The heavy rain/severe storm threat is over. Prepare now for an unseasonably chilly week ahead as well as gusty winds Mon. & Tue.
Safe to say everyone had at least some rain over the weekend & in most places it was a soaker. The image below is the doppler estimated rainfall which is underdone in quite a few places. Some of the amounts reported so far....
- Jax S'side: 5.76".......Waycross: 4.1"....JIA: 2.77"....San Marco: 2.53".
Storm photos below -- in order -- are from Victor Jackson, St. Johns Co....Phil Keister - Cypress Lakes, St. Johns Co. hail....Todd Aspinwall - hail at the Outlet Mall, St. Johns Co...Tina Andreu - heavy rain & hail, World Golf Village...Deb, St. Augustine - hail covering the ground...Casey Miracle - tree on a home in Lake City + flooding...Amanda - Clay Hill flooding, washed out road...Jordadn Givens - Lawtey hail...Alexis Gaugh - St. Augustine hail ...Kate - hail in St. Augustine...& Dawn - Blanding Blvd. roll cloud just above the horizon.
Sunday morning update:
(see maps & images below).....Surface low pressure is organizing/strengthening over SE Alabama, so the warm front has popped north & the cold front is organizing south of the low into the Gulf. A large area of showers & thunderstorms, a few severe extend from the Eastern Gulf across the Panhandle, NW Fl. into Southern Ga. The low will intensify & move northeast today swinging the cold front & -- more importantly -- a prefrontal trough of low pressure -- to the east. The heavy rain & storms will be along & ahead of the trough.
Breezy, very warm & humid conditions are across the First Coast. This will certainly be a wet & stormy day with the question being how intense will storms become & how long will they be able to maintain themselves. Seems that at least a few severe storms -- damaging winds, hail, isolated tornadoes -- will occur through at least early afternoon in a corridor from the Big Bend across I-10 near & west of Jax into much of Southern/SE Ga. As the low moves farther to the north of the area, low level winds will become more W/SW which decreases the shear needed to maintain severe storm organization. The exact timing of this process is difficult to discern & will dictate when storms slowly weaken. Having said that, winds aloft will still be very strong so any storms through the afternoon will still have the potential to produce strong winds. It appears the highest severe weather threat will be through 1-2pm then decrease thereafter.
More heavy rain will fall. Individual cells within the large area of rain/storms will move E/NE at 30-40 mph, but the entire area will only move E/SE at 10-20 mph so there will be some "training" of cells which will lead another day of heavy rainfall. While not as extreme as Sat., additional rainfall will still likely reach 1-2", especially from Jax & areas north & west. Somewhat lesser rain south of Jax as the rain/storm area gradually shrinks this afternoon. So will probably be at least some short term flooding given the saturated ground after Sat.'s rainfall that locally was 5"+.
Once the trough moves through, skies will clear & gusty west winds will follow. An isolated shower or storm could occur this evening as the main cold front finally swings across the First Coast. Expect a very windy day Mon. with N/NW winds of 15-30 mph but gusts as high as 40 mph BUT no rain.
Sat. night update:
The warm front has struggled to move north because of 1) the heavy & strong t'storms north of the front creating & reinforcing the cold air at the surface (mentioned this possibility in past days).....2) the strong upper level disturbance far to the west is just now pushing into the Plains & until it pushes into the Tennessee & Ohio Valley's, surface low pressure will be slow to organize which keeps the front essentially stationary.
FIRST AREA OF CONCERN:
But by later early Sunday, the low will organize & strengthen & the warm front will shoot to the north into SE Ga. early Sunday then at least to I-16 by midday. This front will still pose a threat for severe storms, heavy rain & isolated tornadoes as it moves north & could include SE Ga. early Sunday & possibly extreme Northern Fl. Very warm, almost hot temps. (record highs of 90 degrees occurred Sat. @ Vero Beach & Melbourne) & high humidity surging north should fuel additional storm development helped out by the strong upper level disturbance to the W/NW.
