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EF-2 Jax Tornado!... Turning Hotter... July Weather

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Updated: 8/02/2013 10:00 am

Wow....what a day of storms.  A rather unseasonable upper level trough of low pressure provided an extra spark (instability) for storms Thu. afternoon.  Most of the storms produced very heavy rain, gusty winds & lots of lightning.  But one storm became severe as two cells merged near downtown Jax (from the north & from the south - see the two First Alert Doppler HD images [3:55 & 4:07pm respectively] below) & moved east.  This storm produced an EF-2 tornado that began as a waterspout at the Arlington Marina -- see video ** here ** - this is just as it arrived at Action News & the First Alert Weather Center.  

Click ** here ** to see video of the twister from a web cam as the swirling winds moved by. The tornado was on the ground for a bit more than a mile -- see map below -- from Derringer & Monument to McCormick & Kernan.  

Pictures of the damage can be found ** here **.   

Click ** here ** to take a walking tour with Action News reporter Kristen Sell & Al Sandrik of the National Weather Service as Al works on his storm survey which reads as follows:
  *** 1 INJ *** NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY TEAM CONFIRMS A TORNADO TOUCHDOWN IN THE VICINITY OF MONUMENT ROAD AND DERRINGER ROAD. TORNADO BRIEFLY REACHED EF-2 INTENSITY JUST SOUTH OF WILLOWWOOD DRIVE. JACKSONVILLE SHERIFFS OFFICE REPORTS 5-6 HOMES DAMAGED AND 15-20 STRUCTURES DAMAGED IN THIS EVENT. NWS STORM SURVEY IS ONGOING IN THE FORT CAROLINE ROAD VICINITY THIS EVENING.  TIME OF TORNADO TOUCHDOWN PRELIMARY AND BASED ON RADAR DATA.

The last photo below shows the apartment complex where the only EF-2 damage occurred.  Most of the rest of the damage was EF-1 with winds of 80-110 mph. This is the strongest tornado in metro Jax since an EF-2 tornado on Jax's NW side Aug. 12, 2004 spawned by tropical storm "Bonnie".

Scattered afternoon storms will pop again Fri., but the upper level trough will be lifting out & away so storms should be more scattered & -- while heavy -- not as intense overall as the last couple days.
The weekend will be hot & humid with afternoon highs near 90 at the beaches to the mid 90s inland with only widely scattered afternoon storms.  Much of the weekend will be dry & some places will miss out on the rain entirely.

July is in the books & was cooler & wetter than average.  At an avg. temp. of 80.6 degrees, JIA was a full 1.7 degrees below avg.  The 12 90-degree days was the fewest for July since 1975.  Rainfall totaled 8.65" - 2.1" above avg.  July rainfall from around the area courtesyour Jax N.W.S.:
JACKSONVILLE VICINITY...             NORTHEAST FLORIDA...

JACKSONVILLE BEACH.....5.20          FERNANDINA BEACH.....5.07
JACKSONVILLE NAS.......7.68           GAINESVILLE .........16.65
MAYPORT NS.............4.87             LAKE CITY 2E.........7.70
                                                 GLEN ST MARY.........9.94
BIG TALBOT ISLAND......4.05           FEDERAL POINT........7.26
LITTLE TALBOT ISLAND...4.66         ST. AUGUSTINE LITEHS.7.15
CRAIG FIELD............5.10               ST. AUGUSTINE ARPT...7.03
SOUTH PONTE VEDRA......5.15         HASTINGS 4NE.........7.10
GUANA RIVER ST PARK....9.94          HIGH SPRINGS.........14.06
BEAUCLERC..............8.41               JASPER...............7.98
                                                 BELL 4NW.............15.20
                                                 ORANGE SPRINGS 2SSW..9.83
                                                 OCALA................9.38
                                                 STARKE...............7.12
                                                 CRESCENT CITY........8.45
                                                 FLAGLER BEACH........4.19
                                                 BUNNELL..............7.63
                                                 PALM COAST 6NE.......7.85

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA...

BAXLEY 5NNW............8.23           WOODBINE.............7.46
BRUNSWICK..............2.42            ST SIMONS ISLAND.....6.31
HOMERVILLE 5N..........4.36           ALMA.................6.98
PRIDGEN................9.98               PATTERSON............11.21
WAYCROSS 4NE...........8.01          MANOR................7.06
NAHUNTA 6NE............6.08            HAZLEHURST...........9.14
FARGO 17NE.............8.53             DOUGLAS..............5.31

The July rainfall map below is courtesy the Jax N.W.S.:

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