JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Weather Authority Alert Sunday. At this time, severe storms are not a big threat for Jacksonville and South Georgia. Why not? Cold air is damning down the entire East Coast of the United States and these cooler temperatures will reduce low-level instability which tends to feed severe thunderstorms for Jacksonville. That cold air also means we will not see warmer temperatures that we commonly see right before winter rains. Instead we will see temperatures in the 60s throughout the weekend.
South of Jacksonville, it will be a slightly different story. Gainesville to Palatka to St. Augustine, southward into Central Florida (Tampa to Orlando to Daytona Beach) there will be a few storms and possible tornadoes.
Basically, it is a double threat of heavy rains north of Jacksonville, or severe thunderstorms south of Jacksonville. Jacksonville will likely be split, receiving a 2-3 hour (this is reduced from earlier thoughts) period of heavy rains, rumbles of thunder and some gusty winds.
Timing and details may adjust and impacts will shift, but disruptive weather is expected Sunday morning. Plan accordingly now.
The biggest threat will be for those flooded areas of South Georgia. Conditions there are improving with each dry day. But, if we do see 1-3" of heavy rainfall on semi-saturated soil, we could again see widespread back-road flooding.
Heavy rains all across the south the next 3 days.
And if you want to see it snow, make your way to the upstate areas of South and North Carolina, where potentially more than a foot (or more) of snow is expected.
Why all the bad weather the past few weekends?
This weekend is about to be "El Nino'ed", again. The southern branch of the jet stream (sub-tropical jet stream) is tracking much further south than it typically does, allowing for it to tap into much more tropical moisture than normal. This will unleashed severe storms and a potentially historic snowstorm across the Carolina's.
Here's a little background. The El Nino weather pattern originates over the Pacific Ocean as an unusually warm region / current of water. Remember, the Pacific Ocean is the world largest ocean, so when something develops abnormally here, it absolutely impacts the entire world's weather patterns.
For Jacksonville, an El Nino winter pattern is typically gives us cooler than normal temperatures due to cooler daytime highs as cloudy skies and rains tend to be well above normal. Additionally, we see much above normal severe storms, often times these are tornadic storms.
This weekend we will see a strong low pressure system move along the Southern United States, going from California to off the Carolina Coast. Along this track, heavy rains and severe storms will be right along the Gulf Coast. Rainfall amounts will be very heavy, approaching 4".