The cold front moved through the area about as expected Mon. afternoon/evening with weakening bands of showers & only isolated lightning strikes. Winds gusted to 25-35 mph in the heavier showers & rainfall averaged a tenth to a quarter of an inch but with a few spots managing a third to a half inch including the south & east side of Jax. The photo below is from the Martins in St. Marys & shows the gust front on the leading edge of the heavy showers. Rain ended by midnight & a couple of very nice days will follow for Tue. & Wed. with lots of sun & afternoon temps. in the low to mid 70s after a cool Tue. night in the 30s & 40s.
But the weather pattern remains active & there will be 2 major storms for the Lower 48 to deal with -- 1 later this week & a second the following week near or a little after Christmas:
(1) the next storm will affect the First Coast late Thu.-Thu. night. Temps. & humidity will rise quickly Thu. in advance of the storm & a squall line of t'storms should be moving across Alabama & the Fl. Panhandle through the day. This could be a fairly significant line of severe storms with isolated supercells possibly developing out ahead of the line. This severe weather will begin Wed. in Arkansas & Louisiana spreading east into Tennessee & Missisissippi Wed. night. This will be another fast-moving front with the parent low far to the north not far from Chicago which will mean a "clean", quick frontal passage with a fairly short shot of rain & storms keeping rainfall totals at an inch or less for most spots. There could, however, be a threat for strong to severe storms. This system will produce heavy snow & blizzard conditions from Colorado & Kansas through parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Minneosta, Wisconsin & Michigan. The maps below are from the American forecast model GFS. The first one is from about 30,000 feet up in the atmosphere at 1pm Thu. & shows what's known in meteorology circles as a negatively tilted trough (stretching NW-SE) -- an set-up that creates especially strong & intensifying low pressure systems. The second map is the surface map showing strong low pressure near Chicago.
(2) Virtually all models are locked in on a large buckling of the jet stream next week producing a major low pressure area over the middle of the country. As should be expected this far in advance, the devil is in the details. Models vary on location & movement of the storm but are reasonably uniform -- considering it's 8-10 days or so away -- on developing an intense storm near & just after Christmas that would produce very heavy snow in the middle of the U.S. & heavy rain & severe storms along the Gulf Coast & Eastern U.S. The maps below are again from the American GFS model for midday Thu., Dec. 27th. A deep upper level trough is again over the center of the U.S. with an intense surface low -- similar to late this week -- not far from Chicago. Both storms will drag cold air southward from Canada, but the 2nd storm next
week will bring especially cold air deep into the Lower 48.
Given the time of year & all the travel plans, stay tuned to forecasts on what is the most active weather pattern in months. Details are almost certain to change -- especially with storm #2 near Christmas -- but safe to say, a couple of big storms to contend with during the next 5-10 days.
Check this out from NASA - twin satellites are purposely crashed into the moon Mon. afternoon!:
What: twin satellites, Ebb and Flow, will crash (ka Boom!) into the Moon
When: 5:28 PM, EST Monday
Where: the Moon
Why: twin satellites measured and mapped gravity fields of the moon
& and carried MoonKams, specifically for school children to operate and use
How: a purposeful directed crash after using most of available fuel during low level orbit.
Click ** here ** for an HD animation of the "crash" (no real time video was possible because the moon was in shadow at the time of impact).... ** here ** for a map animation. The goal of the mission is to learn more about the moon's internal structure & composition. It was decided to crash the two probes into the moon because they did not have enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations.