Sunday Weather Blog

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

Frosts and freezes are becoming more likely Tuesday and Wednesday mornings

A cold front moved through the area as scheduled overnight. Behind it, a pleasant north wind will blow between 10 and 18 mph today, but the strong March sunshine will still permit temperatures to reach the middle and upper 70s this afternoon. The winds will continue to pump in an even colder airmass that will eventually overpower even the higher sun angle. Lows will dip into the lower to mid 40s first thing Monday morning, but a 7 to 12 mph wind will make it feel like it's in the 30s. Highs will struggle to make it into the lower and mid 60s Monday afternoon. Those numbers are average for January, not late March.

High pressure will slide eastward along the Gulf coast states Monday night. It will be located nearly right on top of us Tuesday morning. This pattern will contribute to nearly ideal radiational cooling conditions. The MOS forecasts low temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees at Tallahassee (depending on the model at which one looks). The GFS ensemble (which includes 22 models) range is 27 to 34 degrees, with a mean of 31. I will continue to forecast a light freeze based on a favorable pattern and the relatively strong agreement among the statistical models. Very early indications suggest that this freeze will last between 2 and 5 hours, but this is subject to change as we get closer to the event. We will keep everyone updated on the new developments.

The surface high will be a slow-mover and it now appears the wind will be light enough for at least a frost on Wednesday morning. The GFS ensemble model range is between 30 and 39 degrees and the operational models, but the average of it all is 33. Assuming a mean of these solutions would be just one degree shy of yet another freeze. The most likely areas to experience a brief light freeze on Wednesday morning will be the sandy soil belt that stretches from the southside of Tallahassee to near Perry and the Suwannee River Valley area. Here, the loam soils enhance outgoing (i.e. longwave) radiation, which leads to the colder temperatures. The airmass will quickly modify and highs will be back into the mid 70s Wednesday afternoon and upper 70s Thursday afternoon under mostly sunny skies.

The models are hinting at the next front arriving some time next weekend, but it does not look very strong. There is only a slight chance of rain showers at that time, but temperatures should stay above average.

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