Quick update....more to follow....
As expected -- see Fri., 02/22 blog post -- heavy rain & severe weather hammering away at the First Coast. Our set-up is pretty classic:
** warm front very near I-10. This warm front will struggle to push north due to the huge rain shield to its north. The front should get a better push later tonight/early Tue. as a strong upper level disturbance approaches from the west.
** a strong mid & low level southwest "jet" off the Gulf leading to an unending supply of warm, humid, unstable air.
** "diffluence" in the upper levels of the atmosphere -- winds some 25-30,000 feet above the surface that literally are spreading apart. Such a set-up allows for very vigorous updrafts in thunderstorms leading to more intense cells.
** very strong upper level disturbance approching from the west.
Weather/Storm Overview - What to Expect:
The warm front should stay pretty close to I-10 & even nudge a little south with all the heavy rain before getting a decided boost north late tonight with the approach of a very strong upper level disturbance & intensifying low pressure at the surface north of Jax. With the warm front in the area, wind proflies (southwest aloft - 30,000 ft. but SE or even east at the ground) will be just about ideal for rotating storms capable of manufacturing large hail, isolated tornadoes & high, damaging winds. This threat will be greates near & south of I-10. Pay particular attention to any isolated/individual storms as these will have the highest tornado threat. As the warm front tries to push north later tonight/Tue., the tornado threat may also shift north. Tue. a cold front will develop a squall line of storms that will move west to east across the First Coast. The primary hazards with the squall line will be high winds but there could also be an isolated tornado....along with some hail & a period of very heavy rain.
Speaking of rain....SE Ga. will continue to get soaked adding another 2-4" to the 1-3" that has fallen since Fri. night. Flooding potential is increasing & will have to be closely monitored across SE Ga. Metro Jax & NE Fl. have had less rain averaging a half inch to 1.5" but there will be at least some urban & small stream flooding through Tue., espcially during times of the most intense rainfall. By late Tue., total rainfall -- since Fri. -- will range 3-7"+ across SE Ga......to 1-4" for metro Jax & NE Fl. Some spots could get more.
We've had lots of reports of funnel clouds but -- in most cases -- the clouds have been what are called "scud clouds". To tell the difference, remember that funnel clouds/tornadoes will rotate -- like a top -- while a scud cloud has no rotation but can move quickly vertically or horizontally (usually not both). The photo below was taken by our Skycam at the Quality Inn, Jax Beach looking north to a shelf cloud as an intense storm moved to the coast. Clouds like this are usually accompanied by gusty winds then very heavy rain.
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