TODAY: There is actually some synoptic scale features over and near Florida today on this first day of August other than the Bermuda high pressure ridge or a hurricane. That being, there is a mid level trough axis over North Florida responsible for pre-dawn thunderstorms there. In this image, you can see the resultant clouds from those storms moving into the Gulf, but some more clouds might be on the way there.
Further south, the surface ridge feature is over South Florida with the mid-level ridge just south of Dead Central Florida. Overall though, all of these features are 'weak' in regard to the wind fields associated with them. Similarly, the thermal gradient (temperatures) aloft with them are also weak to zero in regard to how they have changed from the past two days. There is more moisture over the state today than yesterday in that is spread out a bit more, but parts of South Central and South Florida are drier (but not by any means 'dry') than further north.
NOW: North Florida was over wrought with pre-dawn thunderstorms and the clouds from them are just now moving out. They have a lot more de-stabilizing to do to see the Storm Wheels turning. Parts of South and South Central had more dense cirrus clouds over those areas earlier, so they have not yet de-stabilized enough to get even a cumulus cloud. On the other-hand, South Florida was free of the high clouds and already has a light sea breeze going. Net result-showers have gone up near the coastline of Southeast Florida. Elsewhere, the most unstable atmosphere lies roughly across Central Florida from just north of I-4 (Daytona) to just North of the Beachline (Titusville). The cloud line forming from that can be seen on satellite imagery, but I suspect part of that line is due to a remnant outflow boundary from the storms that were further North very early today. Aloft, not much has changed, but the 500mb temperature (that around 20,000ft) seems to have cooled a degree or two while 700mb is holding on to the summertime norm of 10C...at least 'the norm' for the past two years, which is actually a bit warm..not conducive for severe weather most of the time.
FORECAST: Firstly, I'm doing this post now, because I suspect that with the showers along the SE Florida coast, and likely some soon over North Central Florida, ao that instead of waiting until the atmosphere gets organized enough to show something definitive...might as well go ahead and write something up...namely because there is no 'definites' today. Please keep that in mind.
Believe the first thunder today will be over interior SE Florida followed shortly or coincidentally with some activity over far North Central Florida. Activity should increase during the course of the afternoon and send out boundaries to create more storms. The east coast sea breeze will stay very close to the coast today north of Canaveral, and possibly make it as far west as I-95 South of the Cape, but remain light. Likewise, winds aloft are from the SW toward the NE today for steering but are only around 10mph or less; in other-words, all things are equal to making for very slow storm motion toward the NE, if even. Believe that boundary interactions and propagation (formation of storms along those boundaries) will over come any steering in place. Thus, storm motion in the synoptic sense is nearly irrelevant and impossible to predict. Given the weak sea breeze today, storms could propagate back to A1A where the sea breeze is last to develop, namely north of West Palm or Ft. Pierce.
The strongest storms will occur where two (or more) boundaries interact combined with the late afternoon most unstable conditions ...located in areas that have remained rain free and the most cloud free as well, which could on the Eastern Interior Side of the state. The Lake Breeze might also become a big player, so would not at all be surprised to see a Double Whopper exit off the East coast between Vero to Melbourne Beach by 8pm tonight.
Given the slow storm motion, and Precipitable Water (PWAT) air of 2.1" plus or minus a 1/10 of an inch or so, the most organized pockets of storm producing moisture could also drop that value back to earth, resulting in Classic Late Afternoon , Mid-Summer Like Conditions in those locations most suitable for skim boarding down main street or before that time, catching some lightning bugs (bolts) from the safety of a fully enclosed home away from windows and corded video game consoles, or in a car with the windows rolled up. Some stronger wind could occur in the heaviest downpours right as storms begin to collapse, mainly about 2 miles west (or more) from the sand dunes of the Atlantic along the North Central to South Central Coast of the Atlantic. If storms become more numerous over North Central early this afternoon, the outflow from them will cover more territory, and result in a larger number of strong storms over Central to South Central Florida after 5pm which might very well be able to creep toward the ENE on their own accord.
TUESDAY-THURSDAY: More storms..most likely with the crux of the activity southward with time ..but not in full. It does appear that North Florida might be out of the game for a day or two in the next few days..possibly as far south as Ormond Beach or Daytona after Tuesday or Wednesday. A lot will depend on the tropics beyond that time.
TROPICS: Some readers might be interested in yet one more point of view about what this writer is thinking about the disturbance in the Caribbean, so he won't disappoint. Like the intent of these writings is meant, it is first and foremost meant to not mislead, sticking straight to facts; and guesses are presented as that.
There has yet to be a tropical cyclone identified, so it would be a bit mis-leading to make statements about what I think will happen one week from now, no? But I can present some facts, and take it from there. 1) the area in question is small; 2) It has yet to organize fully, but is on the brink of it and might become a 'low' anytime. Satellite animation looks like it already is, but it's all in the mid-levels; 3) Will it EVER be a low at all, since earlier projections by some models showed it would not? Worth considering; 4) If it takes too long, it will interact with the Great Antilles (Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic/Cuba) perhaps as a weak storm or only a depression. This would weaken it back to 'wave' status. 5) Is there sheer present in the near future? Not really, no. Water temperatures are warm enough too. It may be that there was two areas as was observed yesterday, so they may have been competing with each other. One of those seems to be gone now.
6) Could it hit Florida? Yes. One projection, which frankly looks better than 1/2 baked, is for the complex to cross Florida as a slow moving inverted trough (after conflicts with Cuba)..and to nearly stall over the state. Try forecasting that to occur one week in advance!
So what this leaves us with is, what has to happen for it to become a strong and potentially dangerous tropical entity? It has to either begin to move a tad more toward WNW or stay way south and go south of the Dominican Republic. In that case, it would need to avoid all but the western tip of Cuba, then perhaps be drawn northward (it's a long story as to why that could happen..but the signs are there by later this week to make that happen)...then lift northward and pass west of the Florida Keys. Not entirely out of the question out all.
On the other hand, if it goes north of the Lesser Antilles (namely the Leeward Islands)...it could be steered more toward the Southern Bahamas. Keep in mind, this storm is very small right now. In fact, given the current model forecasts which is pretty much all of them in regard to size..it equates to tracking a very large thunderstorm...not unlike tracking a needle in a haystack. Thus, to move forward with a projected path at this point with a storm that has not yet formed has nothing to gain/merit, and everything to lose both from the writers and the potentially threatened recipient's perspective ( of that information).
Ever tried threading a needle blind folded?
NEAR FUTURE INFO FOR DISGESTION: Do you ever wonder where all those islands like the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Lesser Antilles, The Greater Antilles, the Netherland Antilles, the Leeward Islands, and the Windward Islands that those guys on TV talk about as if everyone were a geography major, but were just too lazy or intimdated (to admit you didn't know) to figure it out? All this "Tropics Speak" finally got the best of me, so I did the leg work for you. Will post about that likely tomorrow..with an image or two. Simple as "'put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up..'"