A strong cold front, responsible for a significant severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Ohio, Tennessee and southern Mississippi River Valleys on Thursday and Thursday night, will be weakening today (Fri., Nov. 1, 2013). By late on Saturday, that front, along with some scattered showers, will be moving through south Florida. A wind shift to the northeast and slightly lower dew point temperatures will follow the frontal passage.
It is by Monday, however, that more significant weather changes will affect much of Florida, including Collier and Lee Counties. A large high-pressure system will take hold across the entire eastern third of the US (Fig. 1). The pressure gradient (or the change in atmospheric pressure across horizontal distance) will become quite large. This means that winds will increase significantly from the Carolinas southward to Florida and then west to eastern Texas. Winds will also pick up over the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.
In the south Florida area (over land), winds will become easterly and increase to speeds of 15 to 20 mph, with higher gusts. Meteorologists refer to winds between 15 and 25 miles per hour as breezy. Winds between 20 and 30 miles per hour fall into the windy category. Given the unfortunate overlap in wind speed categories, conditions could easily jump between breezy and windy during this upcoming wind event.
Over offshore and nearshore water areas, gusty winds, sustained at 20 to 25 miles per hour, will dominate. Small craft advisories (for sustained and gusty winds between 29 and 38 miles per hour and seas or waves 5 to 7 feet or higher) will likely be posted. Along east-facing beaches (e.g., Miami-Dade and Broward counties), large waves, rip currents and beach erosion can be anticipated. Further offshore, across the Gulf Stream, winds could be stronger and waves even higher. As always, along west-facing beaches (Collier and Lee counties), sheltering by the land will keep winds and waves along the immediate shore much lower.
This will be a long-duration event (early Monday through Wednesday) from the Carolinas to Texas. The wind and wave pattern along coastal and adjacent inland areas will likely persist into Wednesday.
To stay abreast of this developing weather situation, monitor local TV weather reports, NOAA weather radio and key weather web sites. Also look for updated posts during the weekend.
Here are links to some key NWS forecast sites:
Main NWS Page - http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
South Florida NWS Sites –
Tampa Bay NWS
Key West NWS
© 2013 H. Michael Mogil