8 AM UPDATE: Thunderstorms got an early start today thanks to a plume of deep moisture moving in out of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an unusually strong front slated to arrive tomorrow. North Florida will dry out in the late morning and the break in activity will allow for the atmosphere to destabilize. Once moisture pushes in off the Gulf in the afternoon hours some strong to severe storms will be possible mainly east of I-75.
[Posted on Monday] An abnormally strong cold front for July standards has been working its way through the Eastern United States. The front, already responsible for well below average temperatures in the Midwest and strong storms in the Northeast, will dive into the Southeast Tuesday morning. Although the front will be well to the north, it will interfere with North Florida’s weather patterns as early as Tuesday.
The cold front will begin to dive into the Southeast, but will stall within a hundred miles of the Florida/Georgia line. The front will help to kick start the atmosphere and draw in deep Gulf moisture, making strong storms possible during the afternoon and early evening hours. The difference from a normal summer day? Storms on Tuesday will likely begin near the lunch hour and be widely scattered through drive time. Some showers and storms could even linger well into the evening hours. The strongest storms will likely produce excessive lightning, strong gusty winds, and small hail between noon and 8PM. The greatest chance for severe weather lies along and east of Highway 301 later in the day. Most of the rainfall on Tuesday will end around midnight with local rainfall accumulations approaching 1-2″.
The cold front will start to slide further south on Wednesday, sparking showers and thunderstorms as early at 3AM in western communities. The rain will likely take form in Alachua County before 7AM and will linger through most of the morning. The rain will most likely be light, but steady in nature and with some heavier rainfall possible as well. The rain will most likely subside in Alachua County after 3PM with lingering clouds for the rest of the day. Rain should end after 6PM on Wednesday near the Atlantic Coast.
The Rest of the Week:
Latest data now suggest the cold front will likely pass through North Florida on Wednesday night and bring in drier and less humid air for the end of the week. Rain chances will be significantly lower from Alachua County northward on Thursday and Friday, but the drier air will allow temperatures to rise into the low to mid 90′s. Then, rain chances increase as typical sea breeze interactions return for the weekend.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @WRUFWeather or go online to WRUFWeather.com for updates on the arrival of the strongest storms. Don’t forget, you can track the storms with us, ask questions to the WRUF Weather team, and even watch WRUF-TV live from your computer.