The 12 UTC regional surface analysis was complex, and quite
different than the forecasts from various NWP models.
A quasi- stationary front had developed from central FL to just off the
coast of LA, with a ridge along the Piedmont.
South of this front, and apparently decoupled from any baroclinic zone (which differs from the NWP guidance), was a weak 1013 mb low. (It`s a good thing that the upper level winds are so strong to shear off any deep moist convection with this system).
Judging from the last ASCAT pass (from 0320 UTC last night), the winds over the eastern Gulf of Mexico are much stronger than one might think, given our relatively sparse buoy obs and the overall pressure gradient.
It appears that there was a considerable fetch of southeast winds
(around 25 KT), which not only caused our seas to be higher than
originally forecast, but also drove local tides to about a foot or
so above normal.
We`re having to go a little "old school" here by blending the current higher winds and seas with guidance to come up with a seamless forecast.
We will extend the Small Craft Advisory for our outer coastal waters into this evening, and possibly even further as needed. The above-normal tides are not high enough to significantly impact the coast so we won`t need an advisory.
Otherwise, the very dry air aloft and lack of focused Q-G forcing will inhibit deep moist convection today. However, there will be enough low layer moisture and weak ascent for higher rain chances in Dixie County and the adjacent coastal waters, where we have a 30% PoP.
There may be more sun today than originally expected so our highs are likely to reach the mid to upper 70s.
SHORT TERM [Tonight Through Monday]...
After we get through a slight break in the generally wet pattern today and tonight, plenty of deep layer moisture will be advected northward into our region from the Gulf of Mexico for the remainder of the weekend and beginning of next week.
This moisture will precede a developing shortwave which will remain well to our north through the period. Nevertheless, unsettled conditions are very likely across much of the the CWA until the next Cold front pushes through the region on Monday night and Tuesday.
Despite the generally widespread rainfall, however, storm totals should remain around an inch or less with some isolated 2 inch amounts possible before all is said and done.
LONG TERM [Monday Night through Thursday]...
The relatively zonal 500 mb flow over the Gulf Coast states will give way to ridging late in the work week.
There was some discrepancy between the GFS and ECMWF Tuesday and Wednesday, as the GFS keeps a band of deep layer moisture and weak Q-G forcing near the Gulf Coast as a weak short wave or two translate quickly eastward.
The ECMWF has very dry air firmly entrenched over the Southeast and most of the Gulf of Mexico. Even if the GFS verified, the GFS MOS PoP is still low so the main effect for our region would be mostly cloudy skies and a slight reduction on high temperatures.
Temperatures will warm to above average Friday as the 500 mb ridge
peaks over the Southeast.
A mixed bag of flight categories is expected through the period.
Through early this morning, MVFR to IFR cigs are expected to prevail across the area, with areas of dense fog and lower cigs occasionally reducing conditions to LIFR or lower, especially at KVLD.
Fog and cigs will gradually lift and scatter out through the morning hours with conditions briefly improving back to VFR during the afternoon hours.
This is expected to be short lived with MVFR to IFR cigs returning by the evening and overnight hours as moisture increases.
Although the pressure pattern continues to gradually weaken across
the Coastal Waters early this morning, seas have been fairly slow to
subside over parts of the offshore waters.
Therefore, have decided to extend the Small Craft Advisory through mid-morning when the next update will be issued.
For the remainder of today and the weekend, winds and seas will be near or at cautionary levels out of the southeast, before weakening out ahead of the approaching Cold Front on Sunday night and Monday.
Behind the front, a period of cautionary or advisory level conditions is likely out of the north on Monday night into Tuesday.
There are no fire weather concerns as relative humidity values will
remain above critical levels through Monday.
Drier air will begin to arrive on Tuesday, but RH levels are still expected to stay above red flag values.
With storm total rainfall of only about 1 inch expected, no flooding
concerns are expected across the region for the next several days.
PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Tallahassee 75 64 79 66 79 / 20 20 40 50 60
Panama City 75 69 76 69 78 / 30 20 50 60 50
Dothan 74 62 76 63 76 / 20 20 60 70 50
Albany 75 61 77 63 76 / 20 20 40 60 50
Valdosta 76 60 79 63 78 / 20 20 30 50 60
Cross City 76 63 80 65 80 / 30 30 30 50 60
Apalachicola 73 69 76 69 78 / 30 20 40 50 50
FL...DENSE FOG ADVISORY until 9 AM EST this morning for Coastal
Dixie-Coastal Jefferson-Coastal Taylor-Inland Dixie-Inland Jefferson-Inland Taylor-Lafayette-Madison.
High Risk of Rip Currents today along the beaches of Bay and Walton Counties.
GA...DENSE FOG ADVISORY until 9 AM EST this morning for Baker-Ben Hill-Berrien-Brooks-Calhoun-Clay-Colquitt-Cook-Decatur-
Dougherty-Early-Grady-Irwin-Lanier-Lee-Lowndes-Miller- Mitchell-Quitman-Randolph-Seminole-Terrell-Thomas-Tift- Turner-Worth.
GM...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 10 AM EST this morning for Waters from Suwannee River to Apalachicola FL from 20 to 60 NM-
Waters from Apalachicola to Destin FL from 20 to 60 NM.