Images: (1) First image shows a quick-n-dirty plot of tropical storm and hurricane tracks across Florida during the past approximately 150 years. Not exact, but you get the picture. If we included tropical depressions into the mix its almost impossible to find the state of Florida. (2) Schematic overlay of dew-point temperatures with isobars and surface wind barbs (4) At the same time, the general 700 mb level winds (3) 11am visible satellite image
RECAP: Surface front has made it to the area shown in the second image where dew-points go from green to light blue. Upon watching animation of these parameters it appears the front has got about as far south as it will get, very close to the approximation made in the post yesterday of where it would end up used as an example. The Tampa Bay area seems to be a pivot point with the front over toward Brevard waivering up and down a bit toward the south end of the county. Looks like high pressure is trying to wedge into NE Brevard behind what will eventually be an inverted trough to form off the coast later today which will meet the shoreline near West Palm Beach. If it forms nicely, we might see a pick up in ENE-NE winds near the Cape later today accompanied by more of a cool down, but this is very circumstantial and of no impact either way.
Otherwise, we can see from the forecast plot of the 700mb winds that the flow aloft is uniformly from WSW-SW, stronger across North Florida where the wind (along with cold air aloft) is acting as a mid-level lifting mechanism to generate some heavy rainshowers and even some elevated thunderstorms from time to time well north of the surface front near where the boundary around 2800Ft exists. Jacksonville had thunder last hour while the temperatures were in the upper 40s.
Overnight, that region was issued a severe thunderstorm warning, and severe sized hail of 3/4" was reported near Newberry (Alachua County)...falling for 2 minutes.
TODAY: Stationary front across Central Florida late this morning, and there it will stay (given that it is 'stationary' after all) through today and tonight until near sunrise Friday. This is a very, very shallow boundary and only extends a thousand or so feet upward. The front around 2800 ft is further north where the rain showers have been ongoing since sunrise as we can see by the more dense coverage of clouds across North Florida. In essence, the surface boundary is little more than one huge outflow boundary from the continental cold air mass which encompassed much of the country the past 48 hours which is undercutting all the mid and upper level features. There are no dynamics with this boundary, so expect that today we'll see abundant high and some mid level clouds from time to time carried by the prevalent upper level winds but little more.
Warm over all of South Florida with upper 70s to near 80F or so down there (maybe even upper mid 80s in small area), with temperatures in the boundary zone itself anywhere from the low to mid 60s (NE coast of Central) to low to mid 70s. Cooler further north toward extreme North Brevard toward Ormond Beach and much cooler to almost cold across the Panhandle. Not looking for any rain other than where it currently exists now. In fact, as I type the temperature near the KSC land strip is in the low 60s, whereas at Port Canaveral it's almost 70F. Melbourne is 75F and Ormond Beach is 59F.
TONIGHT/FRIDAY: The surface boundary will lift north right around sunrise with a SSE -S wind to follow by late morning. Temperatures warmer most notably where the front is at today and to the north, whereas South Florida remains status quo in the temperature category since the front will have never been that far south to begin with. No rain that I can tell.
SATURDAY: Weak surface low developing NW of the Yucatan Peninsula looks like it will cross the Panhandle near Tallahassee with a trailing cold front to enter the Central and Southern Peninsula late in the day into the evening. I'm taking thunderstorm chances out from what looked like a previous meager chance in the first place the past two days. But still, clouds could be an issue. Even rain chances look weak, but not entirely discountable just yet (but I'm tempted). I'm hedging toward preferentially opting on more sun than clouds this day for the afternoon. Either way, no rain except as noted above.
SUNDAY: Cooler most everywhere, but not by much, 5F degrees or so, but continued cooler north Florida once the low tracks across the Panhandle and pulls the front through. I'm going optimistic for the majority of the day with partly cloudy skies.
Beyond Sunday afternoon. Not waiting for the latest GFS to come out, but will say that at this time a 'zone' could be set up "somewhere" across Central Florida for rapidly deteriorating sky conditions with rain chances entering the picture after dark through Monday. Still many many more model runs to go before then, so not wasting time to elaborate on a scenario that is unlikely to unfold as is being currently portrayed, or if it does the location of it will change.
BEYOND SUNDAY: Looks at this time that the strong high pressure at the surface upward through aloft over a part of Cuba into the SW Atlantic might finally grow weary of fighting continued attempts by mid-upper level systems trying to erode it from the west and northwest. It's been South and Central Florida's saving grace for quite some time. All good things come to end at some point, which means we could be in for a cool down sometime later Monday into Tuesday, with reinforcements through the end of the week next week. So far, it doesn't look like we'll see anything unusual though which is a relief as far as the temperature goes. So in that regard, we're good to go through Monday.
As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Week 2011 in Florida, today is Hurricane (Tropical System) and Flooding Awareness Day. The following is the information distributed through the National Weather Service in Melbourne in a Public Information Statement this morning. Note that this states "Hurricane" awareness, but the emphasis in regards to heavy rain is on a Hurricane turned Tropical Storm. Also, tornadoes associated with Hurricanes can occur well away from a hurricane or 'storm' as was proven with Hurricane Agnes in 1973 which made landfall in the Panhandle, but generated strong tornadoes over the peninsula (Merritt Island/Cape Canaveral to name two spots) and the Keys:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
THU FEB 3 2011
..FEBRUARY 3 IS HURRICANE AND FLOODING AWARENESS DAY
EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA ESCAPED SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS FROM HURRICANES IN
2010. HOWEVER...THE SEVERE IMPACTS FROM THE WIDESPREAD HISTORICAL
FLOODING CAUSED BY TROPICAL STORM FAY IN AUGUST 2008 SERVES AS A
STARK REMINDER THAT FRESH WATER FLOODING FROM TROPICAL STORMS CAN
PRODUCE DEVASTATION ON AN EQUAL OR GREATER SCALE THAN FROM
ON AVERAGE...A HURRICANE WILL PASS WITHIN 65 MILES OF THE EAST
CENTRAL FLORIDA COAST EVERY 6 TO 10 YEARS. WHILE HURRICANE STRIKES
ARE NOT ALWAYS A YEARLY OCCURRENCE...EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA WILL BE
SIGNIFICANTLY THREATENED BY A HURRICANE A FEW TIMES EACH DECADE.
