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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Tallahassee Florida
951 am EST Sat Feb 28 2015

Near term [through today]...

A thin band of rain has developed over the northeast Gulf of Mexico
early this morning; as of 14z it extended from the coastal waters
through North Florida. This was associated with a ribbon of mid-level
(600-400mb) frontogenesis. This is forecast by most models to
persist through the morning hours. Pops were increased into the
likely range for the eastern Florida Big Bend as a result.

Rain chances should also expand north into the remainder of the
Florida Big Bend and southwest Georgia later this morning as
low-level isentropic ascent increases near the top of an inversion
layer (900-850mb). As low-level ascent and moisture increase, we
expect low clouds to expand north and west, with additional rain
showers during the day. Outside of more organized areas of rain,
enough weak low-level vertical motion may exist for some light
sprinkles or drizzle, so we included some patchy drizzle in the
forecast as well. Overall, rainfall should be light, with most
places seeing less than 0.10" of rain.

The combination of a relatively thick low cloud layer and periodic
rain or drizzle suggests a very cool day. That notion is reinforced
by model forecasts of a developing surface ridge from central NC
into central Georgia. That pattern tends to favor maintaining a wedge of
cooler air with northeasterly flow at the surface. Given all that,
we have gone on the cool end of model guidance for high temperatures
today, with highs in the upper 40s across most of southwest Georgia,
to the mid-50s in most of southeast Alabama and our Florida zones.
These values are about 15-20 degrees below normal.


[through 12z sunday]...

The latest set of guidance shows a steady expansion of low
stratus to the north and west today across the area. MVFR ceilings
have already arrived at tlh and vld and should reach dhn around
17z. We expect ceilings to stay mostly in the MVFR range during the
day, although some periods of IFR cannot be ruled out. After
sunset, ceilings should continue to lower with IFR or LIFR ceilings likely
tonight. All of the terminals will have a chance for some -ra or
-dz, mainly between 12z and 00z.


Prev discussion [327 am est]...

Short term [tonight through monday]...

The Wedge of high pressure at the surface will weaken while upper
ridging builds over the Gomex and the Gulf coastal states. While we
will see drier air filtering in the mid levels, there will be plenty
of moisture in the low levels to keep at least mostly cloudy
conditions in the forecast and patchy mostly light rain. Temps will
be below seasonal levels on Sunday. Then with low level winds
shifting to the southeast along with rising heights, look for temps
to be at or above normal for Monday will all locations seeing Max
readings in the 70s.

Long term [monday night through saturday]...

The warming trend will continue through Wednesday with highs in the
mid to upper 70s and lows in the mid to upper 50s. We will also see
mostly isolated showers both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Then a
chance for heavier rain along with thunderstorms for Wednesday night
and Thursday as a strong cold front pushes through the region.
Behind the front, a return to below-normal temperatures will
prevail through the end of the period.


A tightening pressure gradient along the southern periphery of an
appalachian high will keep winds at advisory levels through
Sunday morning. Through the middle of the week, seas will hover
around 2-4 feet as winds remain elevated in advance of Thursday
morning's frontal passage. Late in the week seas could increase
to advisory levels again as winds increase behind a cold front
Thursday afternoon.

Fire weather...

Hazardous fire weather conditions are not expected over the next
several days.


Rainfall from earlier this week continues to progress through area
river systems. Rivers levels continue to be well above normal across
the area with the Kinchafoonee river near Dawson likely to reach
minor flood stage this weekend. The Withlacoochee River near
Valdosta will also approach flood stage later this weekend.

Controlled releases from Lake Seminole continue to push the
Apalachicola River higher at Blountstown. The river remains in minor
flood stage at this point and will do so likely through the weekend.

With no significant rainfall expected until Wednesday, no additional
flooding at area river points are expected for the next few days.


Preliminary point temps/pops...

Tallahassee 54 47 67 53 74 / 40 30 20 20 20
Panama City 57 48 61 54 70 / 20 20 20 20 20
Dothan 54 42 59 49 73 / 10 20 30 30 30
Albany 48 42 58 48 71 / 40 40 30 30 30
Valdosta 49 47 65 54 74 / 50 40 30 20 30
Cross City 57 51 71 56 75 / 60 40 20 20 20
Apalachicola 58 51 66 57 71 / 40 20 20 10 10


Tae watches/warnings/advisories...

GM...Small Craft Advisory until 7 am EST Sunday for coastal waters
from Ochlockonee River to Apalachicola Florida out to 20 nm-
coastal waters from Apalachicola to Destin Florida out 20 nm-
waters from Suwannee River to Apalachicola Florida from 20 to 60
nm-waters from Apalachicola to Destin Florida from 20 to 60 nm.



Near term...lamers
short term...Barry
long term...Barry
fire weather...lamers

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