All eyes on a storm system that will affect the First Coast this weekend. While not every detail is cut & dry, it's safe there will be rain.
- severe storm/heavy rain threat
- warm, humid
- exact location of front
.... & that's the key. Near & north of the front there will be an extensive area of heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms. Rainfall could be 3"+ through Sat. night & storms will be prone to producing large hail & -- in some cases -- strong winds. Then from near the front extending south for 25-50 miles there will scattered to numerous storms that will have a good chance of being severe including damaging winds, large hail & isolated tornadoes.
So the location of the front will dictate the extent & intensity of rain & storms for the First Coast. Present indications are that the front will be just about stationary very near the Fl./Ga. border through early Sat. evening. Initially the northward advance of the front will probably be delayed by heavy rain to the north of the front. My call is the front to establish itself somewhere between I-10 & the Fl./Ga. border which would place the most persistent rain across SE Ga. edging into extreme Northern Fl. The scattered to numerous storms would generally fire from midday through the evening along the I-10 corridor to possibly as far south as about Highway 16 & would include metro Jax.
This set-up will also result in a wide temp. range from highs only in the low 60s near Waycross to the mid 80s near Gainesville & Palatka.
Then by Sun. the front will lift north into the Carolina's as low pressure develops north of Jax. The low will swing a cold front eastward which should be preceded by a potential squall line of strong to severe storms. The line of storms will be in the Big Bend area early Sun. moving west to east across the First Coast from late morning through the early afternoon. The greatest threat with the line of storms will be damaging winds but an isolated tornado will be possible.
So stay up to date on the latest forecasts as we'll have to watch where the front exactly sets up over the weekend.
Speaking of severe weather....the Storm Prediction Center is giving a sneak preview of their new home page that will be up & running March 28th -- click ** here **.
NOAA issued the three-month U.S. Spring Outlook today, stating that odds favor above-average temperatures across much of the continental United States, including drought-stricken areas of Texas, the Southwest and the Great Plains. Spring promises little drought relief for most of these areas, as well as Florida, with below- average spring precipitation favored there. Meanwhile, river flooding is likely to be worse than last year across the country, with the most significant flood potential in North Dakota.
"This outlook reminds us of the climate diversity and weather extremes we experience in North America, where one state prepares for flooding while neighboring states are parched, with no drought relief in sight," said Laura Furgione, deputy director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "We produce this outlook to help communities prepare for what's likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather's impacts on lives and livelihoods. A Weather-Ready Nation hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst."
The U.S. Spring Outlook identifies the likelihood of spring flood risk and expectations for temperature, precipitation and drought. The outlook is based on a number of factors, including current conditions of snowpack, drought, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, Pacific Ocean temperatures and consensus among climate forecast models.
Spring Flood Risk -- click ** here **.
After a year of reprieve, the Red River of the North between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, and the Souris River in North Dakota have the potential for moderate and major flooding. Devils and Stump Lakes in northeast North Dakota have a 50 percent chance of rising approximately two feet, which would flood 20,000 acres of farmland and roadways.
The melting of late-season snow may cause minor to moderate flooding in the upper Mississippi River basin, including southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northern Missouri. The tributaries in the plains of the upper Missouri River basin, specifically along the Milk River in eastern Montana, the Big Sioux River in South Dakota and the Little Sioux River in Iowa may also see minor to moderate flooding. With significant frozen groundcover in these areas, spring flood risk is highly dependent on rainfall and the speed of the snowmelt.
Areas along the middle Mississippi, lower Missouri and Ohio River basins have already experienced minor flooding this year and the threat of minor flooding will continue through the spring. These basins include portions of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, eastern Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Minor flooding also is possible for the lower Mississippi River basin and in the Southeast, including portions of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia.
Drought Outlook -- click ** here **.
Fifty-one percent of the continental U.S.--primarily in the central and western regions--is in moderate to exceptional drought. Drought conditions are expected to persist, with new drought development, in California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies, Texas, and Florida. The outlook favors some improvement in the Midwest, the northern and central Great Plains, Georgia, the Carolinas, and northern Alaska.
Temperature and Precipitation Outlook -- click ** here **.
Above-normal temperatures this spring are most likely across most of the continental U.S. and northern Alaska. Below-normal temperatures are favored for the Pacific Northwest and extreme northern Great Plains. For precipitation, odds favor wetter-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions. Drier-than-normal conditions are most likely in much of the West, the Rockies, parts of the Southwest, much of Texas, along the Gulf Coast and Florida. Hawaii has an enhanced chance of being cooler and drier than normal.