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Tropical disturbance is finally moving inland, but the tail still brings the potential for heavy rain

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The tropical disturbance we have been tracking off the coast of North Florida is finally moving ashore near the Florida/Georgia line just north of Jacksonville. It never was able to organize its thunderstorms, despite having a robust circulation. Dry air and hostile upper winds were just too much.

Hurricane Hunters flew through the system yesterday and found winds of 40 mph, although those peak winds were not near the center. The upper-level winds were ripping the thunderstorms around the circulation apart, so no organization could take place.

While the disturbance is not expected to be a significant threat, it will bring bands of heavy rain and gusty winds to northeast Florida and southeast Georgia today.

Since the system tracked farther north, the tail that extends through South Florida has weakened. It will still cause some tropical downpours to be a bit extra heavy over the southern peninsula today, however. Just in case a band of strong thunderstorms passes over the same areas of saturated ground, the National Weather Service is continuing the Flood Watch for the metro areas through today.

This special satellite picture from NOAA and NASA analyzes the amount of moisture in the lower levels of the atmosphere. You can clearly see the tail of enhanced moisture looping out of the disturbance.

The thunderstorm cells related to the tail will be moving from south to north, still rotating toward the disturbance. Be alert if you are caught in a line of storms.

Deep tropical moisture will remain over the southern part of Florida for the next few days, so some heavy thunderstorms will still be expected each day, but a more typical summertime weather pattern is setting up – albeit a pattern that creates some extra-strong storms.

Saharan dust still covers much of the Atlantic. NASA’s special computer model to forecast the movement of the dust shows that a relatively dense patch might affect South Florida late in the week, which could diminish the thunderstorm activity then. Dust forecasts very far in advance are tricky, however.

In any case, the long-range computer forecast models don’t show anything developing in the tropics this week. August begins next week, and we’ll start to look off Africa to see if any of the disturbances are strong enough to fight off the dust.


About the Author:

Bryan Norcross is currently a hurricane specialist at Local 10 News, the station where he began his stretch on television in Miami in 1983.