"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, June 17, 2012

Waiting for the Atmospheric Tsunami To Strike! But Wait, There's More

Atmospheric Precipitable Water Color Coded Values Forecast By the GFS Model for Thursday afternoon. Note the  "monsterTube Ride" offshore the Cape 10,000 Above ground. Purple is Deep Moisture with the greys and white almost off the charts full saturation from the ground to the jet stream level.
TODAY AND UNTIL GROUND ZERO: Not much really to chat about today since for the most part weather across the state will remain essentially dry rain wise outside of a very isolated shower through early to mid-week.

Forecast guidance is all showing that EVENTUALLY  moisture from the South will lift north, but much of the timing on this self-determined ' event' is greatly hinged on development of low pressure somewhere between the extreme SW Caribbean toward the Lower SW Gulf of Mexico. The more closed up the low pressure is, the longer it will take for moisture to get here. The more open it is,  the sooner.   Models are shifting from Wednesday to Thursday to as late as after NEXT weekend as of yesterday for moisture arrival up the state.

Additionally, where exactly one or more lows will form can also be tricky. For all we know, one could form near the Bahamas AND in the SW Gulf somewhere.

Thus, until the time of the moisture arrival occurs,  mostly from south to north, it's a guessing game until something happens. The only safe thing to say is that pretty much the weather will be non-eventful until that time.

For comparison's  sake:  Last year the arrival of deeper atmospheric moisture arrived in near perfect sync with the first astronomical day of Summer. This year, the Summer Sol - (Sun) - stice  is on June 20th at 7:09 PM  EDT. as it crosses the Tropic of  (Skin) Cancer. On this day, the sun is at it's peak height in the sky at appropriately deemed "High Noon".  In short, what this means is that moisture will not be here by the first day of summer this year. Interestingly, the Tropic of Cancer is not a fixed location either, but slowly moves over a period of years by a few 1/100s of degrees of Latitude.  On the other hand, this day will mark  the first official day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Of all things, interestingly, my Weather Channel Weather Guide Calendar does not have the first day of summer noted on it. I want a refund.  

 Why is this moisture arrival important? It will herald in the onset of the Florida 'wet season' not to be confused with the 'convective season' which has been experienced lately. With the wet season comes warmer overnight lows , higher afternoon humidity, and typically not quite as warm afternoon highs as those that can be experienced before the onset of this season. Afternoon highs across the state during the wet season always fall within a 'typical summer time regime' year after year. It's just a matter of time now. Also, although thunder storms and showers can be expected with greater continuity, they are not usually as strong due to less dry air in the mid levels , weaker to very very light winds aloft, and warmer temperatures aloft as well. In short, wet season regime storms are a high percentage of the time influenced primarily by sea breeze and lake breeze interactions without any real synoptic scale fronts. In the absence of fronts or well defined troughs, the key is the location of the low to mid level high pressure areas to the east. If the Atlantic/Bermuda high ridge axis is North of Central, most storms hit the west coast  ..and if South of Central, the east coast..and if dead across Central, the I-4 corridor is the hot location from Tampa to Daytona. South Florida often has a mind of its own with the additive factor of the Everglades and very light winds playing near the Okeechobee Lake Breeze boundary.

Talking about Atmospheric Tsunamis.  Actual Tsunamis leave a destructive and often deadly stamp on land, but they also make a surprising and poorly understood impression high above the Earth.  Now scientists are turning their gaze upward in the hunt for signs of these as-yet mysterious "atmospheric gravity waves" generated by tsunamis, in an effort to gather better data on the potentially devastating ocean-based waves and improve tsunami warning networks. They're using a familiar and ubiquitous tool — GPS — to do it.

"The tsunami very effectively generates atmospheric gravity waves, and because they're fast, those waves can effectively travel to the upper atmosphere ," said Michael Hickey, a physics professor and associate dean at Embry-Riddle.  Although not included in the article, it got me thinking about animals keenly detecting those waves and fleeing before humans are even aware of the impending surge  (outside of a warning system).

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