RECAP: No doubt about it, we got hot yesterday right along the coast before the sea breeze began around 1pm. The porch got up to 95F for a brief time. Most activity yesterday during day light hours was very widely scattered. It wasn't until after 6pm that the atmosphere seemed to get its act together for a mid-late evening show from Southern Volusia, various select parts of all of Brevard, and Osceola County down to near Rte 60. As anticipated the steering flow shifted to being from more of a NNW direction after sunset, as such some of the storms paralleled right down the A1A corridor from Cocoa Beach south and further inland over much of the south half of Brevard. The strongest storms were found over SE portions of Osceola County with other storm over extreme Southern Volusia and North Brevard. Wish this had all happened during daylight hours as a beautiful gust front was visible approaching from the north in Cape Canaveral during lightning flashes as a decaying area of storms descended south from Volusia and over the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge between 9:40-10:30pm. Would have made for a nice photograph. Included in this post is the radar image showing the dying storm just of where it reads "NASA". Shortly after this image was saved the storm had gone all green and lightning quickly abated in full.
TODAY: In sort of a quandary this morning since the 6AM KSC sounding came in suspiciously on the dry side with a PWAT of only 1.60" where as Tampa is over 2.22". Other little problems exist for much of East Florida from Daytona to Miami as well. The steering flow remains from the W-NW but is very light ...generally 10kts or less which would be much less likely to inhibit greater inland progression of the east coast sea breeze by mid afternoon. Additionally, an elongated cluster of showers and thunderstorms roughly over the Gulf Stream region in the Atlantic well off shore is spreading patches of high level cirrus over the coastal communities due to easterlies up at the jet stream level of the atmosphere. However, these clouds seem to be thinning with every passing hour since early morning over the Central and Northern portions, but appear to soon be on the increase further south especially from Ft Pierce on down the line. This could put a damper on late day thunderstorm activity around Lake Okeechobee under what would otherwise be the most likely region to see storms today. Perplexing. The NWS offices for this portion of the state are officially calling for a pretty good coverage of lightning storms later today down there with the possibility of waterspouts over the Big Lake or the intracoastal, but I'm not totally sold on that notion at this point. If I lived down there I'd be monitoring the sky for increasing high level cloudiness...the more of that there is the lesser the chances of storms...at least until early evening. Additionally, mid-upper level temperatures remain on the warm side which would result in later shower/storm initiation for the most part as well as preclude activity from being overly strong. But not to minimize, ANY lightning is dangerous lightning...and some of those storms last night were pretty active with it but not excessively so. Remember, it does not have to be raining at all to get a lightning strike right near by! It happens all the time.
Closer to more central portions of the state, the east coast sea breeze should start no later than 1pm (if it hasn't already while I'm typing this) ...I also am pondering the possibility that it will be somewhat more enhanced once it gets going (by 2:30-3:00pm) than one would normally assume due to out flow from collapsing storms that have been ongoing near the Gulf Stream region since very early this morning. Which reminds me...that region out there will need to be monitored CLOSELY during the next 24 hours for signs of a mid-level if not surface level low development (weak in nature)...which could eventually move in on the Florida East Coast. This is near the same region that the old mid-level (and once surface frontal boundary) was residing just to the north of here yesterday. Otherwise, a diffuse west coast sea breeze seems to just now developing which will move inland during the course of the afternoon. Very little activity (even less than yesterday at this time) is occurring over portions of North Central Florida.
Do not believe we will see any showers or storms along the developing East Coast sea breeze during the early afternoon hours other than a few sparse showers from Jupiter Inlet and points south along and west of I-95. Given that the deep cirrus deck has not yet moved in on the peninsula down that way, the other wild card in the deck is for the possibility of Lake/Atlantic Breeze boundary collision to occur anywhere along east sided shores of the lake before 3pm. Other than that....
Later today and tonight. Believe that overall shower/storm coverage over the peninsula will be on the 'lowish' side, at least initially until the 4-5pm time frame at least. After max heating and thus peak atmospheric instability has been reached storms could begin to form in earnest along either the west or east coast sea breeze boundaries. Much of things again will be contingent upon whether that high cirrus deck of clouds penetrates in on St. Lucie County and further north as well during the course of the mid-afternoon. Believe when push comes to shove that the east side of the state will eventually be the favored area for development anywhere from Jacksonville to Miami...could very well end up seeing a repeat of last nights show. Granted, that's a tough pill to swallow so mostly just throwing that one out as a possibility and not an apparent likelihood. Also note that I wrote this would be "the most favored area"...that's if and only if the cirrus doesn't move in and/or the east coast sea breeze doesn't suddenly start to make a bee line to the west during the mid-late afternoon.
TROPICAL TYPE WEATHER?: There's been a lot of conjecture about what good old TD5 is going to do in the next few days. Right now it remains a remnant low which now appears to be centered close to the Alabama-Georgia Border in the southern portion of those states, however latest radar loops and surface observations indicate that it may relocate to somewhere WNW of Panama City on the Florida Panhandle. There has been much talk in the weather world about this system regaining depression and maybe tropical storm status. At this point, I'm thinking it just MIGHT become a depression once again if it can sustain enough (if any) time and distance over the Gulf waters and away from the coast. I'm thinking that this will not be the case..but the mid-level low associated with this system could actually get its act together good enough to provide the Gulf Coast region from the Florida Panhandle-Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana with some serious rainfall totals when all is said and done. There could be a return visit for the Louisiana Big Toe area. In fact, this entire system could get caught up in an approaching trough and be dragged over the same areas it visited the past few days - a full loop-de-loop. Supposedly, it will eventually get caught up in the trough and be history..but I'm not even sold on that notion! It could revisit again in another loop. Fun to watch and speculate over in any case.
But what about off the Florida Coast as mentioned above? As mentioned earlier, some form of tropical activity could be in the making 100-200 miles off the Florida East coast during the next 12-36 hours. We'll have to watch this as it could have a significant impact on the weather from any where from Flagler County south to Dade County from late Tuesday night through Wednesday...so for now..the reality of the situation is that that time frame is up for grabs. (as he thanks the fact that this is an unofficial blog post and can get away with 'forecast murder'). Said in jest of course.
More to write about tomorrow but watch the sky in a NW-N direction today, particularly as we approach the early evening hour!