Many of you reading this are likely thinking of two things: 1) Is he actually wiring a weather blog post? and 2) Isn't this February?
I was taken aback this morning when Tropmet posted that an area of disturbed weather near Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula has been declared an Invest system. Yes, you are right - it is early February.
But don't panic! People along the eastern Gulf of Mexico don't need to run to Publix and gather water, canned food, and kegs of Miller Lite. I don't expect this to turn into a monster tropical cyclone.
Further analysis shows a little bit of vorticity in the area of the invest, and water temperatures near western Cuba are around 80 degrees F. But vertical wind shear is at least 40 knots, and this will help limit TC development. Still, it looks a little impressive on satellite imagery loops. The radar composite from Cuba is showing the associated precipitation, but no hint at all of a closed center of circulation.
The system isn't moving isn't in a hurry at the moment, but it should start to move a little faster in a northeasterly direction soon. It looks to be a big rain maker for south Florida. The HPC is calling for 24 rainfall totals as much as 2 inches in southeast Florida.
The 12Z (7 am EST) GFS MOS (model output statistics) guidance is showing between 1 to 2 inches of rain in Miami, while the raw (non-statistical) is much drier. The NAM MOS is very dry, as well (maybe a half of an inch within 24 hours). There seems to be disagreement on rainfall from guidance, but I am confident that southeast Florida should see some rain starting tonight. The western Florida Keys are already starting to see rain from Invest 90L based on radar imagery.
Watching the rain on the radar will be a problem as NWS-Miami are currently upgrading to Dual-Pol. Convenient, huh?
In summary, southern Florida can see some wetter weather tonight and tomorrow with conditions beginning to clear out Tuesday. It is interesting to see an invest-declared system this time of year, though.
It turns out there has been a TC this early in the year. Michael Laca posts on Facebook that there was a "Groundhog Day" tropical storm in 1952. Read a little more on this: https://www.facebook.com/vmax135/posts/341037679260193. Thanks, Greg for tweeting this.