First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 PM on 4/28, issued at 10:03 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Mid Fall Warmth... Saturday Front & Rain... African Dust, "Easy" Hurricane Season

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Updated: 10/31/2013 7:21 am

Nothing spooky about Halloween this year though it will be quite warm. Afternoon highs will be close to daily records -- in the mid 80s. For trick or treating, temps. will only slowly drop into the 70s under partly cloudy skies. The warmest Halloween on record in Jax going back to 1870 is 86 degrees in 2009. The wettest was in 1969 - 2.84". While we will likely see a few isolated showers, most spots will stay dry & any showers will be fleeting, at worst. The big Halloween story will be -- no doubt -- the warmth.

The second weather concern is Sat. for the Fl./Ga. football game. All week I've been tracking a cold front that will make steady progress toward the First Coast reaching Jax -- a little faster as it looks now -- late Fri. night/Sat. morning. A band of light to moderate rain will precede & accompany the front. All areas should get at least some rain with amounts averaging a tenth to a quarter inch, locally a half inch. 

So the next question is timing. It looks to me like Saturday will start dry but with thickening clouds south of Jax with the band of rain spreading east into Southeast Ga & N. Fl. The rain will spread eastward through the morning with at least a couple of hours of relatively steady rain for most areas. The back edge of the rain should reach Waycross & Lake City early in the day & the Jacksonville area by APPROXIMATELY noon. So for the Fl./Ga. game, tailgaters should plan on at least some rain. For kickoff @ 3:30pm....any lingering light rain should be ending (if it hasn't already stopped) as clouds gradually break a bit. Temps. will be in the 70s as winds shift to the NW at 10-15 mph. In the end....the key to Saturday's forecast will ultimately be the movement/timing of the cold front.

I'll wrap up with the tropics & the lack of activity this season -- especially anything major in what will likely go down as one of the most lackluster hurricane season in many years. I still believe the Caribbean is an area to watch through mid Nov. but there's nothing right now to indicate that tropical cyclone development is imminent. So two tropical-related stories:

(1) African dust & its effects on the environment -- click ** here ** - courtesy "Earth Gauge". Though some scientists attribute this season's meager hurricane productivity to African dust, I beg to differ. If "all things" are equal, tropical waves will simply be "dampened" while in the vicinity of large dust clouds but then develop once (if) in a more favorable environment (such as the hyperactive 2005 season). I personally believe persistent, widespread & strong mid & upper leve shear was more responsible for the east of the season.

(2) It would appear this hurricane season will go down as the quietest in 45 years with several records or near records (first time in 45 years that a hurricane no stronger than a Cat. 1 has occurred....fewest number of hurricanes since 1982....first season since 1994 without a Cat. 3+ storm...the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) was the weakest since the mid 1960s). Click ** here ** for the full read from the "Insurance Journal".

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