The pineapple express has kicked into gear across the southeastern US, and it does not seem to want to slow down any time soon. With help from a strong low pressure system in the mid-western US without much energy behind it, parts of the southeastern US could pick up 3-5″ of rain in the first half of this week. A few tornadoes have popped up in southern AL tonight, and I think a few nasty storms may continue over the next few hours. The aforementioned low pressure system is progged to drag a cold front to near the Florida panhandle early on Tuesday with scattered to numerous storms in the deep south. A zone of enhanced moisture flow with direct relations to Hawaii should continue to feed in from New Orleans to Charleston through at least Wednesday morning. Models differ on exactly how far south that cold front will come before it retreats as a warm front, but in any case the area with the greatest rainfall potential lies from Mobile to just south of Atlanta. I personally think that this front will stall across the Florida/Alabama/Georgia borders on Tuesday, which would place most of the rain and thunderstorms in Alabama and Georgia. There should be so much moisture in the area that there will not be enough sun (energy) for storms to become severe, however with what we saw today in Hattiesburg, MS, we may have to re-evaluate for tomorrow. My biggest worry is for the threat of localized Flooding across the southeast. The HPC has put out a slight risk of flash flooding for Monday, with the possibility of a few inches occurring in areas of training (see Meteorology Mumbo for more on training) in a very short amount of time.
Below is the latest HPC 3-day rainfall forecast. Keep in mind, this is a forecast for large scale weather, and may not be indicative of localized rainfall totals.
Bring the focus back to Florida, I believe there will be extended periods of time where it will be rainy. I do not want to call this a multi-day washout, but the localized models are showing widespread rainfall occurring for hours on end in especially the western FL panhandle and areas to our north. If you have any weather depended activities on Tuesday or Wednesday, you will want to call them off and to reschedule them for either later this week or next week.
Florida Impact (mainly north Florida):
- Rainfall: 1-3″ of rainfall is likely in a wide zone including the western Florida panhandle. Rainfall patterns may include training and very localized areas of up to 5″, mainly north of the Florida border. Flash flood watches may be needed over the next couple of days. Remember, if you see a water covered roadway, turn around and don’t drown.
- Lightning: Occasional to sometimes frequent lightning may occur in storms that do develop. If you hear thunder, go indoors.
- Tornadoes: A few quick spin-up tornadoes are possible west of Apalachicola, mainly originating from landfalling waterspouts. These should be short-lived weak tornadoes.
- Seas: Wait until this weekend to go out on the waters. Monday and Wednesday will feature onshore or easterly winds that will create a slight chop in gulf waters, with the worst seas come in on Wednesday. As the mid-week cold front arrives late Wednesday, seas will climb to a moderate chop (3-5′) on the Gulf. Small craft advisories will be likely on Monday and even more so on Wednesday.
- Other severe weather: There may be another increased risk for severe weather (high winds, tornadoes) on Tuesday night after 8pm into Wednesday as the cold front builds. I’ll keep an eye on this risk for the next update.
Here is my 5-day forecast for Tallahassee. I apologize that it is a little cluttered, but this week’s weather is as cluttered as the graph is. The biggest chance of rain is overnight Tuesday into Wednesday as the strongest of three cold fronts passes through this week. I decided to leave off the last cold front, which should arrive Friday Night, but models differ on whether it arrives Friday night or Saturday morning. I will add that into the forecast on the next update. I think we should be able to salvage Valentine’s Day, but there is a 30% chance of rain early in the day surrounding the inflow from the third cold front. Friday will be even better!
I will be at the FSU Weather Center tomorrow afternoon bringing updates here and on-air. Remember, catch weather information at all times of the day on twitter @JonathanBelles .