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Another round of showers and storms

Workweek of rain to quench dry conditions this week

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Don't let the peeks of sun fool you, there are more showers and storms on the way, mainly after noon.  

The afternoon and evening showers, storms generally last less than an hour and moving by quickly.

Mostly cloudy this morning, becoming cloudy this afternoon with scattered inland showers and storms.  Storms will drift toward the beach later this evening.

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The forecast appears to be on track for several rounds of heavy rain beginning early Tuesday afternoon. Rain, some of which could be heavy at times, is expected to last well into the evening hours today.

Severe weather is possible this afternoon but garden variety thunderstorms are likely, with frequent lightning and torrential rainfall the biggest threats.

Rainfall totals will in some areas will top one inch with some areas exceeding 2 to 3 inches of rainfall where rain continuously moves over the same region. 

Here's what the National Weather Service in Jacksonville had to say at 5 a.m. Tuesday:

"Surface convergence and associated enhancement from the potent shortwave will lead to periods of much needed rain (with isolated/scattered embedded storms) across the region beginning this morning, and continuing well into the evening. Widespread rainfall amounts around 1 inch are possible through tonight, with locally higher amounts, especially in areas showers/storms train over the same areas as they move to the northeast."

It's important to remember that the numbers being shown are likely not exact but it gives us an indication that 1 to 3 inches of rain through very early Thursday is highly likely.

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Let's hop right to it: forest critters and creatures will be rejoicing this week as heavy rain moves into the area, not only quenching thirst but putting a damper on the dry conditions.

The latest forecasts continue to advertise a relatively high probability of rain for the rest of the week and Saturday.  While severe weather, at least for now, appears to be marginal, the threat for periods of heavy rain is certainly a hassle you'll have to deal with more times than not this week.

In the near term the sea breeze will likely become very active as our atmosphere destabilizes under the stationary front. Winds from the southeast will drive in deep moisture and with plentiful heat energy, the combo of warm surface temperatures and abundant moisture will help trigger the sea breeze during the late afternoon hours. 

This will not be a widespread event. 

That said, the main threat with any sea breeze storm will be periods of blinding rainfall with rainfall rates as high two to three inches per hour and frequent lightning. Again, while the severe risk appears to be low, we'll continue to advertise a slight possibility that any storm that forms in the afternoon can turn severe with small hail and gusty winds being the primary threats.

As we get into the latter part of the week (Thursday - Saturday), impulses of energy ahead of the front will begin moving through our area. This will trigger widespread heavy rains during the afternoon hours, especially once on-going storms begin to interact with the sea breeze. 

Rain chances Tuesday through Saturday will average 60 to 70% with some models (Euro) indicating rain chances as high as 80%.

A quick weather lesson: we often talk about the sea breeze. What is it? Why is it so important to our summer-time weather? The sea breeze in short is a mini-cold front. In the summer time the land heats up much faster than the water does due to waters very high heat capacity. During the heat of the afternoon, the cooler air over the cooler water begins to push on land as the heat from the ground rises. As the cooler, denser air pushes on land, it forces the lighter, hotter air up. Often during the summer time our atmosphere is loaded with moisture. Plain and simple, we're surrounded by water and our warm air holds much more moisture than cold air. So as the hot air rises, it begins to cool and condense. The condensation, like sweat on a glass, begins to form clouds and rain. 

In certain cases, our atmosphere is very unstable where the atmosphere is very cold.  This allows our hot air to rise higher into the sky at a very fast clip. This is what we call the lapse rate. So as the sea breeze pushes inland, we can get very large thunderstorms to erupt bringing about microburst and small hail. This is the threat we'll have to watch for this coming week.

TROPICS:

Sunday marked the first day of the eastern Pacific hurricane season. For the Atlantic, we're still about two weeks away from the official start. 

If models are correct, which I have reason to believe the GFS may be on to something, we may have our first named storm of the season sometime by Memorial Day weekend. The timing of the development continues to waver but it is certainly about that time to start watching. Whatever develops, if anything at all, will likely stay well east of Florida.

The next name on the list is Bonnie.