will be most eager to push inland or will they come out about equal as was the case yesterday? Activity should be able to get started along the side of the Okeechobee Shadow shortly, which has already become evident. The shadow (or clearing area) is showing to extend just west of due North through Okeechobee county as I type, and so far is inactive.  Storms could ignite on the east side of the shadow (less likely on the west side) and eventually outflows from those could meet the east coast sea breeze, in which case storms could end up even further east than expected currently.

This is my line of thinking as of noon for the period of noon (for showers in green) evolving into Thundershowers by 1-2pm and eventually thunderstorms, some strong to marginally severe after 4:30pm in the Central Portions... perhaps even later than that. As noted above, that area in SW Florida, although unstable as all get out...might have a hard time finding a trigger to set the area off. In other words, that area, as well as much of South Central, is powder keg of gunpowder waiting from someone to light the fuse. Overall, storm coverage will NOT be as high as this image might lead one to believe. But about 40-50% of this area might see rain at some time or another before the day is through...
It's is also a little ambiguous by which  it appears that, although activity 'should' be mostly isolated to scattered at some point in time over the interior, that this notion might be all for naught given some other factors are falling in line to indicate that there could be a very good coverage of storms and rain over western portions of South Central Florida late today. Again, the area in SW Florida has to be able to light up with storms, or much of today's reasoning is blown away...dust in the hot, humid, sea breezes of yore.

NATURE OF STORMS TODAY: Under the half-boiled idea that stronger storms will form, they would exhibit frquent to excessive lightning, winds in the 35-50mph range, and small hail. Only a few would exhibit these qualities. Not to be fooled, some stronger wind could occur well removed from any rain cores or even far away from lightning, particularly in the early evening toward the east side of the state north of Vero Beach toward Daytona and Ormond Beach. Scrambled might be more like it from the way this reads. The values out there being proven by actual data far surpasses what any model is showing though, so I'm going with the gusto today. I've even been a bit tempted to toss in waterspouts over the intracoastal, but chances are the early activity today won't make it over the rivers.. dust devils arent entirely out of the question in your favored Wal-Mart parking lot before 2pm though...

SIDE NOTE: There is the remote chance that right near 'prime time' for storms, much of the atmospheric moisture (PWAT air) could begin to depart the area. If this does occur, storm coverage will be significantly lower, as will storm strength. This has been shown to occur sometime close to 4 or 5pm.

Late afternoon storm passing near or over Orlando Metro as viewed from the Lone Cabbage Fish Camp in West Cocoa

TROPICS: Other than a tropical disturbance in the Antilles just east and south of Puerto Rico, there is just one more wave much further to the west. Neither of these waves is expected as of this morning to develop within the next 48 hours. After which point, conditions might become even more unfavorable for development, unless they roll into South America.

SUNDAY: It was believed earlier that today would hold hope for only isolated storms late in the day, and that notion (other than what I just went into detail to counter-literate), should be the same. Very little activity.

BEYOND: Holding true to form, the GFS is still bringing a more significant trough into the SE U.S. on Monday which should be felt first across North Central on Monday and the entire state or nearly so on Tuesday going into Wednesday. Strong storms, but isolated might be possible on these days, mainly over North and North Central Florida..although, my fear is that much of North Central (north of I-4) might mainly just be very hot, and lack a sea breeze trigger. We'll have to watch for that when the time arrives.

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