Sunday Weather Blog: No Major Storms Expected

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

Morning visible imagery depicts a large area of low clouds spreading southwestward into much of our viewing area; however, skies quickly break out into sunshine over Western Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin and coastal Taylor counties. There are a number of challenging forecast issues today: Can the clouds break up in the areas that are now seeing them? If so, what areas and how will that impact high temperatures? Will be there be any showers that develop in the broadening easterly wind flow? The high-resolution models do not show the higher humidities in the lower troposphere (which is contributing to the low cloud formation) making it much farther to the southwest than it already is. That said, the models look a little underdone with the extent of these higher humidities and, by extension, the low cloud cover. Areas that are seeing sunshine this morning should continue to see it for the balance of the day. The high late March sun angle should mix out the narrow channel of moisture later this morning or early this afternoon, so sunshine should start breaking through in Southwest Georgia and over a good chunk of the Florida Big Bend. Areas north and east of a line from Live Oak to Valdosta to Albany are going to be tricky. The short term numerical model guidance seems to suggest that the stratus will also break up in these areas by early afternoon, but confidence is not high about this. These areas are seeing a greater marine influence from the Atlantic Ocean and a somewhat thicker layer of low-level moisture. I am going to be optimistic and forecast even a few breaks of sun in the northeast part of our viewing area, but those breaks will not be as frequent as those living to the south and west. Outside of a few sprinkles in Georgia, the radars have been quiet over our area so far today. A backdoor cold front lies from the Georgia coast westward through Central Georgia into East-Central Alabama. I do not see this front making much additional progress in our direction. Spotty showers could break out late this afternoon and early evening near the differential heating boundary that will be created by the thicker clouds to its northeast and more sunshine to its southwest. Present indications suggest this would be most likely to occur south of I-10 anywhere from the Tallahassee area through Crestview. The key word is "spotty" and our rain chance is only 20 percent because of weak large-scale forcing and a relative lack of deeper moisture. Highs should manage to get near 80 degrees in many areas, but it will be cooler along I-75 in Georgia where temperatures may barely crack 70 degrees under more persistent cloud cover.

The forecast issue on Monday will focus on an inverted trough that is presently causing showers offshore from Jacksonville and Savannah. The operational and experimental NAM models have been aggressive bringing an area of showers westward into our area Monday afternoon. The GFS shows this, too, but has a weaker inverted trough and not as much rain. My experience says that any showers that make it into our area with these inverted troughs tend to be confined to the Suwannee River Valley in Florida and areas generally east of Valdosta in Georgia. The NAM also tends to be overdone with the amount and areal coverage of rain in these situations. So it appears that we'll see another day of spotty showers, with most of us getting nothing or next to nothing.

A front is expected to approach from the west between Tuesday and Wednesday, but gradually dissipate. Only small rain chances are indicated for midweek in association with this system. Temperatures should continue to average above normal.

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