Thursday, October 28, 2010
Here Comes the Rain Again, Falling on My Head Like a Memory....
Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:30 p.m.
Yes, it has been a great day full of Halloween parades and having fun singing the Eurythmics famous song, Here Comes the Rain Again. This is a big day for Jacksonville that officially has not recorded a drop of rain in 28 days. The record for most rainless days is 46 set back in 1970. The good news is that is one record we will not be breaking in our year of extreme weather. Today as forecasted we broke our 4th consecutive high temperature record by hitting 89 and we may nip 90. The old record was 87 set back in 2002. Let's talk....well yesterday there were 3 models we were going over here on the blog and two of the three insisted that we would not get much rain. I disregarded them and went with the juicier model. Well, the good news is that the bullish weather model that has done well all week with the second strongest non-tropical storm to hit the United States is winning today. Yes, look at our FIRST COAST NEWS WEATHER APP...it is showing some rain...we can see it and it feels like rain outside. Dewpoints are an amazing July-like 73! You can see some of that thick moisture from this morning's patchy dense fog. It was indeed the calm before the storm.
High dewpoints or this true measure of humidity will help feed our rain showers and thunderstorms by late today and this evening. Expect at least .25 to .50" of rain over much of our Jacksonville-St.Augustine viewing area with higher amounts over portions of southeast Georgia.
Folks told me today that I am not the only one unusually excited about this rain. Yes, our lawns are screaming for rain like the rest of us. Even better the new long-range maps are showing quench your thirst rain next week with several days of good rain chances especially beginning late on Tuesday into Wednesday. We will have more specifics on this but first things first on timing tonight's rain.
If you have softball games and other outdoor plans it does look like the rain will make it to interstate 95 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and continue through the evening hours. Another reason I think the rain will hold together is that our Convective Available Potential Energy is over 2,000 j/kg as you see above. This means the atmosphere is as excited and charged up as the rest of us over this rain. This abundant energy and moisture will work together with a cold front moving through tonight providing plenty of lift, coallision coalescence, condensation, and rain. Keep an eye to the sky to the west and northwest. That is where our showers and thunderstorms are moving from. Expect downpours, lightning, and wind gusts to 35 mph. There may be isolated wind gusts near 45 mph in Georgia but I really am not expecting much in the way of severe weather. Here is why....
We do not have the high upper-level winds or wind shear we saw over Indiana and the 19 states that were ravaged by more than 450 damage reports and 61 tornadoes. The wind speeds currently over Jacksonville up to 10,000 feet are a mere 10 to 20 mph. When storms moved over the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and North Carolina the wind speeds were closer to hurricane force or 70 mph just above ground surface. What those thunderstorms were doing was capturing those high winds and pushing them toward the ground and since there was plenty of instability and speed shear there was enough rotation for even an EF-2 tornado in Vale, North Carolina last night with wind speeds close to 120 mph. The picture above shows a wall cloud in the gem city of Frankfort, Indiana caused by high upper-level winds and wind shear in the atmosphere. These ingredients are missing over southeast Georgia and Florida today so I am not expecting us to add to the tally of tornadoes which was the largest October tornado outbreak since 2007. That is when 62 tornadoes hit betwen October 17th to 19th. But remember your lightning safety rules and be careful if you are driving in some of those heavy downpours. I will post rain amounts and feel free to send some into me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your trick or treat forecast is also coming up.
Before I go I think I need to share at least one picture from today's awesome Halloween parade a Durbin Creek Elementary School. It was an hour long parade and I think the most popular costume for boys was a firefighter....for girls it was Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz...Awesome! I have only watched that movie 1,233 times and it is one movie I will watch many more times. Also, check back for an update on the busy tropics. For now it is time to get ready to sing in the rain. Finally!! The great pre-Halloween dry spell nature has cast on us is about over and even Snow White will see some rain to enjoy with her prince.