The tropical weather hose has been turned back on in Florida. After a rare and strange dry day across central Florida, while radars lit up in South Florida, the waterworks turned on around the state on Thursday. All of the rain is being caused by a tropical wave that has depressed into an elongated trough, and a weak area of low pressure which has been declared as Invest 96L. The hurricane models are running, and the news is good news for all of us. As of the 12Z and early 18Z models, no tropical development is expected by most of the models, but the rains will be plentiful for much of Florida.
Anyone who has not gotten rain today, will tomorrow…and that includes much of the Panhandle and south Georgia. The drought in Florida is worst in the panhandle from Marianna to Panama City westward, and this expands into southern Georgia where 40% of the state is in an exceptional drought…the worst category. According to the Hydrological Prediction Center, the next three days will bring about a half inch of rain or more to much of this area, and even better rain totals in central Florida. This graphic is placed below:
Looking at this from a tropical point of view, the National Hurricane Center has given 96L a 20% chance of tropical development in the next 48 hours. 96L should be moving inland around Apalachicola or the Big Bend by tomorrow night or Saturday morning.
In space weather news, STS 135 with Atlantis is supposed to launch tomorrow at 11:26am ET. With this much needed tropical blob of moisture moving through, Atlantis probably will not launch until Sunday. I give launch on Friday a 20% chance of liftoff, with better chances on Sunday and Monday. The next window for launch opens on Saturday, but weather probably will not improve a whole lot by then.
Do you have pictures of the much needed rainfall in Florida?