A Cold Front will Push through North Florida and Stall over Central Florida by Saturday...
Frontal Boundary and Seabreezes Keep Slight Chance of Showers Over Southern half of the State through Tuesday... Dry and Pleasant Weekend in Store for North Florida... High Winds to Keep Fire Risk Elevated... Rip Current Risk Remains Elevated for Atlantic and Panhandle Beaches through Tuesday...
A relatively weak cold front will pass through North Florida on Friday, bringing a 40-50% chance for showers and thunderstorms to the area, mainly affecting Panhandle areas through the early afternoon then shifting slowly east into the Big Bend and Northeast Florida during the late afternoon through overnight hours. however, these showers, while scattered, should be relatively light. no severe weather is forecasted at this time and rainfall accumulations are expected to be less than a half of an inch. Otherwise, North Florida will see comfortable temperatures reaching the mid-to-upper under mostly cloudy skies. however, cooler air will begin to filter in behind the front on Friday night and temperatures may drop into the upper 40s to upper 50s overnight.
Central and South Florida also have a 30% chance for showers and thunderstorms Friday, but these rain chances are associated with summer-like patterns involving the seabreeze. during the morning and early afternoon, skies will be partly cloudy, but as the day progresses, clouds will filter in as moisture increases and the seabreeze should initiate isolated showers and move them inland. Temperatures are expected to climb into the low 80s.
The rain should diminish by midnight Friday night, and light winds, mild overnight temperatures in the 60s, and increased moisture may allow for the development of patchy fog over Central Florida and northern areas of South Florida.
The front is expected to stall and slowly dissipate over Central and South Florida on Saturday as high pressure builds in behind it. however, a slight chance of rain is still forecast for these areas, ranging from 20% in Central Florida to 30% in South Florida where moisture continues to linger. again, severe weather remains unlikely and any rain that does fall is expected to be very light. Otherwise, expect partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s.
Behind the front, drier air begins to filter in, generating partly sunny to mostly sunny skies for North Florida. however, also expect breezy winds of 10-15mph. Overall, temperatures are expected to be much more seasonable with highs in the low to mid 70s.
Most of any lingering rain should shift offshore, though a few showers could continue to affect coastal areas of Central and South Florida Saturday night. Partly cloudy skies are expected statewide and overnight lows are expected to drop again into the upper 40s to upper 50s across North Florida. Overnight lows may be a few degrees cooler over northern portions of Central Florida, but still expected lows in the upper 50s to upper 60s between I-4 and Alligator Alley and lows in the 70s over Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
The beautiful weather for North Florida may be short-lived, as the jet stream will send several disturbances across the area. Although moisture may be limited, these disturbances will still be able to begin generating rain chances for Northwest Florida. On Sunday, the West Panhandle will see a 20% chance of showers; whereas on Monday and Tuesday, the chances for showers and thunderstorms will increase to about 30% and persist through Tuesday, even during the overnight hours. The Big Bend will also see chances for showers and thunderstorms as moisture permeates into the area, but this will not happen until Monday Night into Tuesday when a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms exists.
Temperatures will once again only reach the low to mid 70s, but should rebound towards the mid and upper 70s on Monday and Tuesday. Overnight lows will follow a similar pattern, ranging from the upper 40 to low 60s Sunday night and low 50s to low 60s Monday and Tuesday night.
For the Peninsula, high pressure will persist through Tuesday, which will bring three days of pleasant conditions with partly cloudy skies. Afternoon high temperatures will remain warm in the upper 70s to low 80s each day. as this happens, the temperature difference between the land and ocean may once again trigger showers and thunderstorms along the seabreezes over Central and South Florida. Thus, a 20% chance for rainfall will exist for Central and South Florida through Tuesday.Rip Currents:
Strong east to southeast winds and ocean swells will cause a high risk of rip currents for the beaches of East Central Florida on Friday and Saturday, while bringing a moderate risk for rip currents for the rest of the Atlantic, as well as the Panhandle and Big Bend beaches. for Sunday through Tuesday, moderate rip current risks will exist for all Atlantic and northern Gulf Coast areas. A low risk for rip currents will exist for West Central Florida throughout the weekend. anyone who plans to enter the water should check their local rip current forecast before going to their beach destination. Everyone should always remember that the safest beaches are the ones protected by lifeguards. Daily surf zone and rip current forecasts for all Florida beaches.
Drought & Fire Weather:
While any rainfall will be beneficial to firefighting efforts, the rainfall accumulation is expected to remain under a half inch for the next five days. as the front pushes through, the winds will pick up again which will allow any existing or new wildfires to spread. therefore, Central and South Florida will continue to see a moderate risk of fires. North Florida will also see a moderate risk of fires on Saturday when humidity values drop near critical values.
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, the entire State of Florida is still abnormally dry, and about one half (50%) of Florida is considered to be in severe or extreme drought conditions. The highest long-term drought values currently exist across North and North Central Florida, where it is estimated that 9-12 inches of rain is needed to relieve the current long-term drought. Also, short term drought values, as indicated by the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, continue to rise across the Florida Peninsula, which further increases the threat for wildfire outbreaks. recent heavy rainfall has relieved or nearly erased short-term drought conditions across Northwest Florida, but 6-9 inches of rain is still needed to erase the long-term drought.
Due to continuing La Nina conditions, which are forecast to persist until April, a drier and warmer than normal winter is forecast for the Southeastern U.S. With only a 10-30% chance of relieving the drought during the next 3 months, drought conditions are forecast to worsen and expand across the entire state through the remainder of the winter.
Click here for the latest watches, warnings, and advisories from The National Weather Service.
For coastal and offshore forecasts throughout Florida and Georgia, please click here.
Have a great weekend!!
Bradley Schaaf, MeteorologistState Meteorological Support UnitFlorida Division of Emergency ManagementFloridaDisaster.orgKidsGetAPlan.com
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<a href="http://www.wakulla.com/Wakulla_News/Local_News/5-Day_Statewide_Weather_Outlook_for_March_9_-_13,_2012_2012031013555/tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.wakulla.com/Wakulla_News/Local_News/5-Day_Statewide_Weather_Outlook_for_March_9_-_13,_2012_2012031013555/Sat, 10 Mar 2012 05:29:59 GMT">5-Day Statewide Weather Outlook for March 9 - 13, 2012