Cold weather likely this weekend
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Brace yourselves: More winter is coming to the Big Bend and South Georgia during the final weekend of January.
The viewing area could see some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter with many inland locations getting to the lower to mid 20s.
Guidance model runs since early Monday have been nearly consistent with the development of a surface low along or offshore of Florida’s east coast with a cold front the Gulf Coast region Friday. This cold front is forecast to push through the viewing area later Friday into Friday night, and bring a chance of rain.
The American GFS ensemble average showed a very potent mid- to upper-level trough of low pressure that will act as a lifting mechanism for the surface low. The “heights,” how high up in the air a certain pressure level is located, were well below average in the Southeast U.S. Friday night into Saturday morning, indicating the strength of the temperature gradient and the trough.
With a strong surface low and a tight surface pressure gradient, breezy conditions are anticipated starting Friday night and into Saturday with higher winds in the Gulf waters. That breeze and high pressure at the surface close or in the Gulf of Mexico will help to push in cold arctic air into the area.
Saturday morning’s low could get to near 30 with a few South Georgia locations going slightly colder. Highs Saturday will likely reach into the upper 40s to near 50 with a clearing sky.
The statistical models and the European model has temperatures reaching the mid 20s inland Sunday morning while the GFS stays warmer to near 30. Given the strength of the cold air advection followed by the surface high nearly being on top of the area and light to calm winds, the weather team is leaning towards the lower solutions (mid 20s inland) with the potential to go even lower in some locations.
With a hard freeze expected for at least Saturday night and Sunday morning, preparations for the cold weather should be on the minds of those in the region. Preparations should also include covering up outdoor pipes and allowing for faucets to drip overnight.
Temperatures are forecast to slowly warm Monday into Tuesday with lows in the upper 30s to near 40 by Tuesday morning.
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