WRUF Weather

Severe storms possible in North Florida Tuesday Night

By on November 25th, 2013

An area of low pressure is forecast to strengthen rapidly as it comes ashore in the panhandle Tuesday and moves up the east coast Wednesday.  Warm, humid air will surge northward ahead of the storm Tuesday, setting the stage for a round or two of strong thunderstorms as the air masses collide along a cold front Tuesday night.  This early winter storm will also impact millions of travellers who may be heading north for the holiday on Wednesday, followed by the season’s first freeze in parts of Florida Thanksgiving morning.

PRECISION POINTS
  • Wind damage is the primary concern with a squall line Tuesday night.
  • Isolated tornadoes are possible near the Gulf coast Tuesday evening
  • Heaviest rainfall (2 to 3 inches) most-likely in the panhandle and big bend region

IMPACTS TO FLORIDA

 

TUESDAY: A warm front will be lifting north throughout the day, likely making it to the Florida-Georgia border by late afternoon.  Numerous showers and a few thunderstorms will be developing along this boundary, especially later in the day and north of the I-4 corridor.  Widespread severe weather is not anticipated, but a few isolated cells capable of wind damage or small hail will be possible.  A steadier, heavier rain is likely in the panhandle for most of the day as the low pressure comes ashore.

 

TUESDAY NIGHT: A squall line of sorts with heavy rain, some thunder, and possible severe weather is expected to sweep across the entire peninsula Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.  Strong upper-level winds will send the squall line quickly to the east, at times producing some wind damage and isolated tornadoes.  The greatest chances for severe weather is closer to the Gulf Coast, from Apalachicola to Sarasota, and primarily during the evening hours.  The threat diminishes gradually overnight as the front pushes inland, but isolated wind damage is still possible with this system all the way to the Atlantic coast in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY: Drier weather will quickly replace the departing storm in Florida by midday Wednesday.  Strong north winds and falling temperatures, however, will likely continue through Wednesday night.  Gale conditions are expected along both coastlines of north Florida, with at least Small Craft Advisory winds likely along all other nearshore waters.

 

 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY:  The season’s first freeze is possible for many inland areas Thursday morning.  Temperatures (at this time) are projected to fall to near the freezing mark in cities like Gainesville and Jacksonville, with upper 20s possible in the Suwannee River Valley and points west through the panhandle such as Tallahassee and Pensacola.  This freeze will be an advection freeze, meaning it is driven primarily by the wind and therefore, a frost is not expected.  However, a hard freeze is possible in many inland areas of the panhandle and near the Georgia border where the continuous north wind will keep temperatures below freezing for several hours.  Wind chills will also be a factor across most of the state on Thanksgiving Day morning, falling as low as the 20s north of I-4 and in the 30s and 40s all the way to parts of south Florida.

TRAVEL IMPACTS

 

Florida:  Heavy rain and wind could cause delays at Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville airports Tuesday and Tuesday night, with improving conditions by air Wednesday.  Roadways will be impacted by periods of heavy rain and possible severe weather Tuesday in the panhandle, and then Tuesday night across the rest of the peninsula.

 

Southeast US:  Heavy rain and wind could cause delays at Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, and Raleigh airports Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Heavy rain will also cause some slow-ups on interstates during the same time.  Snow and ice will snarl travel in the high country of North and South Carolina, and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

 

Northeast US:  Significant impact to travel, both air and land, is expected Wednesday.  All major airports from Dulles to Boston (along the coast) will likely experience delays of several hours at some point on the busiest travel day of the year, and ground stoppages are possible for airports further inland (such as Pittsburgh and Buffalo).  Ground travel will be severely impacted further inland in states such as West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania due to snow and ice accumulation Wednesday night.  Only rain is expected along the I-95 corridor through the duration of the event.  Conditions in the Northeast will improve dramatically on Thursday, with very little impact from weather expected for the remainder of the holiday period.

 

Rest of the Nation:  Much of the central U.S. and upper Midwest will be calm and quiet during the holiday period, but rather cold.  A warm-up will occur from the Plains west, and conditions should remain favorable for travel through Sunday.  The extreme northwest could experience some impactful weather by Sunday, as a new storm comes ashore.

