2/2/98 Chase Summary by Steve Hodanish


From: Stephen Hodanish (meso@quancon.com):
Subject: Florida Chasing, Mondays results

Gang,

Monday was a bust. After looking at the data at the office that morning,
I headed for S polk county, waiting for the warm front over S Fla to
move N. I was very optimistic when I left as skies were overcast over
the northern Fla Peninsula and PC over the remainder of the peninusla.
East to southeast winds were screaming..averaging 20 to 30 knots. When I
arrived at my destination, I called back to the office and surprisingly,
nothing was happening on the 88D. I decided to head over the Ruskin and
visit the TBW NWS office and get a radar update, and see what was
happening in the gulf of Mexico. Looking at the TBW 88D, all the
activity was well offshore with some cells trying to fire just offshore
of WC FLA. In addition, I observed a large area of steady rain well to
the south of the site.

One of the cells just offshore went severe but was heading toward
Pinnellas county (~St Pete) and I was in no mood to chase in the city.
My concern then centered on why there was so much rain well south of
TBW. I dialed into the KBYX site (Key West) and turned white...A line of
supercells was extending over the Fla Keys/Fla straits. I pretty much
knew the show was over for me as the anvils from these cells where
advancing north and killing of the sunshine of S and C Fla.

What went wrong? The warm front remained too far south and never moved
up into the central part of the peninsula. If it had, things would have
been different. The PDS box was a good call. If those storms would have
affected land areas instead of mostly the Gulf waters, the casuality
rate would likely have been much higher (there was 1 death in the Keys
due to the storms...injuries unknown attm).

Things are once again looking interesting for this Saturday, but I get
to watch the show from behind the KMLB 88D radar and call the
shots...which to be honest with you all is the second best place to be
if you can't be "in the field".

BTW, I did wind up on the recieving end of some severe weather as later
that night a strong easterly wind surge moved up the Fla east coast,
blowing a tree onto my house. damage cosmetic. Also, past history has
shown that the best chasing in Fla is in March.

Take care;

Stephen Hodanish
NWS/MLB


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