Ever since the hurricane (Irma) of last summer, much of Florida has been very dry. That has quickly changed as an upper level low is interacting with a surface trough (weakness) over the southeastern Gulf resulting in widespread rainfall across the sunshine state, and more is on the way. On tonight’s radar loop, there is a circulation about 100 miles WSW of Naples moving slowly to the north. NHC put out a special outlook this afternoon regarding development of this system and they give it a 40% chance before landfall somewhere between Mobile and Apalachicola on Wednesday. Since there is an upper low above the surface feature and because water temperatures are generally below 80 degrees, whatever forms is not expected to be a strong system wind-wise. The MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) is in phase 2 which promotes rising air so this system does have some potential. Any impacts on us should be minor as we’ll be on the dry side of it. Much of Florida into the Southeast could receive 3-5” of rain over the next 3-4 days. Sad to say, if you have plans for the beaches this week, clouds & rainfall should dominate making for a less than perfect situation.
This is NOT the system that the GFS (American Model) has been forecasting to form NEXT WEEK. Today’s model runs continue to develop a strong tropical system coming out of the western Caribbean May 22-24. There is nothing there yet, just this first system that models are just now getting a handle on. It appears neither system will be our problem, but it’s way too soon to blow off any impacts on us. We need to pay attention this week and next just in case the models are correct. For sure, better we are in the “favorable-rising air phase” of the MJO now rather than during the peak of the hurricane season. Geez, not even June 1st and we have to pay attention to the Tropics. Stay tuned! I’m unlikely to post tomorrow since I’m going fishing with Capt. Hylton & Jim Henderson. I’ll have a report. Back on Tuesday.