Sunday Blog: Brisk Winds and Colder Temperatures

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

In summary, a squall line of showers and thunderstorms moved across the area as forecast last night. Many areas, on average, received 1 to 2 inches of much-needed rain. There was a report of a tornado in Worth county, about 1 mile east of Sylvester with some property damage reported. We also received reports of 50 to 110 buildings receiving damage in Turner county (just up the road from Tifton). Some other minor damage reports came in from Decatur county and it wouldn't surprise me if we got a few more before the official NWS storm assessment is complete.

...This just in...
There is an injury and several mobile homes damaged in Baconton, GA (that's northeastern Mitchell county). Right now, straight-line winds appear to be the cause, but that could change pending further investigation. In addition, there are trees down in Jennings, FL (Hamilton county) on Northwest 13th Street.

A cold and blustery northwest wind flow has overtaken the area now and temperatures are going to struggle all day long despite the increasing sunshine. Temperatures will be stuck in the 50s. A Lake Wind Advisory is in effect since wind gusts will frequently exceed 20 mph. This could cause boats and/or small craft to capsize on area lakes. Winds are gusting to 35 knots at the offshore buoys this morning. As a result, a Gale Warning is in effect until 11 AM for all our coastal waters. This will be replaced by a Small Craft Advisory thereafter.

A surface high is expected to translate eastward, reaching Mississippi first thing Monday morning. The pressure gradient should gradually relax overnight and the winds should drop below 5 mph by sunrise. Under clear skies and slowly diminishing winds, a light freeze is anticipated for about 2 to 5 hours. No frost is expected because of the dry air and light winds. The center of the high will be passing just north of us Monday night and Tuesday morning, but it will be close enough to allow the winds to go calm. That said, the latest model time-height cross sections show some moisture moving in at middle and upper-levels after midnight. If the clouds are numerous enough, we may avoid a hard freeze, but a light to moderate freeze appears likely. Early estimates would have freezing temperatures for 4 to 8 hours away from the coast and urban centers.

The jury is still out on the potential for a borderline freeze Wednesday morning, but a moderating trend should be well underway Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. The models are in surprisingly good agreement with a fast-moving disturbance moving eastward along the Gulf coast Thursday and Thursday night. It is this feature that will bring us our next chance of rain. Right now, it's looking like a Thursday afternoon or Thursday night sort of thing. I doubt the system will be strong enough to erode the modified Contiental Polar airmass, so the severe weather threat looks quite minimal based on the latest model data.

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