Well....it's Christmas Day, & I'm off from work & enjoying what has amounted to just about the perfect Christmas topped off with my homemade ice cream (special request from the kids).
The only reason to me post while off is if the weather really is a story. And so it is. This blog will once again be regularly updated beginning Mon., 12/31. I'll be in the office helping out the First Alert Weather Center -- if necessary -- through the early afternoon. Click ** here
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So....as expected & referred to last week...severe storms will likely occur across at least parts of the First Coast through the day Wed. -- mainly in the morning ending by early afternoon from west to east. APPROXIMATE time line:
7-10am: Homerville, Waycross, Fargo in Ga.; Lake City, Ft. White in Fl.
10am-12:30pm: central areas including i-95 corridor -- W. Jacksonville, Jesup, Nahunta, Kingsland, Folkston, Macclenny, Olustee, Raiford & Starke.
12:30-2pm: i-95 to the coast including the beaches.WED. MORNING UPDATE:
Storms are pretty much on schedule with a fast-moving squall line speeding east/northeast but should arrive on the westside of Jax a bit before 10am. As expected, the line is not as intense as Christmas Day & there are far fewer lightning strikes. 2 primary reasons: (1) instability is lacking....(2) the intense upper level system is turning northward away from the area.
There will not be much more heating today with temps. near 70 degrees as the line of storms move into the area. But the line is "strongly forced" meaning there's a sharp cold front helped out by a strong mid & upper level jet stream (as well as low level jet/surface winds), so there is still the threat for strong winds & an isolated tornado. This is a typical Fl. winter storm set-up: instability is lacking but dynamics & shear are strong. Winds will stay strong & gusty behind the line of storms into Wed. evening, but the storm threat will rapidly end west to east through the afternoon as the line of showers & storms progresses eastward.
SEVERE STORM MODE:
There will be a squall line of severe storms early in the morning from W. Ga. into the Fl. Panhandle rolling eastward at 35 mph while individual cells move N/NE at 50 mph! This line will have the potential to produce damaging winds of 50-60 mph with stronger gusts. Relatively small short-lived tornadoes may occur within the line "wrapped" in rain & capable of winds 100+ mph. Out ahead of this line there could be isolated severe storms that could also produce strong winds & tornadoes. These isolated cells will be capable of producing the most significant tornadoes.
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The storms will be caused by a strong cold front moving east attached to an intensifying low pressure system that will track through the Tennessee Valley into the Ohio Valley just southeast of Cincinnati then into the Eastern Great Lakes. Winds aloft are very strong which is our primary concern - the upper level winds transferred to the surface within storms. The highest tornado risk is in the Carolina's, but I would be surprised if there are not at least a few tornadic circulations & possible quick "touch-downs" across NE Fl. & especially SE Ga. In the cold part of the storm there will be a wide swath of heavy snow from Texas & Oklahoma northeast into Ohio & Michigan. When combined with last week's storm, there will be a huge area of snow cover from the Rockies east to parts of the Tennessee & Ohio Valley's into the Great Lakes & Northern New England (see map below).
Yet another storm system will visit the First Coast Sat. with a round of rain & maybe an isolated t'storm, but I'm not expecting severe weather. A third storm will follow for just after New Year's -- about next Thu. or so. So as blogged about weeks ago, a very active weather pattern to end the year & to start the New Year.
Tune in CBS47 & FOX30 & log on to ActionNewsJax.com for weather updates.