Karen may no longer be a tropical storm threat for North Florida, but the remnant area of low pressure and approaching cold front are likely to soak the region through Tuesday. And a new storm is likely to form near the First Coast, keeping the weather less-than-ideal for outdoor activities there through mid-week. Heavy rain and a few strong thunderstorms are likely for inland areas Monday, then heavy rain, gusty winds, and high surf are the primary concerns for beach-goers and coastal residents Monday night through Wednesday.
INLAND AREAS: REST OF MONDAY – Updated 2:00pm
Skies broke up a bit early Monday, which allowed the air mass ahead of these systems to destabilize slightly with temperatures reaching the middle 80s. It won’t take long for showers and thunderstorms to form near the Nature Coast and spread inland. Some of the rainfall this afternoon will be locally heavy, especially where cells are moving slowly to the northeast. Rainfall amounts will generally run 0.5 to 1 inch in most areas, with locally higher amounts possible where multiple storms hit the same areas. The heaviest rain is expected to fall near a line from Chiefland to High Springs to Jacksonville (part of Gilchrist, Alachua, Bradford, Union, Clay, Duval and Baker counties). Heavy rain will likely taper off this evening for North Florida, but lighter showers or drizzle may carry well into the evening, especially near the Florida-Georgia border and points north.
FIRST COAST: MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY
A new area of low pressure is likely to form off the First Coast overnight Monday, and it will only slowly drift northeast toward the Carolinas by mid-week. This will prolong the unsettled weather along the beaches of Northeast Florida and for much of Southeast Georgia through at least Tuesday afternoon. The steadier, heavier rains will gradually drift north and out of the area by Tuesday morning, but showers are likely to redevelop again for most coastal and inland areas Tuesday afternoon due to some cooler, unstable air aloft wrapping around the storm. Winds will lag behind the rain some, but are likely to prompt Small Craft Advisories by Tuesday afternoon for all coastal waters. The highest wind gusts will be near 35 mph in Southeast Georgia Tuesday, steadily increasing also in Northeast Florida Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to about 30 mph. A strong onshore wind such as this will lead to an elevated rip current risk, and possibly some minor coastal flooding during times of high tide in low-lying areas.