Well, North Florida, I've got good news. We've got a shortwave trough (click HERE for a great explanation of a SWT if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about) on the way to our smokey state.
Arrow points to the shortwave trough at its current location on the 700 mb map. It will continue moving to the southeast over the next few days
This system is expected to move through the area Thursday, but chances of rain will continue through the weekend as a longwave trough (again, click HERE if you'd like the definition) positions itself over the eastern U.S.
Arrows point to the longwave trough on 300 mb map
With all this action, we're also going to be getting a relief from the blistering heat. Go ahead and celebrate, because right now (6/20 4:55 pm), the NWS GNV has Friday's high predicted at....wait for it.... 88 degrees. The last time Gainesville had a max temp in the 80's was May 18th, when we hit 82 degrees. I guess we'll see if it actually happens (I'm moderately skeptical).
SPC current convective watch
Currently, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watch for much of eastern KS and southeast NE. The watch calls for tornadoes, hail up to 3 inches in diameter, wind gusts up to 80 mph (hurricane force) and dangerous lightning. The system that is causing this severe weather is none other than the front associated with the above longwave trough, which is heading our way. We could see some severe weather (hail, strong winds and lightning) when it moves over Florida, but I'll have to update you on that as we get closer to the end of the week.
Current surface map showing the low pressure system responsible for the aforementioned severe weather
I know I said in my last blog that I was going to the beach last Saturday, rain or shine...Well, unfortunately, that didn't happen. I did, however, float down the Itchetucknee, which was beautiful. My friend Emmie (see her blog HERE) bought a (very expensive) waterproof throwaway camera specifically for the trip, and as soon as she posts the pictures, I'll put the link up. As we were floating down, I mentioned to Emmie that I had seen an otter the last time I was there, and about a minute later we saw one in the exact spot I saw one last time I went...So I guess we've found its home. That was pretty much the main highlight of the trip, but the entire thing was awesome. If you've never been there, the water is clear (because it's a spring), and tons of people just rent tubes and float for hours. It's one of the best stress relievers I've ever come across, and I already have another Itch trip planned for this week.
I'll (hopefully) be posting a photo blog after Thursday's rain, and I'll likely have more stories to tell by then.