I'm off to the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans but will still occasionally update this blog through the week.Cold temps. this week.
Expect record or near record lows for much of the area. Below are the records for JIA. With lighter winds early Wed. & early Thu., there will be the potential at least for frost -- if not a light freeze -- near & west of I-95. The avg. temps. are a low of 51 & an avg. high of 75. We'll finally creep up close to the avg. highs by the weekend. No rain through at least Sunday.
So our weekend storm was -- as expected -- disruptive at the very least, downright dangerous for some with severeal homes not habitable in Bradford & Columbia Co. Hail of varying sizes fell in virtually all NE Fl. counties at one time or another & several counties in SE Ga. One supercell storm was particularly damaging & began its path near the Big Bend moved east into hard hit Lake City then "turned right" or the E/SE which is often an indication of especially severe weather. The storm moved across SW Baker Co. into parts of Union & Bradford Co. where a circulation became very strong which triggered a tornado warning from our Jax N.W.S. The storm then moved into Middleburg to Penney Farms & Green Cove Springs in Clay Co. crossing the St. Johns Co. River to Picolata & Bakersville then steamed into St. Augustine.
First Alert Doppler HD images below show the supercell t'storm as a mid & upper level circulation tightened in Union County south of Raiford prompting the N.W.S. to issue a tornado warning. The red is inbound wind (velocity) while the green is outbound. The two side-by-side indicate a counter-clockwise circulation that could lead to a tornado. This is the storm that produced damage in Bradford Co. The second image is the reflectivity (rain) slightly before the velocity image (about 1:50-1:55pm) & shows a classic "notch" just west of Raiford. This occurs when a counter-clockwise spin in the storm causes the cell (or rain in this case) to start to wrap around a circulation (possible tornado). The purple/pink color to the immediate north is hail. This is just about as classic as a supercell will get in Fl. The third image shows a hail core about 30-45 min. earlier from the same storm exiting Columbia Co. & the Lake City area east into Southwest Baker Co. southwest of Olustee. First Alert Doppler radar estimated rainfal rates at more than 12"/hour!...which is "hail contaminated". In other words, the algorithm that estimates rainfall rates was exaggerated because of the presence of hail stones.
The last couple of photos are from Debbie Umble Costigan showing her brother's hail & wind damaged home. Debbie did not give me a location, but I believe it to be not too far from Lawtey in Bradford Co. about 50 mi. SW of Jax (which matches well with the radar imagery showing the strong circulation that prompted the tornado warning). For weekend storm photos including hail & Lake City damage, go to First Alert Weather photos -- click here. Click here for a list of area rainfall from our Jax N.W.S.
The same front ignited severe storms Sun. afternoon across Central & S. Fl. as the area from Orlando to Cape Canaveral was especially hard hit. Check these videos: here for video from a high rise.....here for video from an apartment complex.
Our weekend storms were part of a large weather system that included very heavy snow from the Plains across Missouri into Indiana in what has been a cold & stormy month (not all that uncommon though last March was unseasonably warm). St. Louis had a record March snowfall of more than a foot -- click here -- while Springfield, Mo. has a record cold & snowy start to spring -- click here....Springfield, Il. had a whopping 18.5" from the "Palm Sunday snowstorm! - click here.