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Freezing wind chills, NOT temperatures, expected tonight in Gainesville

By on November 13th, 2013

The winds you felt today in north Florida, gusting at times to 25 mph, are pushing in the coldest air of the fall season (so far) tonight.  However, those same winds will likely be the saving grace that keeps most locations well above the freezing mark on the thermometer.  Wind chills (what it feels like when you factor in the wind), though, will be literally “freezing” by morning in many areas.

 

ACTUAL TEMPERATURES

Freeze warnings are in effect for Suwannee and Columbia counties in North Florida, but WRUF Weather does not anticipate widespread freezing temperatures in these areas.  However, the northern parts of these counties, along with sheltered locations from the wind (also in parts of Gilchrist and Lafayette counties) might experience an hour or two near-freezing temperatures by morning. Residents in the aforementioned locations are encouraged to cover or bring plants inside to prevent damage.  Elsewhere, a light north breeze will keep the air mixed (moving) and likely prevent a temperature drop to the freezing mark.

HOUR-BY-HOUR WIND CHILL

The same winds that will likely prevent a freeze will still leave their mark.  The wind chill is a factor that is used to calculate how cold the wind feels to exposed skin at low temperatures.  Current forecast data suggests that a prolonged period of near-freezing (32°) wind chills can be expected in most areas of North-Central Florida overnight.  A persistent north breeze at around 10 mph is to thank for the frigid numbers.  Temperatures will be rebounding quickly on Thursday, thanks to abundant sunshine and a lighter wind, to near 70 by afternoon.

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Winter Blitz Coming Wednesday to North Florida

By on November 10th, 2013

It will only last a day or two, but much of Florida will be shocked by an early winter chill that will have folks pulling out heavy coats by mid-week.  The front responsible for this sudden change is forecast to arrive Tuesday in the panhandle, and then quickly sweep across the rest of the state Wednesday.  Moisture gathering in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the front will be steered into central and south Florida, where most of the rain with this weather system will fall.  A strong ridge of higher pressure will quickly build in behind the front, stirring up the winds to gale force in some areas, and leading to another round of adverse boating conditions on the Atlantic coast.

 

PRECISION POINTS

  • Coldest daytime temperatures Wednesday, coldest night Wednesday night

  • Best chances for significant rain in central and south Florida Wednesday

  • Gale force wind gusts (to 40mph) and seas 5 to 10 feet on Atlantic coast Wednesday and Thursday

 

COLDEST TEMPERATURES YET

The coldest air of the late fall season will arrive in north Florida Wednesday, sweeping across the rest of the state Wednesday night and Thursday.  After a relatively warm day Tuesday (with highs near 80 in most inland areas), temperatures will fall late Tuesday night, and keep on falling through most of the day Wednesday north of the I-4 corridor.  Afternoon readings in the 50s will be common, a full twenty degrees below values that are typical for this time of year.  The coldest night time temperatures will occur Wednesday night in north Florida, and then Thursday night in central and south Florida.  Lows Thursday morning in the 30s will be possible from the Suwannee River Valley and for much of the panhandle.  The first 40-degree low temperatures of the season will be experienced across central Florida north of I-4 on Friday morning.  A 50-degree chill could push as far south as inland areas of south Florida north of I-75.

This cold snap will be brief, though, as the upper-level winds will be quick to carry the polar air mass out to sea.  A shift in the winds occurring Thursday and Friday will allow temperatures to return to the mid-November norms by the end of the week.  In fact, some long range forecast data suggests above-normal temperatures could be back as early as Sunday, with many inland areas topping 80 degrees again!

RAIN MORE LIKELY IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH FLORIDA

An area of low pressure is likely to form on the aforementioned cold front as it presses southward mid-week.  The big question mark is whether or not it form on the Gulf of Mexico side of the peninsula, or wait until the front moves further offshore on the Atlantic coast before maturing.  The development of this low will be key to where the heaviest rain occurs as the front moves across Florida.  Model data currently suggests that most of the rain will fall on the eastern side of Florida and mostly on Wednesday.  Central and south Florida will have a much greater opportunity for an episode of heavier rain with the front if the low pressure strengthens some over the Gulf of Mexico before arriving.  At the very least, most areas of the state south of a Cedar Key to Gainesville to Jacksonville line will likely see a few showers or drizzle in the wake of the front on Tuesday night or Wednesday.