SECOND AREA OF CONCERN:
By Sunday morning, temps. & humidity will be very high across the area (some forecast models show dew points approaching 70 degrees!). A strong cold front will be "sling-shotted" eastward south of the developing/strengthening low pressure that will move from Alabama/Ga. across Ga. into the Carolina's. A squall line of severe t'storms should develop along/ahead of the front -- near a trough of low pressure east of the front -- from W. Ga. into the Panhandle at sunrise. This line of storms will sweep eastward to perhaps a little southeast while individual cells race E/NE. Isolated storms could develop ahead of the line, but we're probably looking at the bulk of the severe weather with the squall line. APPROXIMATE timing is between 10am & 3pm from west to east across the First Coast crossing metro Jax a little either way of the noon hour. These storms will be capable of high, damaging winds, some hail & very heavy rain along with an isolated tornado threat. Even without storms, winds will be strong through the day Sun......from the S/SW in the morning at 10-20 mph increasing to 15-25 mph with higher gusts just in advance of the squall line. Once the squall line passes, W winds will blow 15-30 mph with higher gusts.
Rainfall is nearing a half foot in some places 30 miles either side of I-10. 4.52 through 7pm Sat. on Jax's Southside. The warm front-induced t'storms will produce more torrential rain Sat. night while the squall line's rainfall will be comparatively less because of the relatively fast movement of the overall line. Still....there could be some 1"+ amounts with the squall line with an average of about .5-1". So 2-day totals will range from 5-10" near & about 25 miles either side of I-10....to 2-5" near Highway 16....to .5-2" south of Highway 16 in Fl....to 3-6"+ near the Fl./Ga. border & 5"+ across SE Ga. "When it rains, it pours"(!).
Midday Sat. update:
Things are progressing pretty much as expected with a stationary front/warm front only very slowly moving north. This set-up has triggered intense to severe t'storms along the I-10 corridor north into SE Ga. There have already been reports of 1.75" (golf ball) size hail with some of the storms. Large hail, lightning & very heavy rain will be the primary threats through about 3-5pm as the storms are what's termed "elevated". But as surface heating increases & the warm front tries to nudge northward (+ very warm air across Central Fl. that can be "ingested" by the storms), storms should become more "surface based" which means the base of the storm clouds will lower. When/if this happens, the damaging wind & tornado threat should increase. The severe threat will continue into early this evening then shift northward well into Ga. & away from most of the First Coast later tonight. A wide range in temps. as expected - from 50s & 60s across SE Ga. to mid 80s @ Gainesville & Palatka. This range in temps. has caused & will cause some of the storms near I-10 to turn a little more SE. Such "right turners" are some of our most severe storms & could be the most powerful today/tonight.
The weekend forecast will hinge on the position of a warm front Sat. & a cold front Sun.
It looks like the warm front will be approaching I-10 by noon or so at which time showers & t'storms should break out in its vicinity. So the best chance to get things done outside & stay dry will be in the morning but even then there will likely be at least a few scattered showers. Most of the afternoon rain & storms should be across Southeast Ga. south to I-10 to about 20-40 miles south of I-10. Within this zone there will be heavy rain at times & the threat for severe storms with hail & high winds. The storms will lift more northward Sat. night as the warm front pushes north. Severe storms from I-10 north into SE Ga. will be quite possible Sat. evening with a higher risk of an isolated tornado & this will the period with the highest for severe storms -- from 5pm to midnight or so. Storms should push into Central Ga. late Sat. night giving the First Coast a bit of a break. Another round of showers & storms will accompany a cold front Sunday from mid morning through the early afternoon & could also produce severe weather. There's the potential for rainfall of 5"+ across SE Ga.... 2-4" along the Fl./Ga. border...1-3" along the I-10 corridor...& an inch or less south of Jax. Locally higher amounts will be possible & REALIZE ALL IS CONTINGENT ON THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE WARM FRONT.
Temps. will range widely this weekend with Sat. afternoon temps. just hitting the 60s at Waycross to the mid 80s at Palatka. It'll turn warm area wide Sun. with highs in the 80s & gusty winds of 20-30 mph regardless of any t'storms.
