Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just What Exactly Is Going on Near the Florida Coast???

An area of low pressure continues to develop just off of the East coast of Florida this afternoon. I've circled roughly the center of the system in yellow on the above visible satellite image.  The latest image from the Melbourne radar suggests that the center of the system is located about 95 miles to the East/Southeast of Cape Canaveral...

The system is drifting toward the West/Northwest at about 10-15 mph...and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or so.

A NOAA data buoy located about 20 miles East of Cape Canaveral (see below) has shown a steady decrease in pressure and a steady increase in both sustained winds and gusts over the past few hours:

As you can see on the above graph of the data from that buoy, sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts to near 52 mph have been observed over the past couple of hours, along with a minimum pressure of 29.84 inches of mercury, and steadily falling...

Thus far the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is treating this system as "extratropical" (meaning they feel that it lacks tropical characteristics).  None-the-less, they give the system a "30 percent chance of development" during the next 48 hours.

Regardless of what the NHC decides to do with this system, it is already causing quite a few problems along the east Florida coast, with very heavy rains and gale force wind gusts battering the region.  This trend will continue into tonight.

The GFS model forecasts the system to move from near its current position (model forecast valid 5pm EDT today):

...then moves the center of the storm Westward across the middle third of the state and then back out over the Northeast Gulf of Mexico off of the coast West of Tampa Bay by 8am EDT tomorrow morning:

The model then wobbles the system generally between there and the Florida panhandle for much of Monday and Tuesday before ejecting it toward the North/Northeast off of the Georgia/South Carolina coast by 8am EDT Wednesday morning (as a much weaker system by that time):

Regardless of whether the storm becomes tropical and/or "named", folks in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas will have some wet and windy weather coming up (if not already underway as I pointed out in Florida earlier).

The latest HPC forecast calls for as much as 4 inches of rain across portions of southeast Georgia, northern Florida and portions of South Carolina for the period 8pm EDT today through 8pm EDT Tuesday:

In a post back on Tuesday the 4th I pointed out that the computer models were hinting at some type of development in this region for Tuesday the 11th.  The European model was indicating development in the northeast Gulf of Mexico, while the GFS was forecasting a system off of the northern Florida coast.  It certainly looks like some sort of a hybrid concoction of those two model solutions from last week will indeed come to pass...

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