JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We are now under a Gale Watch for our coastal waters. What's a Gale Watch? It's kind of like a Tropical Storm Watch. Basically we are "watching" weather conditions in the anticipation our coastal offshore winds will build and may exceed 40 mph (34 knots) over the next couple of days. If, winds exceed 40 mph then we would see a Gale Warning placed in effect. Remember, whenever you hear the word "warning" (when it comes to weather) it means those conditions are happening, or about to happen.
We also have a High Rip Current Risk and Coastal Flood advisory in effect. Here's just another reminder, in order of urgency weather words to remember are: Risk, Advisory, Watch, and then Warning. So, the Coastal Flood Advisory is for the possibility of coastal tidal (at times of high tides) flooding will be possible along area beaches and Intracoastal during the 7's (7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) on Thanksgiving Day and the 8's (8 a.m. and 8 p.m.) on Friday and finally on the 9's (9 a.m. and 9 p.m.) on Saturday. Conditions will greatly improve by Sunday.
Tides may run up to 1 foot above normal Thursday and Saturday, but up to 2 feet above normal on Friday. There could be some minor flooding in downtown area of St. Augustine during times of high tides on Friday, especially Friday evening.
Here's what's happening around Jacksonville and the expected weather for this weekend.
Thanksgiving will start off pleasant with thousands likely to be seen in the streets near Pete’s Bar in Jacksonville Beach for their annual kickoff to Thanksgiving. It will be chilly, but sunshine will help.
There's also the annual Thanksgiving Day Community First Turkey Run in Beauclerc with 5K and half-marathon runs beginning at 6:50 a.m. Expect dry, light winds and chilly temperatures near 55-62°F.
Yet, as the Weather Authority has been forecasting for nearly a week, Friday and Saturday will have their weather issues. And there is so much to do outside that will be happening those two days.
Thousands of shoppers will head out on Black Friday in search of doorbuster deals, and parking lots at stores and malls are virtually guaranteed to be packed during the day.
Then Friday evening the Jacksonville Landing will have it’s annual Christmas Tree lighting beings at 7 p.m. The actual tree lighting is at 8:30 p.m. and it will be followed by fireworks.
On Saturday, the Gators and Noles will meet for their annual rivalry game at noon in Tallahassee. Here at home, people will flock to the Light Boat Parade, which runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.
So where’s the weather issue? Winds and blustery showers.
Does not sound like a big deal, but these winds will be very strong at times, especially along area waterways and beaches.
Their will be the likelihood of a host of coastal advisories.
Small craft advisories are likely late Thanksgiving Day until early Sunday. Northeast winds along area beaches may gust up to 35 mph, sustained winds will be 20-25 mph.
Yes, up to 35 mph. Shoppers, area parking lots could see winds gust to 30 mph as well!
These winds will induce a dangerous rip current risk, especially Friday and Saturday. In addition, surf conditions are likely to be high enough Friday morning for a high surf advisory.
That’s a washing machine surf, not a lot of fun, so it's best to stay out of the ocean.
Rains will impact everywhere as well, with the highest chances of rain early Saturday. Although showers will be possible Friday and Saturday, the heaviest and most widespread rains will be early to mid-day Saturday.
The good news is that these rains will probably not impact the Florida-Florida State football game in Tallahassee. Tailgating before the game could be damp to wet though.
And the Jacksonville Light Boat Parade will not be too impacted by the rains as they should end prior to the start. My bigger concern will be the impact the winds will have on the boaters.
This needs to monitored closely. I will update this later today.
Stay safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!