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Summery weather regime returns to southwest Florida

Precipitation forecast for period Sept. 30, 2013 – Oct. 5, 2013.
Precipitation forecast for period Sept. 30, 2013 – Oct. 5, 2013.
NOAA/NWS

Tropical moisture is poised over the Florida Keys and southward into the Caribbean. This moisture is set to slowly advance northward across southwest Florida during the next few days. Associated with this northward surge in moisture is a weak area of low pressure (currently in the central Caribbean). That system will move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by midweek (Oct. 3, 2013), bringing southwest Florida even more summertime showers and thunderstorms.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center give this system only a 10% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next few days. As the system emerges into the Gulf of Mexico, there is a 30% chance that the system will become an organized tropical entity. Right now, there is no indication that the system will become eligible for naming.

Regardless of how much the system may develop, it now appears that showers and thunderstorms will be back in the southwest Florida forecast for the remainder of the week. Moisture readings (i.e., dew points) will continue to stay elevated in the low to mid 70’s.

Rainfall amounts are expected to be in the one to two inch range (Fig. 1), due to the spotty nature of the showers and thunderstorms. Locally, however, as in the routine case of showers and thunderstorms across southwest Florida, heavier amounts are always a possibility.

Isn't it isn't until sometime next week that a weak wind shift line, accompanied by a slightly cooler and drier air mass, is expected to move into southwest Florida. This will likely push the moisture only slightly southward into the Keys, setting the stage for a repeat performance of the, “return of the moist air mass, along with showers and thunderstorms,” by the following weekend.

© 2013 H. Michael Mogil