Frank Strait

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Calm Prevails

September 10, 2012; 6:15 PM ET

Darn. I forgot to bring "appropriate attire" in to work with me, so since I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt and the weather's quiet, I'll just write for a while today.

We'll start with a satellite picture as I usually do in the videos. It's obvious that we have a big sprawling area of high pressure over the eastern part of the country, which is what's responsible for all the nice weather across the South. The water vapor satellite shows that there's a lot of dry air associated with the high and that's keeping the humidity low. Well, it's nice in most places. From the satellite picture you can tell there's also obviously a front that's stalling over Florida. That's where the wet weather will be mainly found over the next couple of days, mostly in Central and South Florida. The threat for severe storms is going to be minimal, though. For a change, we can be happy to have some dry weather; most of the Southeast, particularly areas affected by Isaac, have had normal to above normal rain for the last couple of months.

I'm sure y'all noticed the big blob at the right edge of the U. S. satellite. Of course, that's Leslie and here's a better look, along with a peek at Michael. Leslie never did live up to her potential, which is good for Bermuda and will be good for Newfoundland. The other good thing is that Leslie is accelerating and will take only 12 hours or so to blow through Newfoundland. Nonetheless, Leslie will still bring some strong wind and a lot of rain to Newfoundland tomorrow. After that, she will head toward Greenland and even perhaps Iceland but won't be a tropical system when it gets there.

It looks as though Michael will continue to weaken as he turns north, steered away from North America by the same trough that's sending Leslie north now. Michael never will threaten any land.

Notice the little critter on the bottom right corner of the Atlantic tropical satellite, actually just off the edge. That area of low pressure appears to be getting stronger and generating more thunderstorms, so it looks as though it will be a depression or even a storm by Thursday. The next name on the list for this year is Nadine. (Which is a good Southern name, isn't it? It sounds good when you drawl it.) However, the models still show it turning north and recurving before even getting to Bermuda's longitude. That won't be the last wave for us to watch, but the models aren't showing any more developments behind Nadine-to-be.

Of course, with a weather pattern that features a big surface high settling in along the East Coast, you have to watch the western Caribbean and surrounding areas for signs of development for the next week or so. But ... the whole place is empty now! Remember the MIMIC stuff? Y'all can see what I mean there. There are no waves heading that way for a while and the front in Florida is almost as far south as it's going to get. So, I don't think anything will come out of this particular setup.

There is one critter to watch in the East Pacific south of the Mexican Riviera. However, it looks as though it will stay south of Mexico and wind up unwinding over the chilly waters west of Baja California. Perhaps some of the moisture from it will eventually get into the Southwest, but probably not as far east as Texas.

The forecast for us back home looks about the same as yesterday. Over a lot of the Southeast, the high will hold on through the rest of the workweek, even into the weekend between the Center of the Universe (been a long time since I used that terminology, I'm referring to my hometown) to the Mason-Dixon Line and on into Yankee Territory. In these areas, the humidity won't even try to creep upwards again until this weekend.

Farther south, there's easterly flow to contend with since the high will be directly to the north. That will keep most of Florida showery, more so along the east side of the peninsula than the west. Some of that easterly flow showers will even sneak up into coastal Georgia eventually and maybe even the Carolina coast at the end of the week. The old front fading away will keep South Florida and the Keys active for the next two days, but after that it won't be a concern and gradually later this week the departing high will mean a weakening of the easterly flow and thus more of a sea breeze thunderstorm setup, so we'll start to see some afternoon thunderstorms along the west side of the peninsula.

Farther west, it will gradually warm up and moisten up over the rest of the week, but any rains should be confined to sea breeze triggered thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast until at least Friday. So, from Kentucky down to the Gulf Coast, the weather doesn't look all that bad, either.

The story is different west of the Mississippi. The front halfheartedly did make it into Deep South Texas, but that's as far south as it will get. Return flow will begin tomorrow, so while most places will get one more nice day, it will only be one more nice day. The humidity will return to most places in full force by Wednesday. Where it doesn't moisten up by Wednesday (much of Arkansas and Oklahoma), it will by Thursday. The returning moisture will hit another front plunging southward Thursday and into Thursday night across the Plains. The front will cause a good bit of rain and thunderstorms for Texas and Oklahoma, which residents of both should find OK, since they have not been blessed with the rain the Southeast has been. It looks as though there will be another norther with it for the southern Plains, too. For those who look only at the GFS ... keep in mind that other models, particularly the foreign ones, are slower to bring that front south.

After that, the front will make rather slow progress eastward Friday through the weekend because the upper support for it will become separated from the main jet stream aloft. Exactly where the upper low will form is in question as is how quickly it and the front will push eastward, but by Saturday there appears to be a chance for rain again in Kentucky down through the Tennessee Valley. Maybe that front gets to the East Coast by Sunday, maybe not, it's too soon to say, but that it does is one thing that the GFS and European models seem to agree upon now.

Well, that's all for today and me getting ready for vacation the next couple of days while I'm off will likely mean no more posts until I'm back in the office Friday night. Thankfully, the weather is mostly quiet this time!

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Frank Strait
Frank Strait's weather blog is focused on the Southern States in the US. Get weather videos daily from this weather blog from