W’s are wild on Wednesday. A warm and windy afternoon will likely turn wet by evening, marking the return of winter-like temperatures by Thursday morning. This is all thanks to a strong cold front that will be making headlines across much of the country over the next two days. Severe storms capable of damaging wind and isolated tornadoes are possible ahead of the front in the Mid-South and Ohio Valley, while snow and wind will be making an impact on the back side of the storm system across the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Florida will once again be on the tail end of this weather system, likely missing the brunt of the adverse weather. However, the front will make its presence known and we are tracking its impacts in the form of wind, rain, and falling temperatures.
WIND: Minor damage possible Wednesday evening
Winds will be steadily increasing Wednesday, gusting at times over 25 mph by early evening out of the south. Wind gusts could gust as high as 40 mph when the leading edge of the rain or thunder arrives, likely between 9pm and Midnight. While likely not as widespread as it will be to our north and west on Tuesday and Wednesday, minor wind damage is possible as this squall moves through North-Central Florida Wednesday evening.
The gusty winds will quickly come to a halt late Wednesday night as the front passes, then switch direction and start blowing out of the northwest on Thursday morning. This is when it will become very apparent a new air mass has arrived. A breezy northwest wind will add quite a chill to the air through Thursday evening, gusting at times to 25 mph.
RAIN: Brief downpours with isolated thunder likely
Gainesville has a January rainfall deficit of over 2.7 inches, and this front will likely leave much more to be desired by area farmers and agriculture enthusiasts. The fast movement of this weather center, combined with waning upper-level support, will lead to only minor amounts of rainfall across much of North-Central Florida. Rainfall accumulation Wednesday night will range from 0.1 to 0.5 of an inch, with the highest amounts occurring near the I-10 corridor where a few thunderstorms are more likely to increase rainfall rates.
TEMPS: A return to a near-normal chill through the weekend
It will feel about 30 degrees cooler on Thursday morning in the wake of the aforementioned front. The most notable change will occur Thursday as temperatures struggle to rebound to the middle 60’s under a mostly sunny sky. Thursday night will also be quite chilly as overnight lows dip into the upper 30s. The cooler air with this system, however, won’t come all at once. A reinforcing shot of Canadian air will arrive with a stronger ridge of high pressure Friday night and Saturday, likely driving overnight lows close to the freezing mark over the weekend and keeping daytime highs in the lower 60’s, which is a few degrees below the normal numbers for early February.