On this day in Central Florida weather history the worst hailstorm in Florida history struck the
Orlando area just three weeks after another one of the worst hailstorms in Central Florida history ( 3/6/92). Hail up to baseball size hit the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the vast greenhouse areas in western Orange County, crippling the nursery industry in the area. Damage was estimated at 60 - 100 million dollars. Smaller hail also fell in North Florida and as far South as Miami. Thunderstorm winds destroyed a citrus packing plant near Groveland in Lake County, injuring eight. The largest official hailstone recorded was 3.00" at the UCF - the third largest Florida hailstone on record, but residents reported larger hail that melted. While it will remain debatable whether the largest hail of all time fell in this storm (that distinction - 4 1/2"- belongs with the 3/30/95 Polk Co. hailstorm), it was clearly the costliest hailstorm in Florida history.
SYNOPSIS: Frontal system is taking shape over the Deep South this morning which trails into the Gulf of Mexico. High pressure east of Florida which passed overhead yesterday will continue an eastward push into the Atlantic as the front approaches the state later today and into tonight.
TODAY: It got down to 65 degrees on the porch this morning. Very pleasant! Lots of thin high clouds to start the day will gradually thicken as we work into the post-noon hours. Mid level clouds will also begin to enter the picture. Wind will be initially ESE-SE at about 5 mph and gradually veer to southerly and eventually SSW by sunset increasing to 10-15mph . Highs today will be around 76 along the coast and a few degrees even warmer west of US1. It may actual warm right along the coast as the wind makes the gradual shift to the SSW late in the afternoon near sunset.
TONIGHT: By sunset it will be completely cloudy with a SSW-SW wind around 10-15mph. By sunset rain showers and thunderstorms will be approaching the west coast from Sarasota northward. These will shift eastward across the state and begin to affect Brevard by 9pm. Initially as very light right in a few scattered locations, but increasing in coverage and intensity through the evening and over night. Thunder is very possible...and some storms might even be somewhat strong. Small hail in fact is not out of the question with the strongest of storms, but most likely any impact from the strong ones will be wind gusts. That's not saying that any one location..or any location for that matter will be hit by one of these, but the possibility for one to generate will exist.
FRIDAY: With a low in the low-mid 60s it could very well be raining at sunrise, or if not raining completely cloudy. The clouds won't be in a big hurry to move out...at least not until noon time or shortly thereafter. Temperatures could then rise into the upper 70s area wide if we can eke out some sunshine early enough.
SATURDAY: ...this day continues to be the primo day of the week. A little cooler with the 'by the skin of our teeth' passage of the frontal barrier passing on. Widely scattered clouds with a high in the mid 70s...but a few degrees cooler right along A1A as winds will regain their onshore component. All in all, a very nice day with no rain once the morning dribbles move out (assuming there will be some).
SUNDAY: Nice to start the day...but the next storm system will be approaching. The first half of the day...if not into late afternoon will be stellar and a little warmer than Saturday. But that next storm system will generate a repeat performance of what tonight's system will do...maybe even a little more active by mid evening.
MONDAY: "Waiter, what's that fly doing in my soup?" Waiter: "Looks like the back stroke to me". And yes in deedy...there will be a fly in the ointment for this forecast time frame as models are widely divergent as to what will become of the system. We have two options...everything moves out by noon or it hangs around until Tuesday morning. Let's just go with a middle of the road option (which I REALLY hate to do),...and have the rain chance dwindle to zero by late afternoon. In any case, Monday looks to be far from stellar - - much unlike Saturday.
TUESDAY: By noon Tuesday the slate will be whipped clean and we'll be on the road toward a prolonged dry period with comfortable temperatures right around the climatological norm. Enjoy. We might not see rain again for nearly a week...if even then!