Severe weather Saturday afternoon and evening

Author: Blake Mathews, Weather producer, meteorologist, bmathews@wjxt.com
Rebecca Barry, Weekend meteorologist, rbarry@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 10 2014 08:24:35 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 11 2014 11:30:10 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Weather Authority monitored the severe weather as a cold front moved through the area Saturday.  

To keep people informed of any significant weather, WJXT monitored it as a Severe Weather Alert Day.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.,  placed all of northeast Florida and southeastern Georgia in a 'slight risk' of severe weather. While it is the lowest classification from the SPC, it still indicates an elevated risk. 

 A Tornado Watch -- was in effect for Southeastern Georgia counties until 8:00pm.

Meteorologist Rebecca Barry said multiple Severe Thunderstorm Warnings  were in effect for most of our counties through 5:00pm, when the worst of the storms were sweeping offshore.

The region saw recorded wind gusts between 44 and 50 mph, and several reports of power outages. Downed trees, even two on homes- were among the worst of the damage reports.

A very warm, unstable air mass has moved in in the wake of the Arctic front earlier this week. This has allowed our atmosphere to 'ripen up' for the severe storms -- especially for the folks further north and east into the Carolinas. 

"The severe parameters on the models were pretty high," Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan said.

In the wake of the front, we'll bid farewell once again to the balmy weather in exchange for much more seasonable temperatures: highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. We're even looking at the possibility of a light freeze by late next week.

Stay tuned to Channel 4 and News4Jax for continuing coverage on this Weather Authority Alert Day.