GALE CONDITIONS ON ATLANTIC COAST

Winds frequently gusting to gale force will be common in the wake of the mid-week front on the Atlantic beaches, starting Wednesday along the First Coast and then spreading south toward the Treasure Coast by Thursday morning.  A slew of wind and surf advisories are likely to be issued by the National Weather Service as the specifics of these conditions become more apparent in coming days.  Boaters, swimmers and surfers are encouraged to stay tuned to local media or follow @FloridaStorms on Twitter for the very latest on the dangerous marine conditions expected mid-week.

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Gale Warning issued for First Coast through Tuesday

By on November 4th, 2013

High pressure typically brings warm, dry and calm weather.  But not when it is so strong, sitting to our north, and interacting with an area of lower pressure to the south.  The wind flow around both of these weather features will team up to deliver a strong onshore wind and some adverse conditions to Florida’s First Coast over the coming days, starting today and lingering through late Tuesday.


 

WINDS
  • GALE WARNING for coastal waters from Altahama Sound, GA to Flagler Beach, FL out 20 nautical miles.  Winds in these locations expected to be sustained 20 to 25 knots (approximately 25 to 30 mph), with frequent gusts to gale force (38 mph).

  • LAKE WIND ADVISORY for inland counties of Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, Coastal Glynn and Camden through Monday evening (likely to also be issued Tuesday).  Winds in these locations will be sustained 20 to 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph at times.

  • Further inland (along I-75 corridor), breezy with sustained winds increasing to 15 mph, gusts to 20 mph at times in the afternoon hours Monday and Tuesday.

SEAS
  • HIGH SURF ADVISORY for all coastal areas of Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida through Wednesday. Waves of 5 to 7 feet will be possible late Monday afternoon, building to 6 to 10 feet Monday night and Tuesday.

  • Intercoastal waterways and areas lakes will experience choppy to rough waters as well, especially during the afternoon hours.

RAIN SHOWERS
  • Coastal showers will be numerous through the period, but will likely reach their peak on Tuesday

  • Showers will drift southwest Monday through Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Putnam and Marion counties on Monday.

  • Areas further inland and farther north toward Gainesville and Lake City have better chances of a few showers Tuesday and Wednesday.  As rainbands approach, winds could gust several miles per hour higher than aforementioned numbers.

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Rain is expected to clear in time for Florida-Georgia Game

By on November 1st, 2013

A fast-moving front will likely soak early tailgaters in Jacksonville for the annual Florida-Georgia game, but conditions are expected to improve dramatically by kickoff at Everbank Field Saturday afternoon.  A soggy and humid morning will be transitioning to a drier, yet cooler evening as the front passes.  The recent spell of unusual warmth will come to an abrupt end Saturday night as more typical early November temperatures arrive.

PRECISION POINTS

  • Steadiest and heaviest rain ends by noon, spotty lingering showers until 2pm
  • Cloudy, but DRY by kickoff
  • Clearing, breezy and noticeably cooler by 2nd half

WRUF Weather has been tracking the front all week on its journey through the central part of the country.  While not as strong as it was a day ago, the front was still producing a line of showers and thunderstorms ahead of it as it approached the panhandle on Friday. This line of rain and some thunder will continue marching eastward, arriving in North Florida after midnight Friday night.  The heaviest and steadiest of rain will likely arrive in Jacksonville and Gainesville about the same time, likely just before daybreak Saturday.  Model data is in strong agreement on these bands of rain exiting both cities by noon, with only a brief light shower or two lingering until about 2pm.  Skies will likely be slow to clear through the first half of the game, and as the winds increase a bit out of the north, it will be apparent to fans that a new air mass is moving in.  When the skies clear during the second half, the thermometer will reflect the cool down with temperatures falling well into the 60s.

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Updated Halloween and Gator Gameday Forecast

By on October 30th, 2013

Halloween will be more of treat, not a trick, this year as the warm and dry weather continues through the end of the week.  This will end abruptly, however, when a cold front slides through on Saturday and delivers a round of rain and reality check on temperatures.  Gator and Bulldog fans headed to Jacksonville shouldn’t be too bothered by the front, though, as much of the rain will fall before the game kicks off and the coldest of temperatures won’t arrive until well after it concludes.

