Wednesday's weather update from WTOC meteorologist John Wetherbee

May 15, 2013 

Now it's starting to warm up, pushing into the upper 80s! High pressure is sliding east across the area. On the back side of the high, the return flow off the Gulf brings back the humidity. The increased instability may trigger locally heavy late-day thunderstorms starting Friday. This afternoon, the high is centered right along the Georgia-Florida line. The daily sea breeze will develop, and there may be a sea breeze front pushing inland. There won't be must moisture, so no rain or storms today. Cooler temperatures will be recorded on the beaches. That daily sea breeze front is important looking into the weekend. Thursday is the transition day, increasing the humidity and low-level moisture. And there's an approaching wave of energy with a new Pacific cold front. The current thinking is that Thursday will stay dry. Friday will see locally heavy late-day storms developing. More low-level moisture off the Gulf and the approaching trough will provide plenty of lift, and the sea breeze front will keep all of the action west of Interstate 95. The timing will be the same Saturday and Sunday too. The strength of the sea breeze front -- the relative temperature difference -- will determine the exact areas for late-day storms. And here's good news: the upper-level strength of the trough is weak. There are no big fronts and little risk of strong storms, though shallow cells could reach severe limits very quickly late each day. In fact, the models suggest a massive Pacific storm will march across the country next week starting Sunday. But we will get a new ridge of high pressure moving first into our area late week that will block that storm from the Southeast. So the daily diurnal heating/instability and sea breeze front forcing will try to keep isolated storms in our forecast. Meteorologist John Wetherbee, CBM

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