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Weekend nor’easter will really impact coastal areas of Georgia & Florida

Georgians may have a much better weekend with sunshine, breezy and cooler conditions

Average wind speeds will be 20-30 mph, especially at area beaches.
Average wind speeds will be 20-30 mph, especially at area beaches.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When measuring up this upcoming weekend nor’easter, at first glance -- with Sally expected to move reasonably quickly onshore along the Central Gulf of Mexico -- our weekend nor’easter had the setup of being one of the stronger nor’easters we have seen in years.

The classic pattern of a strong high pressure to our north, general lower-than-normal air pressure to our south, super inflated Atlantic Ocean water temperatures to our east and the remaining deep tropical moisture from this incredible hurricane season appeared to be ready to really unleash over Jacksonville.

Then Sally “paused” and then “drifted” and although she is still expected to clear out of the area by Friday, when she does so, she will actually take away quite a bit of the deep tropical moisture with her. The impact? Less rainfall for Georgians who live away from the coastal islands. Much less rainfall.

Where it appeared, at first, we could see more than 8″ (even inland areas). It now appears the heaviest rains will be south of Jacksonville and only numerous light-to-moderate bands of showers will splash onshore over a period of days. Three day rainfall amounts around Jacksonville will range from 3″ at area beaches to about an inch along US-301.

But rainfall is just ONE of the many impacts a nor’easter can bring.

Nor’easter impacts are primarily along the coast, this weekend’s nor’easter will bring these possibilities: Coastal flooding (abnormally high tides), beach erosion (loss of beach and damage to local dunes, the result of over-wash from large waves), heavy surf and life-threatening rip currents, a no-go offshore fishing weekend as seas offshore will exceed 10′ along with beach winds to 40 mph that could cause some minor power outages. There still maybe localized inland flooding from some of the heavy “training” squalls of rain to move onshore.

Nor’easter Impacts (moderate intensity)MaximumWorst Times
Coastal (Intracoastal) High Tide FloodingTides up to 2′ above normalBeach High Tides on the 11′s
Beach ErosionExtreme Wave ActionBeach High Tides on the 11′s
Heavy Surf/Life threatening Rip CurrentsSurf running 6-9′Deep Rip Currents
Offshore ConditionsSeas up to 10′No-Go
Coastal WindsWind gusts to 40 mphOvernight Saturday and Sunday
Bands of “training” rains3″ (isolated more)Mainly Saturday/Sunday

Pretty much ugly at times this weekend.

Timing is still a challenge as there are so many tropical systems dancing around us, they will have an impact on how much we will see here in the Jacksonville area. Hurricanes in both the Gulf of Mexico and over the Atlantic as we kick off this work week. Sally is the one to watch as an “influencer” on our weekend weather. If Sally does takes a more easterly track, the result would not be so much a direct Sally impact on Jacksonville, but she could easily help drag more deep tropical air over us, just as the massive high pressure moves into the area on Friday and Saturday. In other words, allow for flooding rains this weekend into early next week.

Inland Georgians (west of US-301) will see sunshine and somewhat cooler morning temperatures! Woot! Woot!

This is a developing situation, so stay tuned!

Here’s more on the tropics: Sally and Sally and our local forecast.

Greatest amounts have shifted south and still look way over done.  Expect downpours an maybe up to 3" at area beaches
Greatest amounts have shifted south and still look way over done. Expect downpours an maybe up to 3" at area beaches

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