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Lots of Rain(!)... More on the Upper "Cut-Off" Low... Satellite Instrument

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Updated: 5/03/2013 1:10 am

From Wed.'s post:
Thu. has the potential to be a very wet day thanks to a combination of persistent onshore east winds & an upper level disturbance moving east from the Gulf of Mexico.  Bands of rain should pivot west & northwest & will be heavy at times.  It's possible that some of the bands will become nearly stationary which would result in some locally very heavy rain totals.
And so it was (did)....rain, rain & some more rain.  Amounts through Thu. evening included:
St. Marys: 5"
Yulee: 4.6"
St. Augustine: 4.49"
Bartram Park: 4"
Jax Beach: 2.65"
San Marco: 2.19"
Fleming Island: 2.1"
JIA: 1.35"
(more than half the avg. May rainfall of 2.48"!)
The image below from First Alert Doppler HD shows the heaviest estimates -- Greenland to St. Augustine -- in the 4-5" range.

The rain should gradually diminish Fri. afternoon but totals may exceed a half foot in some places, especially parts of Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, Clay, Flagler & Southern Camden Co.  Radar imagery & the wind map below courtesy the Jax N.W.S.:

 

The cut-off low that I've been discussing since last week will only slowly meander to the east not reaching the Southeast U.S. until the early part of next week(!).  The forecast is still tricky depending on the exact location of this system & its strength, but it looks like weak low pressure moving from Alabama to Georgia to the east coast will be the key player.  The low will swing a cold front across the First Coast Sat. triggering another round of showers & storms with possibly some heavy rain.  Faster movement should keep rainfall totals lower but there will still be the potential for at least another half inch to an inch of rain, locally more.  Behind the front, skies should clear later Sunday into early next week with drier air, west winds & cooler temps. with pleasant lows at night well down into the 50s.
Photos below are from Rob Louis, Jax Beach Thu. evening (where winds gusted to more than 40 mph)...Donna Yost-Williams, NE Jax (rain falling into a planting pot)...& Lisa Thu. afternoon.

This cut-off upper low is the same system responsible for record May snow in the midwest.  Check out (click on) snow reports & records from the
following N.W.S. office:
** Des Moines, Ia
** Kansas City
** Minneapolis
 (more than a foot east & south of MSP)

From NOAA:

The first of six instruments that will fly on GOES-R, NOAA's next-generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, has been completed seven months before its scheduled installation onto the spacecraft.
 
The instrument, the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors, or EXIS, will provide forecasters at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center with some of the most important early warnings of impending solar storms. It will also give scientists a more accurate measure of the extremes in solar energy radiating toward earth, which can severely disrupt telecommunications, air travel, and the performance of power grids.
 
"Severe space weather has the potential to cause significant damage to the U.S. and global economy, so it's critical GOES-R has this technology in place as quickly as possible to monitor it," said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.
 
GOES-R, scheduled to launch in 2015, will be more advanced than NOAA's current GOES fleet. The satellites are expected to more than double the clarity of today's GOES imagery and provide more atmospheric observations than current capabilities with more frequent images. Data from the GOES-R instruments will be used to create many different products, enabling NOAA meteorologists and other users to better monitor the atmosphere, land, ocean and the sun, facilitating more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings.  

GOES-R credit: NOAA/NASA
 
The University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) built and tested EXIS.
 
EXIS will be shipped from the LASP site in Boulder to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Littleton, Colo., later this year to be installed onto the spacecraft. Lockheed is building the GOES-R spacecraft.
 
The remaining GOES-R instruments to be delivered are:
• the Advanced Baseline Imager, the primary instrument on GOES-R for imaging Earth's weather, climate, and environment;
• Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which will provide for the first time a continuous surveillance of total lightning over the western hemisphere from space;
• the Space Environment In-Situ Suite, which consists of sensors that will monitor radiation hazards that can affect satellites and communications for commercial airline flights over the poles;
• the Solar Ultraviolet Imager, a high-powered telescope that observes the sun, monitoring for solar flares and other solar activity that could impact Earth, and
• the Magnetometer, which will provide measurements of the space environment magnetic field that controls charged particle dynamics in the outer region of the magnetosphere. These particles can be dangerous to spacecraft and human spaceflight.
NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA program office, staffed with personnel from NOAA and NASA, and co-located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
 
"We're just a few years away from seeing significant improvements in the way NOAA will serve the public with even better weather forecasts and warnings," said Greg Mandt, director of the GOES-R Series Program.

Click ** here ** for more on GOES-R ... the image (satellite replica) below is courtesy NOAA/NASA:

GOES-R rendering

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