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Cool Start to the Week then Much Warmer... "Players" Forecast... Tornado Confirmed in St. Johns Co... Severe Storm Seminar... Giraffe Pic

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Updated: 5/07/2013 12:53 am

Nice weather this week for the most part.  There will be a few scattered showers Tue.as an upper level disturbance -- from the large & strong upper level low to the north -- rotates across the First Coast.  Nighttime temps. will dip into the 50s with even some upper 40s well inland.
Then get ready for some much warmer temps.  Highs Wed. will be in the low 80s which is close to avg.  But by Thu., temps. hit the mid 80s then upper 80s to around 90 Fri. & Sat.  A cold front will move into the area Sunday & could trigger showers & t'storms.

So for the "Players" golf tournament....nice for the practice rounds Tue. & Wed. but with a brief shower possible Tue.....mild Wed. then warm as the competion begins Thu. after a another nice, cool start.  Temps. will soar well into the 80s even near the coast Fri. & Sat. thanks to offshore winds.  The drenched course should quickly dry out the next several days.

More info. on Sat's storms.  The Jax N.W.S. has confirmed an EF-0 tornado with winds of 60-80 mph + microburst winds in Southern St. Johns Co. near Elkton.  The survey:
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
234 PM EDT MON MAY 06 2013

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0915 PM     TORNADO          1 SW ELKTON             29.78N 81.43W
05/04/2013                   ST. JOHNS          FL   NWS STORM SURVEY

            NWS SURVEY TEAM CONFIRMED A BRIEF TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN NEAR MEADOW BROOK ROAD AND STATE ROAD 207. TORNADO RATED EFO WITH WINDS ESTIMATED AT 60 TO 80 MPH. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE PROVIDED LATER TODAY ON THE DAMAGE SURVEY. TIME OF EVENT IS BASED ON RADAR IMAGERY.

And Action News has received some video of what might be the tornado -- click ** here **.  The photo below is a still image.  In the video the apparent funnel moves from left to right occasionally illuminated by lightning.  William Hersey was near St. Augustine Shore taking about 15 min. of video of the storm from inside his car when the funnel appeared about 5 min. into the video.  The raindrops are on the windshield of the car (there's some thought that this funnel could be a stream of rain water) but the "funnel" is behind the rain drops + clearly behind the trees.  The location does match quite well the area of damaged determined by the NWS to be tornadic.  I forwarded the pic to the NWS to get their thoughts.

I spoke with the Jax N.W.S. Sun. evening regarding the unusual pattern Sat. afternoon/evening that helped develop the storm (see my post from Sun. night - click here).  Something that's very interesting -- in addition to the boundary that the storm followed & the lack of much nearby surface heating -- is that there were a number of small scale (mesoscale) circulations, weak low pressures or even eddy's.  These circulations produced locally intense t'storms.  One such circulation produced a persistent cluster of storms offshore east of St. Augustine much of the day.  It's possible that one of these little circulations helped to trigger the t'storm northwest of Jax that eventually became supercellular & moved south/southeast.

Ironically....I was at a severe storm seminar Sat.-Sun. in Atlanta hosted by WSB-TV.  The primary presenter -- an icon of severe convection & doppler radar -- was Les Lemon.  Imagine a bunch of weather nerds huddled in a conference room while Les goes through his career, severe weather situations, radar signatures that help meteorologists identify & track severe storms & then quiz us on some of the radar imagery & whether or not the storm might be severe & if so what type & to what degree.  It was awesome!  Les was a researcher & forecaster at the old National Severe Storms Forecast Center in Kansas City when my mom & dad took me there for a tour in the 1970s when I was only about 13 yrs. old.   I still have some of the pamphlets they gave me.  The photo below is Les giving me some pointers while the 2nd photo is a 3-D image of a tornadic supercell storm from "G-R 2 Storm Analyst".  3-D cross sections of a storm can give meteorologists an even better understanding of how severe storms develop & behave & where exactly a tornado & large hail might be located.

I wanted to take advantage of this gorgeous weather to take my kids to the zoo Mon. morning.  The giraffes were enjoying the sunshine too.  As I've said a million times, our Jax Zoo & Gardens is a beautiful place & has become a wonderful local attraction.  A far cry from the condition the zoo was in 20 years ago.  It'll be exciting when the new tiger exhibit opens next year.

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