Click ** here ** for a briefing from our Jax N.W.S.
I must admit I cringe a bit when I hear within a newscast: "you have to see this incredible video" or something along that line. But here I go(!): You have to see this video of a violent tornado in Australia as a person in their car tries to avoid the twister & debris that's being thrown hundreds of yards from the tornado. AND notice the clockwise circulation of the tornado -- it's the Southern Hemisphere(!) vs. the typical counter-clockwise circulation in our neck of the woods & the rest of the Northern Hemisphere -- click ** here **.
-New eyes in the sky just opened, with what will be even more stunning views of our changing earth.
The first image shows the meeting of the Great Plains with the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. The natural-color image shows the green coniferous forest of the mountains coming down to the dormant brown plains. The cities of Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder and Denver string out from north to south. Popcorn clouds dot the plains while more complete cloud cover obscures the mountains."
"Everything has been very exciting," said Reuter. These first images are the culmination of a lot of hard work from the people at NASA and USGS, the Landsat Science Team and their industry partners at Ball Aerospace Corp. in Boulder, Colo., that built OLI, and Orbital Science Corp. of Gilbert, Ariz., that built and tested the spacecraft, he said. "As a tool for science, for looking at the whole planet and seeing how we're affecting it, and how it's affecting us, it's gratifying in all ways." A lot of talented people worked very hard and everything had to work. And it has."
Click ** here ** for the view.
Earth Gauge: Container Gardening for Rain
Consider a rain garden to reduce watering needs in your yard and replenish groundwater. A rain garden is lower than the surrounding landscape, allowing rain to soak into the soil. This filters out pollutants and keeps runoff out of city storm sewers.
Viewer Tip: The ideal spot if you want the most plant choices is a sunny or partially shady, flat or very gently sloping area located some distance from underground utilities and your home. The area should drain well. Heavy clay soils require a larger rain garden and sandy soils require a smaller one. Dig out six inches for a level area and loosen up the next 3. Add compost-enhanced soil and drought-tolerant native plants that can stay wet for few days. Mulch and water until plants establish.
Learn more about native plant choices in the Native Plant Database, which provides options for areas nationwide.
This information is provided by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Learn more ** here **.
State of the Climate Report - Highlights from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Visit ** here ** for more information.
Climate Fact: Record Breaking Rains Reduce Southeastern Droughts
Average February temperatures were one to two degrees Fahrenheit above normal along the Southeast’s Atlantic and Gulf coastlines, but interior portions of the Southeast actually experienced below-average February temperatures of the same magnitude. The region’s warmest and coldest temperatures were separated by less than a week. A heat wave from February 11-13 brought Virginia’s temperatures into the 60s and Georgia’s into the 80s. Nearly a week later, temperatures couldn’t break through the 40s in Virginia and North Carolina, while below-freezing temperatures were felt as far south as Dayton Beach, Florida. The thermometer rocketed to 90 degrees Fahrenheit only five days later just 100 miles to the west in Inverness, FL, setting Florida’s all-time high temperature for February. Most of the Southeast was much wetter than usual for February as five cities stretching from Northern Florida through southern Georgia and into coastal South Carolina recorded their wettest Februaries ever. For perspective, Geneva, GA recorded 23.51 inches of rain in February, while Macon, GA received more rain than it did in the previous five months combined. Most of this rain fell when a frontal system stalled over the region for an entire week in early February and when two low pressure systems moved from east to west across the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. February’s rain reduced the Southeast’s drought expanse from 43 to 28 percent and completely erased the areas of extreme and exceptional drought that plagued Georgia the last two years.
For more information, visit ** here **.
Climate in the News: Mulvaney, E. “Drought choking-off butterfly population” – San Antonio Express-News, March 18, 2013 - Drought, wildfires, extreme heat and loss of milkweed habitat are contributing to declining monarch butterfly populations in Texas.Have a great & safe weekend!