(Image credit: NWS-Jacksonville)
North Florida has been put under an “Enhanced” risk for severe weather on Friday by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. “There is a good chance storms could produce damaging winds with isolated tornadoes possible,” the National Weather Service in Jacksonville said Thursday.
The Enhanced risk area includes cities of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Gainesville and Lake City. The “Slight” risk area runs from Tampa on the West Coast over to the Treasure Coast on the Atlantic side and up to around Daytona Beach.
South Florida, from Lake Okeechobee south, is under a “Marginal” risk. Here’s the wider view:
(Image credit: NOAA/ SPC)
Note that a whopping five states are under an Enhanced risk with this system — Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Areas as far north as Pennsylvania and New Jersey will be at Marginal risk with this powerful storm, which will send a cold front ripping down the Florida peninsula on Friday.
Not all that much rain is forecast from the front and its associated squall line, since it will be fast-moving. National Weather Service offices in Miami and Melbourne are forecasting around an inch in South Florida with perhaps up to 2 inches in Central Florida.
A plot of all off-season tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. (Image credit: NOAA)
APRIL ANNIVERSARIES: “Don’t get lulled into a sense of complacency based on the calendar.” That’s the gist of a new piece posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday — 43 days from the official start of the 2019 hurricane season.
“The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, but there is nothing magical about these dates,” NOAA, the parent agency of the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service says. “Tropical cyclones can appear almost anytime.”
It’s a timely reminder since Friday is the second anniversary of one of only two tropical storms ever to form during the month of April. That would be Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed east of Bermuda on April 19, 2017. No one knew it at the time, but Arlene kicked off what was arguable the most stressful Atlantic hurricane season since 2005.
The season featured 10 hurricanes and six majors, including blockbuster storms Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the latter two being Category 5 storms. All three caused catastrophic damage.
The only other storm to form in April was Tropical Storm Ana in 2003 on April 20.
“Tropical storms have formed in every month outside of hurricane season, and there have been a few hurricanes too,” NOAA notes. “May is the most active month outside the official season, with seven named storms occurring during the past 10 years, including two in 2012 – Alberto and Beryl.
“And while it’s unusual, all it takes is the right combination of atmospheric conditions and warmer ocean waters for a tropical cyclone to form, regardless of the date.”
As the anniversaries of Ana and Arlene approach this weekend, the Atlantic is quiet, according to the National Hurricane Center.