THIS EVENING: Showers and a few thunderstorms are developing now along a sea breeze coming off of the Gulf. These cells will continue to strengthen near and east of the US HWY 301 corridor, then quickly race off to the northeast, primarily impacting Clay, Putnam, and Eastern Marion Counties. Brief downpours, wind gusts to 40mph, and frequent lightning are the main concerns with the stronger cells.
OVERNIGHT: An unusually strong cold front for this time of year will move through North-Central Florida around midnight. A brief shower or thunderstorm is possible when the boundary arrives, followed by a dramatic drop in temperature. After a mild evening with temperatures in the 70s, the mercury will plummet to the upper 50s by mid-morning Saturday. Winds will also shift to the north and be sustained around 10 to 15 mph.
SATURDAY: A post-frontal band of rain will move across most of North-Central Florida during the afternoon hours, halting any chance of a warm up. Daytime temperatures will likely hold in the upper 50s or lower 60s, and when combined with the north breeze, it could feel even colder. The record low maximum for April 20th (meaning the coldest high temperature ever recorded on this date) is 62. The projected high Saturday will likely occur just after midnight and be near 70, but afternoon temperatures (when the high is usually recorded) will be near or below this record.
Posted on Thursday…
April in Florida usually delivers plenty of sun and daytime highs in the 80’s, both conditions we’ve had plenty of this week. A cold front will bring an abrupt end to this trend Saturday as daytime temperatures drop nearly twenty degrees and skies turn unsettled. The mercury will likely be the only thing diving Saturday, as pool and beach-goers are strongly urged to make alternative plans for the first half of the weekend.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Friday: Warm, breezy, with sea breeze t-storms along and east of US HWY 301
- Saturday: Unusually cool with periods of rain likely
- Sunday: Warmer because of more sun, but still breezy and below normal
THE SET UP
The front will begin to make its presence known on Friday as winds increase out of the south, at times gusting to 25 mph. This will transport warmer and more humid air into North-Central Florida as daytime highs likely reach the upper 80’s. The added moisture could spark a brief shower or thunderstorm along the sea breezes as they slowly march inland late in the day, but most areas will stay dry Friday.
Periods of rain are much more likely on Saturday as the cold front moves through in the morning hours. Most of the rain will fall behind the front Saturday afternoon, ensuring temperatures stay in the 60s for most of the day with a stiff north breeze. The air will be more stable behind the front so strong thunderstorms are not expected. However, a few claps of thunder and brief periods of heavy rain will be possible in a few spots. Rainfall will not be particularly heavy and the system will be moving through at a steady pace, likely keeping rainfall accumulations under an inch in most areas.
The front clears the region on Sunday, but a wave of low pressure is forecast to develop along the front just offshore of the Space Coast (near Melbourne) by Sunday evening. Drier air is forecast to keep most of the rain to the east of North-Central Florida, but gusty winds off the Atlantic might occasionally push showers as far inland as I-75 at times.