Big time downpours rolled over and over the Cape and Paunch Pad 39A on Wednesday. The deep tropical moisture that spawned Tropical Storm Bertha caused those rains and the Wednesday postponement of the SpaceX launch.
The tropical and unstable air also caused a tornado warning (none actually occurred) about two hours before the scheduled launch, and a severe storm rolled off the coast south of the Cape just as they canceled the launch.
Keep in mind, as this launch is the United States’ first manned launch in nearly a decade, the checklist of weather worries is much longer. The worries include local storms, from clouds and precipitation to thunderstorm activity off the coast and along the flight path, to sea wave height from Florida to Ireland.
That’s quite the list.
Saturday appears to be a case of Déjà vu. The current forecast includes another afternoon of deep tropical moisture.
The forecast models are becoming more specific Thursday, about 48 hours out), it doesn’t look good, with the amount of deep tropical moisture will make the launch a challenging one.
There will be a high probability of storms, especially around 3:22 p.m., launch time. I predict a 40% of the launch going off.
Locally in Jacksonville, we too will see widespread clouds, showers and thunderstorms. Even if these rain events roll off the coast before 3 p.m. the clouds associated with them will likely obscure our views down toward the Cape.
If Saturday’s launch doesn’t happen, the weather looks slightly dryer for SpaceX’s next launch window: 3 p.m. Sunday.