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Severe weather swept through area at time of crash landing

Worst of the weather was heavy rains, low visibilities and lightning

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Overall weather conditions were such that a heavy thunderstorm had been taking place at NAS Jacksonville since 8:50 p.m.

The original storm cell rapidly developed. This is unusual for this time of day and this time of year. The cell developed near Cecil Commerce Center and then expanded rapidly eastward towards NAS Jacksonville and then eastward to the Southside of Jacksonville. Lightning rapidly developed, mainly cloud to cloud at first but then as the storm reached the St Johns River (NAS Jacksonville) the lightning became more cloud to ground. This began around 8:55 p.m. near I-295, about 7 miles west of NAS Jacksonville.

By 9:40 p.m. (the estimated time of the crash landing) heavy rains had been occurring at NAS Jacksonville for about 45 minutes and about 3/4" of rain had fallen. 

Looking at the various weather radar images, heavy rains (low visibilities) and lightning and not wind shear were dominate weather conditions.

Keep in mind, this is just a first look at the weather conditions.


Radar reflectivity (>36 dBZ) showing heavy rains at the time of landing.
Here's another look at the radar (reflectivity 36>dBZ)
Lightning (cloud to ground) strikes.
Lightning was nearby, the red bolts are within 5 minutes of the landing, Remember, lightning forks outward and may not represent lightning in the air over NAS Jacksonville at the time of landing.
Wind shear is often a cause of crash landings, but it appears based upon radar, winds were relatively light at the time of approach to landing.



About the Author:

Our chief meteorologist lives and breathes the weather on the First Coast.