JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Shorts, showers and shivering this week. A wide range of weather is anticipated this week as warm, dry weather turns wet by Tuesday and significantly colder by Thursday.
Monday is expected to be very spring-like with temperatures soaring into the low 70s thanks to a warm front parked just to the south of the area. As this front moves north through our area Monday afternoon, the temperatures will respond in the up direction under mostly sunny but increasingly cloudy skies.
Just to the west lies a powerful cold front and low that is the catalyst to yet another major snow and ice storm that will paralyze areas from Oklahoma City to Boston with nearly every major city in between seeing some type of frozen precipitation; getting as close to Jacksonville as Atlanta.
If your travels Monday take you north, call ahead to your carrier. Significant delays are anticipated as cities such as, Little Rock, Nashville, Charlotte, Richmond, Washingotn DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston are all anticipating crippling ice and or snow with as much as 9 to 12 inches in the District. Dangerous wind chills to as much as 15 degrees below zero can be expected across major swaths of mid Atlantic and northeast for your President's Day. Seen at right are the winter storm warnings (pink) and winter weather advisories (purple) are currently in effect as of 6 a.m. Monday.
Locally, the front will bring with it widespread heavy rainfall on Tuesday mid morning to the Jacksonville area. As it stands now, Tuesday morning's commute should be a mostly dry one although scattered showers will be possible ahead of the main front.
Rain will begin before sunrise for areas across southeast Georgia around 4 a.m. and shifting south into the Jacksonville metro by 6 a.m. (although some models really hold off on the heaviest rain until mid morning).
As seen in the model above, the rain will be slow to move out. It appears as though the heaviest rainfall for Jacksonville will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with rainfall amounts averaging between a quarter and half an inch. While heavy rain will be possible with the passage of the front, thunderstorms and subsequently severe weather, wind and hail are not anticipated at this time.
Behind the front, a large dome of arctic high pressure will drop south into the mid Atlantic states. Dangerous cold and wind chills are expected by mid week where currently wind chill warnings are in effect from Virginia to New York.
The trough will dig into the deep south bringing with it what could be the coldest temperatures of the season.
To date, the coldest temperature in Jacksonville this season is 24 degrees, set way back on November 20th, which is also the second coldest temperature ever recorded in the month of November. If models are correct, which I have sneaky suspicion that they aren't, then we could be in for the coldest weather of the 2014-15 winter season. Take a look at the model below:
According to this model, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are showing highs of only 50 degrees--which means the entire day will likely be spent in the 40s for daytime highs. However, look at the purple circles. Those are the forecast lows for Thursday night/Friday morning and Friday night/Saturday morning. These temperatures are being forecast for Jacksonville at JIA. Truly a very hard, killer freeze IF this were to happen. The good news is, I don't think it will.
Arctic air is notoriously hard to forecast for because the very nature of it is very shallow and the really cold air is really hard to sample. The bottom line: I think the model is too cold and I think we'll see it warm up over the coming days. Nonetheless, the possibility exists of a very hard freeze for our region by the weeks end. We'll continue to keep you updated on what may transpire over the next few days.