 

UPDATED HALLOWEEN FORECAST

Morning fog could make the skies look eery in the morning, but by afternoon the sun will illuminate the sky brightly and it will feel more like Labor Day than late October.  Along with above normal temperatures, the humidity will be higher than normal as well.  Daytime highs are headed for the middle 80s and with the humidity, it may feel closer to 90 by mid-afternoon.  Trick-or-treat temperatures during the evening will be falling into the 70s and skies will remain partly cloudy.

 

GATOR GAMEDAY

Saturday’s front is forecast to move through quickly, likely impacting tailgaters more than the game itself in Jacksonville.  A round of showers and maybe a thunderstorm are likely to hit most areas of north Florida with its arrival.  The projected start time in Jacksonville is around 9am, with most of the showers likely ending by 2pm.  WRUF Weather is confident that the heaviest and steadiest rain will be over by kickoff at 3:30.  However, a few low clouds and areas of light rain or drizzle may still be on its way out through the first half.  The bigger story by game time will be the cooler temperatures and increase in wind.  Temperatures are likely to fall quickly into the 60s by the second half, and when combined with an increasing north breeze of about 15 mph, it will feel noticeably cooler than when the game begins.  What may offset the stiff north breeze will be a limited amount of sunshine breaking out in the wake of the front before sunset.

 

Stay with WRUF Weather and follow us on Twitter @WRUFWeather for future updates on the weekend forecast in relation to the Florida-Georgia game Saturday.

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EERY WARM-UP FOR HALLOWEEN WEEK

By on October 27th, 2013

The cool, crisp autumn weather of late will be scared away by a shift in the winds this week across North Florida.  Jackets and hoodies will likely be replaced by shorts and short-sleeves by midweek as late-summer warmth and humidity seemingly come back from the dead.  And while projected temperatures are unusually warm for this time of year, the record books will likely not be spooked.

FIRST, THE WARM-UP

Temperatures in Gainesville Monday will likely crack the 80-degree mark, which will be noticeable considering the past six days have only topped out in the 70s.  A wind more out of the east rather than the north is to thank for the air mass modification. With ample sunshine through mid-week, temperatures will likely continue to climb, possibly reaching the upper 80s by Thursday.  Overnight lows will be more mild as well, only dipping into the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  Average highs and lows for this time of year are in the upper 70s and middle 50s respectively.  Records are likely safe through this warm spell, with record lows mainly in the lower 30s and record highs in the lower 90s.

 

THEN, THE HUMIDITY

A trough of low pressure is forecast to develop along the Atlantic Coast, further strengthening the on-shore flow by mid-week.  The warm ocean temperatures will sponsor a more humid air mass that pushes inland by Thursday and Friday.  Dew points are often used as a measuring tool of how uncomfortable the air can feel in Florida, and they are forecast to be near 70 by Friday, a sharp contrast to the 40s we had over the weekend.

 

TRICK-OR-TREAT FORECAST

After a warm afternoon, trick-or-treaters should have a mild and comfortable evening to enjoy on Thursday.  Skies will likely be partly cloudy and temperatures will be falling into the 70s.

 

WATCHING CLOSELY

The projected warm spell this week will likely come to an abrupt end with a cold front arriving this weekend.  Early model data suggests the front will be accompanied by widespread rain and maybe even a few thunderstorms. The speed of the front will be the key to how much of an impact it could have on Gator and Bulldog fans heading to Jacksonville this weekend.  We will  most-certainly keep you updated on its progress and fine-tune our forecast in future updates.

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Late-October Chill Arrives Tonight

A new air mass arrived on the scene today, one that was noticeably less humid and slightly cooler.  North winds were to thank for the change, and the comfortable (sometimes cool) late-October weather will continue for several more days.  A reinforcing shot of even cooler air will arrive this weekend, sending temperatures below normal through early next week.


COOLEST TONIGHT SINCE MID-MAY

The dew point is often the tool we use to measure the moisture content in the atmosphere.  And Wednesday it plummeted to 47 at 2 pm, more than 25 degrees lower than it was just 24 hours prior.  Dry air cools and warms much faster than humid air, and for this reason North Florida is headed for one of its coolest nights since late spring.  Temperatures will likely drop very quickly after sunset, and dive all the way into the upper 40s by daybreak Thursday.  The projected low in Gainesville of 47 is the coolest since 45 was recorded on May 14, 2013.

