Hurricane Sandy will likely be almost three hundred miles off-shore when the Gators kickoff another classic Florida-Georgia match-up. The stakes are a bit higher this year as both teams enter play undefeated and hope to win the SEC East Division. Only one team will come away Saturday without a blemish on their record, and it might just come down to who can kick the ball the farthest against near-tropical storm-force winds.
Tailgaters in Jacksonville will likely have to endure the worst conditions a glancing blow from Sandy has to offer, with periods of heavy rain possible very early in the morning. The rain, when combined with wind gusts to 40 mph, may make firing up the grills and securing the paper goods difficult outside of Everbank Field. As the powerful Atlantic storm moves further away from Northeast Florida Saturday afternoon, conditions should dramatically improve by kickoff. At this time, we believe most (if not all) of the rain will be over and skies may even clear during the second half. The wind, however, will still be howling at speeds consistently in the 20 mph range.
Fans and motorists alike heading to Jacksonville Saturday morning should be prepared for slower travel times due to the driving rain and poor visibility at times. The trip back, however, whether it be on Saturday night or Sunday, will likely be much more enjoyable (especially with a Gator victory) as sunshine returns and winds relax. Much cooler and drier air will be ushered in on the heels of northwest winds in the wake of Sandy by Sunday evening.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The following is an hour-by-hour look at the forecast in Jacksonville on Saturday:
9am: 70° a few showers (35mph)
11am: 74° mostly cloudy (30mph)
1pm: 76° clouds breaking (28mph)
KICKOFF: 77° partly sunny (25mph)
5pm: 71° clearing skies (22mph)
7pm: 67° clear & breezy (20mph)