Weather update: Gate River Run forecast

Models maintaining decent rain chances for the worlds largest 15K


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – "Rain drops keep falling on my head" might be an appropriate song to jam out to for Saturday's 38th annual Gate River Run. Current forecasts keep a likelihood of rain pretty high. 

Let's hit the ground running as we take a look ahead at what you can expect the rest of the week and into Saturday:

Look up! Have you seen all of the wispy, thin, cirrus clouds hovering over us? Cirrus clouds are often a telltale sign that we have rain on the way, usually within two or three days. It apppears as though that will hold true this go-around as well.

Beginning Tuesday, you'll start to notice that the clouds will be on the increase -- and so will the temperatures. It's going to be warm afternoon with many areas approaching the mid 80s under partly cloudy skies.

With the increase in temperatures comes a more unstable airmass and therefore our rain chances are on the rise as well.

At this time, I don't foresee any one day being a washout but I certainly don't think they'll be dry either. With the increase in clouds and moisture around, our temperatures are likely to only top out in the upper 70s, perhaps 80, the rest of the week with scattered showers increasing in coverage heading into the weekend.

Go ahead and dust off that umbrella and chunk it in the car next to the papers, toys, loose cheerios that the kiddos left behind in the back seat along with the kitchen sink. Hey, I've seen how some of you keep your cars. I'm not too far off the mark for some of you.

Heading into spring, which is just a mere 10 days away, we're going to continue to evolve into a warmer and warmer pattern where rain chances will become a fact of life every single day so this forecast, while mundane, will be a familiar sight. I'll do my best to keep it interesting.


Let's take a look at the GFS model that I've been posting in my web stories as of late. I think they do a good job at conveying the difference between what the models show and what we think will actually happen:


First, the colors: Red: high and low temperatures. White: sky conditions. Yellow is rain chances. Purple: Quantity of rainfall expected. Green: St. Patrick's Day.

When I showed this model on Sunday, the rain chances for Saturday were standing at 66 percent. According to this model run, the rain chances have decreased to 56 percent for the day; 43 percent before sunrise and 41 percent after sunrise. The average for the day overall is about a 50/50 shot. This is the first reason why I would not expect a washout. 

The second reason is the number shown in the purple box. That number on Sunday was 4 which represented rainfall totals between .50 and .99 inches. However, that number has now dropped to 3 which indicates between .25 and .49 inches of rain on Saturday. Before getting excited, I want to emphasis that I am picking apart one single model run. I've seen the rain chances as high as 70 percent in past runs with a QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast) as high as 5, which would indicate rain amounts over an inch. So there is plenty of room for change. That is why Richard and I decided to stick with a 60% chance of rain on Saturday in anticipation that the rain chance will again increase. We'll continue to watch it.

It appears as though, regardless of whatever happens, we'll be left overcast and cloudy, evidence by the white circle showing "OV" (overcast). It'll be a mild morning, seen in red, with temperatures starting out in the low 60s and topping out in the low 80s. I think that is likely too warm given the rain and clouds hanging around the area.



St. Patty's Day is still too far out to put a hard line on the forecast but this is a very early look at what we might see heading into next Tuesday. As things stand now, it'll be relatively seasonable across the first coast with high temperatures in the upper 70s with partly cloudy skies. There will be a slight chance of showers in the afternoon but I don't think at this time it'll be enough to disrupt any celebrations.