47ºF

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Echols, Clinch counties until 5:30 p.m.

Jax fireworks finale likely to be uninterrupted

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla.8:30 P.M. UPDATE: A strong storm is in progress this hour near the town of Starke and areas just north of Waldo in Alachua county. This storm is not severe but is certainly capable of some small hail as well as frequent, deadly lightning and heavy rain. 

The rain in Jacksonville is over this evening. If you're going to head downtown, it's all systems go from the weather standpoint. Hope everybody has a great night and celebrate the greatest country in the world safely. 

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4:52 P.M. UPDATE: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for southeastern Echols and Clinch counties in southeast Georgia until 5:30 p.m. This storm was located 8 miles northwest of Fargo moving northeast at 20 mph. Locations in the path of this storm include Needmore.

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4:45 P.M. UPDATE: Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Glynn County, GA has expired. More strong storms developing to the west of Waycross. More strong storms are being picked up by radar over Hamilton and Echols counties. These storms are not severe but could turn that way at any moment. At this time, I think most of the remaining thunderstorms will remain north of the state line. I'm still expecting a mostly quiet, but damp evening here in Jacksonville.

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4:09 P.M. UPDATE: Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect for Glynn County until 4:45 p.m. This storm was located 7 miles southwest of Dock Junction moving north at 10 mph.

This storm is capable of winds gusting to 60 mph and hail up to 1 inch in diameter.

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3:30 P.M. UPDATE: The threat of strong thunderstorms for Jacksonville has greatly diminished. Good news, right? Definitely! The bad news is that is appears it's going to be cloudy and drippy the rest of the evening, even for fireworks time. There is a strong storm moving north into Camden County, Georgia away from Jacksonville. This storm is not severe but will drop heavy rain and frequent lightning. 

There are currently no weather warnings in effect.

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2:15 P.M. UPDATE: The Severe Thunderstorm Warning has expired for Clay County. Strong storms still ongoing across portions of Clay, Duval and St. Johns counties.

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1:51 P.M. UPDATE: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Clay county until 2:15 p.m. This storm was located near Middleburg moving northeast at 20 mph. Locations in the path include Orange Park, Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs and Doctor's Inlet. 

This storm is capable of winds to 60 mph and hail up to 1 inch in diameter.

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1:45 P.M. UPDATE: Strong showers and thunderstorms are being depicted by Live 5 Doppler Radars. Those living in Alachua, Bradford and Clay counties are getting hammered with heavy rain, frequent lightning and small hail. 

Next up on the list is Duval and St. Johns counties through at least 3 p.m. These storms are not severe currently but could turn severe at any moment. If you live in any of the aforementioned counties, it's time to pack the party up and bring it inside. The heavy rain is on our doorstep.

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Happy Independence Day! As we celebrate America's 239th birthday today, be thinking of a plan B for any of those outdoor BBQ's for Saturday afternoon as big storms are possible.

Live 5 Doppler Radars are already picking up showers and thunderstorms this morning out along the west coast of Florida. That's certainly not a good sign for our afternoon weather.

The upper level pattern is from the southwest which means any storms that form to our west will move in our general direction. I am anticipating a decent coverage of thunderstorms for your Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the low to mid 90s.

Weather Authority radar, forecast, alerts

Any storm that develops will be capable of turning severe with damaging straight line winds in excess of 60 mph and hail up to the size of quarters -- perhaps golf balls possible.

Remember that a warning means severe conditions are expected shortly and or are occurring. When a warning is issued, seek shelter immediately. 

Saturday's forecast

A quiet morning will lead to a noisy afternoon as temperatures continue to warm into the lower 90s. Heat index values in the lower 100s can be anticipated Thursday afternoon.

The forecast models are showing an increase in moisture this weekend which means rain chances will be on the way up for Saturday and Sunday.

Areas out along I-75 are likely to see the storms first followed by those cities and towns along US 301. Storms may very well form further east than that so keep that in mind. As the east coast sea breeze meets up with the west coast sea breeze, we're likely to see some severe storms fire along I-95 west to 301. 

If your plans take you to the downtown area for fireworks, I think any storms that are active at that time will be weakening. From what I'm seeing at this time, most of the weather should be west of Jacksonville by the time fireworks kick off at 9:45 p.m. but a shower or storm still can't be totally ruled out over the downtown region at that time.

4TH OF JULY, 1776

For those that are interested in a little American history, Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers as well as the third President of the United States, was also an avid weather observer and kept detailed records of the weather across the eastern seaboard as well as abroad in Europe. 

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On the morning of Thursday, July 4th, 1776, Jefferson awoke to find the temperature in Philadelphia at 68 degrees at 6 a.m. with a northerly wind. By 9 a.m., the temperature had warmed to 72 degrees with the wind beginning to shift to the west. Finally by 1 p.m., the temperature had risen to 76 degrees with a southwest wind. He also noted increasing clouds. 

Keep in mind that in the Philadelphia State House, now Independence Hall, was packed to the rafters with delegates from all 13 colonies, including Georgia. They would have all been wearing wigs and stockings with no A/C. One can only imagine the conditions in that building, the stench from sweating bodies. 

Just a little food for thought regarding the day the greatest nation on the planet was founded. Jefferson's weather records was provided by NOAA and can be seen HERE.

We'll continue to keep you up-to-date here on news4jax.com as well as our news and weather apps. As soon as a warning is issued, we'll send out the alert.