Saturday, October 8, 2011

Squally Saturday, Dangerous Surf, and the Nor'easter with no Name

Ponte Vedra electrified! Wow! The nor'easter with no name made a name for itself last night even if the National Hurricane Center does not name it Rina. This is not your typical nor'easter, not even close. This nor'easter will combine forces with a very broad unorganized area of low pressure developing in the Florida Straights and southwest Gulf of Mexico. Take a look.

There is so much shear involved and the temperatures aloft are so cold that this if it was named it would be called extratropical Rina. The latest satellite picture shows a burst of thunderstorms that have become a bit more organized. But also notice the tops are being sheared to the northeast. The area of low pressure is so large that it would be tough for it not to be torn apart even more by the Florida Peninsula as it rides to the north. So no we are not talking a hurricane or typical tropical storm. But maybe two systems that form into a formidle storm called Rina. What it means for us is unusually heavy amounts of rain, high surf, flooding, beach erosion, and yes even damaging wind gusts possible outside of thunderstorms. Take a look at the latest rainfall forecasts! Pretty impressive!

Keep in mind this is 8 weeks worth of rain in less than a week! Now timing is everything and based on the latest model data in this early afternoon on Saturday the worst part of this hybrid storm will be Sunday night into Monday. Not good news for the Monday morning commute but better news for your weekend plans. This tropical low pressure to the south will take its time developing due to high wind shear.

We are not talking about a total washout. But points farther south in Central and South Florida on our Saturday into Sunday will see some big problems including rain amounts over 6". Be careful traveling south. The farther south you go the worse the weather. This heavier, more widespread rain is what will likely move our way late Sunday hopefully after the Jags game. You will still need the ponchos but hopefully this weawther model is correct which does show the heaviest widespread rain south of Everbank Field until after everybody gets home safely.

But this will change by Sunday night at 10 p.m. as our two storms team up. I am not only worried about coastal flooding but inland flooding and drainage problems in those normally flood-prone spots in St. Augustine from King Street to near downtown Jacksonville in the San Marco and Riverside areas. Things could get really nasty if we get those heavy downpours occur near times of high tide. High tide is 7:40 p.m. Sunday and 7:58 a.m. on Monday in St. Augustine. Dowtown we have a high tide 3:50 a.m. Monday morning and again at 4:16 p.m. in the afternoon. Mayport has a high tide at 7:51 p.m. on Sunday and 8:12 a.m. on Monday. High surf advisories will continue all the way through Monday with seas building from 12-16 feet. Surf could easily make it over 12 feet. But this is not a storm you want to surf or swim in with those deadly rip currents.

The howling east-northeast wind will continue to bring gusts from 40 to 45 mph with  maybe gusts closer to 50 mph outside of thunderstorms by Monday morning. This is high enough to cause power outages and bring some trees down especially with saturated ground. Make sure to secure all loose objects in your yard. It looks like this nor'easter with no name will not relinquish the worst of its grip on our area until later on Monday. You stay safe and tonight I will talk more about this unusual nor'easter and also have an optimistic Jags forecast that calls for more of a white-out rather than a wash-out before our nor'easter gets really nasty!

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