Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Tallahassee Florida
943 PM EDT Sat Aug 1 2015
..periods of heavy rain to continue across North Florida tonight
Near term [through tonight]...
The 5 PM EDT regional surface analysis showed a wavy, quasi-
stationary front extending from the la coast through the
Pensacola area, then north and northeastward across central Georgia.
Vapor imagery and upper air data showed an upper level +pv anomaly
across our forecast area, with above-climo precipitable water values across
North Florida. The most concentrated area of heavy rain so far has been
across Taylor and Dixie counties, where the deep layer flow was
southwest and the greatest precipitable water anomaly was located. We expect
this to continue through Sunday, so we have trimmed back the Flash
Flood Watch this evening accordingly. Ktlh radar estimates from
Saturday indicated 4 to 6 inches of rain around the Steinhatchee
area, and our local ecam indicates another 3 to 6 inches are
likely, with a few spots getting up to a foot.
[through 00z monday] scattered thunderstorms and rain will diminish through 4z.
Generally VFR conditions are expected until dawn, when low cigs
and vis are possible at kvld, ktlh, and kaby. VFR conditions are
likely Sunday, except around scattered thunderstorms and rain Sunday afternoon.
These thunderstorms and rain are more likely at ktlh and kvld mid to late Sunday
Prev discussion [429 PM edt]...
Short term [sunday through Monday night]...
The area will remain under the eastern edge of a mid-upper level
ridge while the stalled surface front bisecting our forecast area
from Destin to Valdosta will slowly shift eastward through the
period. Models are in good agreement that dewpoints along and
ahead of the surface front will be in the mid-upper 70s during the
daytime hours with pws around 2-2.5" (about 30-40% above normal
during the time when annual values peak) and cape values that will
peak around 1500-2000 j/kg ahead of the front during the day as
well. With all of the ingredients in place, high coverage of
thunderstorms is expected along and ahead of the front, with more
isolated convection behind it. Wind shear will be quite weak with
the high pressure aloft, so storm motion will remain slow to
almost static. With lots of environmental moisture and little to
no storm movement, we expect periods of heavy rainfall will
continue in the Florida Big Bend and south central Georgia through
Sunday and therefore have extended the watch out in time for the
zones still expected to receive the most rain. By Monday night, we
expect the front to have shifted eastward enough such that the
highest chances will be mostly southeast of a line from
Apalachicola to Madison, with the highest rainfall totals expected
to be south and east of our area.
Long term [tuesday through saturday]...
There is some model discrepancy with how quickly the stalled front
will exit our forecast area, so kept chances highest (around 40%)
along The Big Bend through Wednesday. Although the front will begin
to decay or completely exit the area by mid-week, another
disturbance to our northwest will begin to slowly sweep through the
area and increase coverage of convection beyond what we would
normally see with our late-season sea breeze. Thus, rain chances
will be high (40-50%) across the area Thursday through the weekend.
Highs will return to the low 90s and lows will stay in the mid
As a stalled frontal system crosses the northern Gulf Coast, a
tightened pressure gradient in place ahead of the front will keep
winds and seas at advisory levels through Sunday. By Sunday night,
the gradient will weaken and winds and seas will quickly return to
No fire weather concerns through next week.
Rainfall amounts on Friday were locally heavy across
the southeastern Florida Big Bend and across portions of
southwestern Georgia. With the very moist air mass still in place
across far southern Georgia and into the Florida Big Bend, a Flash
Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday. Model guidance
indicates the heaviest rain amounts will be across the southeastern
Florida Big Bend, where 3 to 5 inches of rain should be common
through Sunday night.
With the bulk of the heavy rainfall expected to fall across the
southern portion of the area, and the lower part of the river
basins, the potential for river flooding in the days ahead is low.
Only the Steinhatchee River is anticipated to reach flood stage at
this time based on the latest quantitative precipitation forecast forecasts. The Suwannee at Fowlers
Bluff will reach action stage due to heavy rainfall and above normal
With the Flash Flood Watch in effect, the primary concern will be
flooding in slow drainage areas, as rainfall rates should easily
exceed 3-4 in/hr with many of the storms through Sunday.
Preliminary point temps/pops...
Tallahassee 75 93 75 95 74 / 30 40 50 40 20
Panama City 77 90 77 90 78 / 20 30 30 40 30
Dothan 74 95 74 96 74 / 30 20 20 20 10
Albany 74 95 74 97 74 / 40 20 10 20 10
Valdosta 74 91 74 95 74 / 50 50 30 40 20
Cross City 74 86 74 88 74 / 90 90 70 60 30
Apalachicola 78 90 77 91 77 / 30 40 50 50 30
Florida...Flash Flood Watch through Sunday evening for coastal Dixie-
coastal Jefferson-coastal Taylor-inland Dixie-inland
High rip current risk until 10 PM EDT /9 PM CDT/ this evening
for coastal Franklin-south Walton.
GM...Small Craft Advisory until 8 PM EDT Sunday for coastal waters
from Suwannee River to Keaton Beach out 20 nm-waters from
Suwannee River to Apalachicola Florida from 20 to 60 nm.