 

REINFORCING SHOT THIS WEEKEND

Gorgeous conditions will prevail across North Florida for the rest of the week (depending on how much you enjoy the cool, crisp air). Even though Wednesday night will be the coolest since Mid-May, it won’t be the coldest night of the next ten.  A second cold front will be moving through late Friday, strengthening the north winds and ushering in an even cooler air mass by Saturday. Friday night is projected to be the coolest during this stretch, and WRUF Weather is projecting a low of 45 in Gainesville Saturday morning.  Outlying areas to the north and west of town, especially near the Suwannee and Santa Fe river valleys, could dip as low as 40 Saturday morning.  A strong ridge of high pressure will build in behind the Friday front, keeping rain chances out of the forecast for the next week.  A storm system moving out of the Mid-South may bring back a slight chance for a shower by the end of the month, but details on this will be forthcoming in future forecasts.

 

PERSPECTIVE ON THIS COOL SNAP

The air mass arriving this week is a bit cooler than normal, but certainly not anything close to record-breaking.  Daytime highs will be mainly in the middle 70s through the weekend, which is about five degrees cooler than the average of 80 for this time of year.  Overnight lows in the 40s are certainly cooler than the average for this time of year (upper 50s), but no where near the records for the coming dates.

THURSDAY – forecast is 47, record is 42 from 2011.

FRIDAY – forecast is 49, record is 33 from 1937.

SATURDAY – forecast is 45, record is 36 from 1917.

SUNDAY – forecast is 48, record is 34 from 1903.

MONDAY – forecast is 51, record is 34 from 1962.

Tonight is the night we are closest to tying or setting a record, and is only five degrees away from the record.

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Remnants of Karen to Soak North Florida (Now) Through Tuesday

By on October 7th, 2013

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.

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Karen no longer a tropical threat, but gusty winds and strong storms still possible in North Florida Monday

By on October 5th, 2013

Karen is barely still a tropical storm as strong winds aloft have – in the words of the National Hurricane Center – “decapitated the storm”. And while significant tropical storm impacts are no longer expected, some Floridians could still see hazardous weather Sunday and Monday as the storm’s remnant circulation passes by.  The primary threats that remain from Karen are heavy rain and damaging wind gusts from clusters of thunderstorms.

PRECISION POINTS

  • Karen barely still a tropical storm and has stalled south of Louisiana
  • Sudden turn to northeast likely Sunday; will roughly parallel the coast
  • Heavy rain and damaging wind gusts still possible for parts of North Florida Sunday night and Monday

Satellite data Saturday continued to indicate a strong amount of wind shear was affecting Tropical Storm Karen, evident by how far the thunderstorms were being blown away from the center of circulation.  As of the 5pm Saturday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the storm had stalled about 130 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana and only had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.  Very little rain has actually fallen over land so far because of the orientation of stronger winds aloft keeping the heaviest thunderstorms out to sea.  And as of this report, only a 1 to 1.5 foot sea-level rise was reported along the southeast Louisiana coast.

The forecast for Tropical Storm Karen is much clearer than it was 24 hours ago, and the Southeastern U.S. coastline will likely be spared any significant tropical storm impacts.  A sudden turn to the northeast (or even east-northeast) is still likely by Sunday morning as the upper-level steering pattern abruptly shifts due to an approaching front.  Thereafter, forecast guidance is a bit inconclusive on Karen’s exact track toward the Florida panhandle, but that is almost a moot point considering how weak the system will be.  Strong wind shear is forecast to continue, disallowing Karen the opportunity to strengthen much more before interacting with land Sunday.  In fact, the structural integrity of the system will be so significantly challenged that Karen could be absorbed entirely by an approaching cold front Monday over southern Georgia.

Damaging wind and isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out across the panhandle Sunday Night, then again also in North-Central Florida on Monday.  The upper-level dynamics and remnant low pressure from Karen could provide enough instability and moisture for a broken squall-line of strong thunderstorms to form along the tail end of a powerful cold front as it swings southeast.  Details on when and where these storms may form will be clearer as the situation unfolds on Sunday.  Residents of the Florida panhandle and north-central part of the state are encouraged to stay informed of future forecasts until Tropical Storm Karen or the remnant energy from the storm passes through.

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