How about some weekend storm structure?
The weekend brought several rounds of heavy showers and thunderstorms to the state, all associated with a series of upper-level weather disturbances and one beefy cut-off upper-level low pressure system.
Thursday and Friday afternoons gave way to isolated strong thunderstorms interacting with breeze and outflow boundaries. These storms were enhanced by upper-level disturbances with strong winds and cooler air aloft. There were isolated reports of small hail and damaging winds but nothing too serious, however, if you're a storm buff like myself you are entertained by beautiful storm structure, and there was plenty of that to go around both days. The storms remained linear but produce some amazing shelf cloud scenes over the flat landscapes of Central and South Florida.
Overnight Friday another round of storms and heavy rain moved in associated with mesoscale convective system (MCS) in the Gulf of Mexico. These rains and clouds cleared out by midday Saturday allowing some heating to take place but not enough to have widespread severe storms. By this time, the strong upper-level low was tracking into the central Gulf of Mexico and turning east towards Florida. It wasn't clear if another round of even stronger severe storms would develop after the atmosphere being worked over from the previous line of storms on Saturday.
Overnight Tornado Watch Issued
Later Saturday evening it was becoming clear that new storms we're beginning to develop in the eastern Gulf and would track over the peninsula late that night. Low-pressure was developing in the Northeast Gulf and trying to phase with the upper-level low. The surface low was helping to back the winds across the central and southern peninsula, and prompted the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) to issue a tornado watch that covered from Orlando to Key West. Luckily for all the sleeping residents and visitors no tornadoes ever materialized, but a very intense squall line did develop and rake the state during the overnight hours.
The long intense line of storms had several bow echo features that produced straight-line wind damage and some hail reports. Luckily the earlier storms on Saturday reduced the instability over the region keeping the intensity of the line of storms under control.
We'll Take All The Rain We Can Get
The strong storms brought very beneficial rain to the state, with many locations picking up 1-3 inches, and some isolated higher amounts. We'll know over the next few days if all that lightning action has helped to spark additional wildfires.