If you weren’t able to get outside and enjoy the warm, spring sun this past weekend, your tan may have to wait another week. As we first warned you late last week, this coming weekend will be unsettled with chances for showers and thunderstorms during the period Friday through Sunday. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that we need the rain. According to the US Drought Monitor, all of North-Central Florida is currently experiencing drought conditions, with the driest conditions in the St. John’s River Valley. Most of Marion County and eastern parts of Alachua County are currently under severe drought conditions with rainfall deficits of 6 to 8 inches since January 1st. According to the National Weather Service, Gainesville is 6.73″ behind normal on rainfall for the year to date.
We’re still working on specifics with regard to the precise timing of the rain, but we have a good idea of the basics. Tuesday’s front will likely stall in southern Florida mid-week, only to return north as a warm front by week’s end. The cooler air we experience mid-week will be fought off by warmer, more humid air pushing in off the Gulf of Mexico. This type of set up usually leads to a large area of light to moderate rain, sometimes with thunder. We think this is most likely to occur Friday and Friday night.
Following this warm front, an area of low pressure to our west will then push a cold front into The Sunshine State over the weekend, likely triggering another round of precipitation. Heavy rain and strong thunderstorms are possible when this front arrives, which could be either late Saturday or Sunday.
Preliminary model data suggests some areas could receive rainfall accumulations of up to three inches during this time span. While our soils could definitely use the drink, rainfall intensities of greater than one inch per hour may result in some localized flooding in a few spots that receive multiple rounds of heavy rain. We will watch this closely and have updates throughout the week on WRUF-TV, or on Twitter @GatorWeather.