An active & -- at times -- difficult to forecast weather pattern evolving Fri. & especially over the weekend into early next week. This is what I know:
-- temps. warm dramatically
-- there will be rain at times
-- a front will be nearby
But the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to the location of the front & rain. It looks like the first round of rain will primarily affect Ga. where there will be heavy rain with some of it possibly getting into SE Ga. but staying north of Jax. Late Sat. & Sat. night, a cold front will move into the area bringing showers & isolated t'storms. The looks to be pretty widespread but amounts probably not all that great. A much stronger system will move into the area early next week bringing showers with a northward-moving warm front late Sun./Sun. night that will then be concentrated over SE Ga. Mon. before moving back into NE Fl. late in the day through midday Tue. as a cold front & pretty strong upper level disturbance moves through the area. This period looks to be the best opportunity for meaningful, heavy rain for the First Coast including t'storms.And we need the rain!
At JIA, Feb. so far is nearly 2" below avg. & more than 4" below avg. since Jan. 1. The map below shows the area ranges from "abnormally dry" south of Jax to "moderate drought" for Jax & the I-10 corridor to "extreme drought" over SE Ga. Ironically, there's been too much rain the last 4-6 weeks across much of Central & Northern Ga., Alabama & even parts of the Fl. Panhandle. This is the same area that could see a half foot or more rain between now & early next week which could lead to serious flooding.
So the upcoming rain is much needed. But before it gets here, the wildfire danger
will escalate Fri.-Sat. as winds increase, humidity stays low, temps. soar & the now brown vegetation & grass (thanks to the early week freeze) readily ignites.
The National Hurricane Center has completed its storm summary of hurricane/superstorm "Sandy" (tropical cyclone report) -- click ** here **.
** "Sandy" has been upgraded to a Cat. 3 hurricane as it hit Cuba. No surprise given the satellite presentation at that time -- see the image at the bottom.
** The 72 U.S. deaths is the deadliest U.S. hurricane outside of the southern states since "Agnes", 1972.
** 41 of the 72 deaths -- nearly two-thirds -- were caused by storms surge
** There was severe damage in Eastern Cuba & Haiti but media coverage -- at least in the U.S. -- was limited because of the superstorms's landfall in the Northeast.
The NHC summary/report/discussion is excellent & includes satellite & radar imagery, photos, forecast accuracy, wind & rain observations & maps.