Welcome Rain Over Florida This Weekend
Here is the setup for this weekend’s weather event. A closed low aloft will dig southeast through the weekend. The following image shows the track of a surface area of low pressure. A low will develop in the Gulf of Mexico, move across Florida fairly close to Jacksonville, before rapidly tracking northeast along the coastline. Energy associated with the low will remain to the north and east of its track. The area shaded in red is from a weather model and shows the maximum probabilities (close to 70%) of 6-hour rainfall of 0.50 inches. While it does bring a very welcome rain to parts of Florida, the lack of both upper lift and surface moisture, will tend to decrease the chance of significant rainfall elsewhere over the Southeast U.S.
Here is an estimate of rainfall for the next 3 days. While scattered showers and a few storms are expected over the entire region, rainfall amounts will average less than 0.50 inch, with many locations only up to 0.25 inches.
I took a look at a location in Florida near the center of heavier rainfall (Sanford, Florida). This image shows an ensemble of rainfall traces for this location. You might note several smaller “peaks” which likely are hinting at individual passages of showers or storms. The event in this area lasts about 24 hours with the heaviest rainfall likely late Saturday or Sunday morning.
Florida has been extremely dry. Here is a NASA satellite image of a fire caused by lightning within Osceola National Forest’s Pinhook Swamp on April 5, 2012, Long-term drought in the Southeast had left water levels in the swampy areas of northern Florida and southern Georgia at historically low levels, making the palmetto and gallberry in the area extremely flammable. The wildfire that emerged, known as the County Line Fire, had burned nearly 35,000 square acres by April 13, 2012.
Hopefully, this area will receive some much-needed rainfall from the upcoming event.