REGARDLESS OF THE SHORT OR LONG TERM OUTLOOK...CENTRAL FLORIDIANS
NEED TO BE PREPARED EVERY YEAR. AS FAY ILLUSTRATED...IT ONLY TAKES
THE EFFECTS FROM ONE TROPICAL CYCLONE TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT THE
NOW IS THE TIME TO BEGIN TO PREPARE FOR THE 2011 HURRICANE SEASON.
DEVELOP A HURRICANE PLAN AND HAVE IT IN PLACE BEFORE A STORM
THREATENS. KNOW IF YOU LIVE IN A HURRICANE EVACUATION ZONE OR A
FEDERAL FLOOD ZONE. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR HURRICANE KIT STOCKED
WITH THE SUPPLIES SUCH AS SUCH AS BOTTLED WATER...CANNED FOODS AND
BATTERIES BEFORE THE START OF EACH SEASON. CONSIDER BUYING AND
INSTALLING HURRICANE SHUTTERS. WHEN A STORM THREATENS...PURCHASE GAS
AND TAKE OUT EXTRA CASH SINCE NEITHER MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR SEVERAL
DAYS FOLLOWING A TROPICAL CYCLONE. PLAN TO BUY ENOUGH PROVISIONS TO
LAST A MINIMUM OF THREE TO FIVE DAYS FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR
REMEMBER A HURRICANE OR TROPICAL STORM IS MORE THAN JUST WIND.
TROPICAL CYCLONES BRING MULTIPLE HAZARDS...INCLUDING STORM SURGE...
POUNDING SURF...FRESH WATER FLOODING AND TORNADOES.
HISTORICALLY...WATER CAUSES MOST OF THE DEATHS IN HURRICANES. ABOUT
90 PERCENT OF ALL HURRICANE RELATED DEATHS OCCUR FROM
DROWNING...RESULTING FROM STORM SURGE OR FRESH WATER FLOODING. WHILE
STORM SURGE IS NOT PARTICULARLY EXTREME ALONG THE CENTRAL FLORIDA
ATLANTIC COAST...EROSION FREQUENTLY CAUSES BREACHES IN THE DUNE LINE
AND SEVERE LOSS OF BEACH AND SHORELINE PROPERTY. BARRIER ISLAND
RESIDENTS SHOULD HEED ADVICE FROM LOCAL OFFICIALS AND EVACUATE WHEN
A HURRICANE THREATENS. PEOPLE ARE ALSO URGED TO BE EXTREMELY
CAUTIOUS DURING THE STORMS AFTERMATH. PERSONS WHO SURVIVE THE
INITIAL PASSAGE OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF A
NUMBER OF FACTORS...INCLUDING CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING FROM
GENERATORS...ELECTROCUTION FROM DOWNED WIRES...SEVERE INJURIES
DURING DEBRIS REMOVAL AND MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS. EXTREME CARE MUST
BE USED WHEN USING GENERATORS. MAKE SURE TO RUN GENERATORS IN AN
OPEN OUTDOOR LOCATION...AND NEVER IN AN ENCLOSED AREA.
AS FAY CLEARLY SHOWED...THE FLAT TERRAIN OF THE AREA LENDS ITSELF TO
WIDESPREAD INUNDATION OF POORLY DRAINED AND LOW LYING AREAS DURING
HEAVY RAIN EVENTS...RATHER THAN THE FLASH FLOODING THAT OCCURS IN
OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. IT CAN ALSO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT LONGER
LASTING IMPACTS. WATER CAN ENTER HOMES AND OTHER STRUCTURES...AS
WELL AS MAKE DRIVING EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS DUE TO FLOODED ROADS WHICH
CAN SOMETIMES OBSCURE CANALS. THIS FLOODING CAN LAST FOR DAYS...AND
IN AREAS NEAR THE SAINT JOHNS RIVER...THE FLOODING CAN PERSIST FOR
WEEKS. IF WATER IS COVERING A ROADWAY...DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU CAN
DRIVE THROUGH IT. TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.
FORTUNATELY...YOU CAN PLAN WELL IN ADVANCE FOR FLOODS. THE BEST
ADVICE IS TO HAVE FLOOD INSURANCE...SEPARATE FROM YOUR HOMEOWNERS
INSURANCE. KNOW IF YOU LIVE IN AN AREA THAT FLOODS FREQUENTLY FROM
HEAVY RAINS...BUT REMEMBER THAT YOU DONT NEED TO BE IN A FLOOD ZONE
TO EXPERIENCE FLOODING.
MONITOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO BEFORE...DURING AND AFTER AN EVENT TO
STAY ABREAST OF THE LATEST INFORMATION. YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEB SITE IN MELBOURNE AT
WEATHER.GOV/MELBOURNE WHERE THE LATEST HURRICANE AND FLOOD WATCHES
AND WARNINGS WILL BE AVAILABLE...ALONG WITH THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER FIVE DAY TROPICAL CYCLONE TRACK AND INTENSITY FORECASTS.