WRUF Weather

Complicated Pattern Becomes Clearer by the Weekend

It hasn’t been an easy week to forecast here in North-Central Florida.  Thursday will mark the third day in a row of overcast skies in Gainesville, and we are likely in for two more.  On top of that unusual streak, the processes by which rain has been occurring have been a little quirky as well.  Tuesday’s “spotty and brief” showers, for example, turned into a steady downpour for several hours in parts or town, adding up to nearly an inch of rain for some while leaving other parts of town mostly dry.  Most of North-Central Florida, outside of Gainesville, saw only a few hundredths of precipitation.

Smaller scale weather features, sometimes largely unnoticed by forecast model data, have been attributing to the lower-than-normal confidence in our recent forecasts.  Tuesday’s rain was atypical in that it didn’t develop along the cold front that passed in the morning.  Rather, it developed thanks to an on-shore wind off the Atlantic being lifted over a weak trough of lower pressure trailing the front later that evening.  While today’s rain chances are a bit clearer, the activity is still likely to be disorganized and difficult to pin down.  A slightly stronger disturbance will be passing through Georgia and a trailing axis of lower pressure will pass through midday, acting to induce a few showers that will move from northwest to southeast across the region.

An even larger and stronger storm system appears to be developing just off-shore on the Atlantic Coast this weekend.  Faster upper-level winds will be arriving, aiding in the creation a coastal storm over the Gulf Stream by Sunday and Monday.  The faster northwest flow aloft will likely pull in cooler and drier air by early next week, but not before moisture wraps around the developing system and brings another chance of showers to Gainesville on Saturday.  At this time, there is a small chance for rain during the last home football game in The Swamp for the 2012 season.  We’ll keep you updated on that.  The drier air circulating in on Sunday will finally clear our skies and allow the sun to shine in ernest again.

THE BOTTOM LINE

THURSDAY:  Midday rain/drizzle.  Cloudy and cool.

FRIDAY:  Cloud and breezy.

SATURDAY: Brief afternoon showers.  Cloudy and breezy.

SUNDAY:  Increasing sunshine, breezy and cool.

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