John Gaughan: Watch system in Caribbean closely as a lot could change

Chief Metorologist John Gaughan outlines what he expects in the tropics

By John Gaughan - Chief meteorologist

Rainfall forecasted by the GFS model through Monday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As you are aware, we are closely watching 95L, an area of low pressure over the Southern Bahamas. Thursday morning’s visible satellite images don’t reveal anything too interesting, suggesting that if it does develop, it won’t be until Friday.

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated 95L on Thursday afternoon.

The forecast models are again split down the middle.

One model cranks this up into Humberto and tracks it up (offshore) the East Coast of Florida this weekend, becoming a hurricane by Monday.

The more preferable forecast model for our area shows a weak tropical storm (still Humberto) cutting across the state from Fort Lauderdale to Tallahassee.

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Potential impacts on Jacksonville

It's too soon to tell what impact the system might have on the First Coast, but the more preferable track/intensity would basically just bring rounds of rain across Jacksonville on Friday night through Saturday midnight.

Impact on a tropical damage scale of 1-10 would be a 0.5 -- yes, zero point five.

That means no real impact. We could see about the level of what Dorian did -- some power outages, winds gusting to 45 mph (at the beach) -- but a lot more rain than Dorian.

These events have a high possibility:

  • Humberto forms on Friday evening
  • Tropical Storm Watches and maybe Warnings will be placed along our coast on Saturday and/or Sunday.
  • Coastal flood advisories for higher than normal tides
  • Heavy Surf advisory for Saturday, maybe Sunday
  • Small craft advisories on Friday
  • Flood watch may also be posted for inland counties (if track is south/west)

We really won't know much more until 10 a.m. Friday.

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