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Southeast Georgia April 1st EF-1 Tornadoes

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…EF-1 TORNADO AT GUEST MILLPOND AT THE CLINCH/ATKINSON COUNTY LINE…

RATING:                                               EF-1
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:       100 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:     7.8 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   0.7 MILE
FATALITIES:                                        0
INJURIES:                                             1

START DATE:                                     APRIL 1 2016
START TIME:                                      515 PM EDT EST
START LOCATION:                        9 MILES SSW OF PEARSON GA
START LAT/LON:                            31.17/-82.91

END DATE:                                         APRIL 1 2016
END TIME:                                          535 PM EDT
EST END LOCATION:                  4 MILES WNW OF COGDELL GA
END_LAT/LON:                               31.19/-82.78

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY HAS CONFIRMED A TORNADO NEAR THE CLINCH AND ATKINSON COUNTY BORDER. THE PRELIMINARY INTENSITY WAS A HIGH END EF-1 TORNADO WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OF 100 MPH. THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN JUST EAST OF HWY 221 AND WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 20 MINUTES. THE PATH LENGTH WAS ABOUT 7.8 MILES AND IT WAS MOVING EAST  AT ABOUT 25 MPH. MAXIMUM WIDTH WAS ABOUT 0.7 MILES WIDE.

ONE HOME WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED WITH MOST OF THE ROOF REMOVED. THIS WAS A STRUCTURE OF OLDER CONSTRUCTION WITH WOOD LATH ROOFING  CONSTRUCTION AND NO BRACING IN THE RAFTERS. MAJOR TREE BLOW DOWN  OCCURRED IN TWO AREAS: THE FIRST NEAR THARPE ROAD, NORTH OF ARABIA BAY, AND THE SECOND NEAR KEATON FARM ROAD AND THE GUEST MILLPOND AREA OFF U.S. HIGHWAY 441.

FROM THE GUEST MILLPOND AREA THE FUNNEL TRAVELED NEAR AND NORTH OF STAGE COACH ROAD AND WEAKENED NEAR COGDELL AND SANDY BOTTOM IN  ATKINSON COUNTY, BY MEXICO ROAD. IT IS POSSIBLE THE FUNNEL MAY HAVE LIFTED PRIOR TO REACHING COGDELL AND THE DAMAGE THERE MAYBE ATTRIBUTED TO THE REAR FLANK DOWNDRAFT (RFD), AS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE RFD CAUSED THE DAMAGE NEAR COGDELL WE WILL MAINTAIN THE TORNADO PATH TO THAT LOCATION. THE STORM WAS CONSIDERABLY WEAKER IN THAT AREA WITH EF-0 SCALE DAMAGE OBSERVED.

ONE INDIRECT INJURY OCCURRED WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL CLEARING HIS ROOF WAS INJURED POST STORM.

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…EF-1 TORNADO NEAR MILLWOOD (WARE COUNTY)…

RATING:                                                     EF-1
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:             100 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:          2.6 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:        0.45 MILES
FATALITIES:                                            0
INJURIES:                                                 0

START DATE:                                         APRIL 1 2016
START TIME:                                          535 PM EDT
START LOCATION:                            2 MILES S OF MILLWOOD GA
START LAT/LON:                                31.24/-82.66

END DATE:                                               APRIL 1 2016
END TIME:                                                544 PM EDT
ESTIMATED END LOCATION:     2.9 MILES SOUTHEAST OF  MILLWOOD
END_LAT/LON:                                      31.25/-82.62

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS A TORNADO JUST SOUTH OF U.S. HIGHWAY 82 IN MILLWOOD. THE PRELIMINARY INTENSITY WAS EF-1 WITH MAXIMUM WINDS NEAR 100 MPH. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR APPROXIMATELY 9 MINUTES AND TRAVELED 2.6 MILES AND WAS MOVING ABOUT 20 MILES PER HOUR. MAXIMUM WIDTH WAS JUST UNDER ONE HALF MILE WIDE.  RADAR IMAGERY INDICATES, AND THE DAMAGE SURVEY CONFIRMS THAT THE MILLWOOD TORNADO WAS PRODUCED BY A SEPARATE THUNDERSTORM CELL AND IS NOT A CONTINUATION OF THE CLINCH-ATKINSON COUNTY TORNADO EVENT ABOVE.

MINOR DAMAGE BEGAN NEAR INDIAN MOUND ROAD AND BECAME MORE SIGNIFICANT AS THE SYSTEM MOVED OVER THE MANOR-MILLWOOD ROAD NORTH. DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES AND TREES BECAME MORE SIGNIFICANT NEAR MULLIS ROAD WITH A OLDER TRAVEL TRAILER ROLLED AND DESTROYED AND A TRAILER NEAR A POND HAD ITS ROOF REMOVED. EAST OF MULLIS ROAD SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OCCURRED NEAR AND NORTH OF PERCH CREEK ROAD EASTWARD TO THE ZION HILL FREEWILL BAPTIST CHURCH. SEVERAL SMALL FARM STRUCTURES IN THIS AREA WERE THROWN NORTHWARD ACROSS THE STORMS FORWARD PATH INDICATING A TORNADO RATHER THAN STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN THIS LOCATION. ADDITIONALLY, THE DAMAGE PATTERN WAS CONVERGENT WITH TREES IN THE SOUTH PORTION OF THE PATH LAYING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST AND TREES IN THE NORTHERN PORTION OF THE STORM PATH LAYING MORE EASTWARD.

FROM THE ZION HILL FREEWILL BAPTIST CHURCH AREA THE STORM PATH SHIFTED TO THE RIGHT WITH MAJOR TREE BLOW DOWN AT A FARM NORTH OF THE ZION HILL ROAD. THE STORM WAS LIKELY LIFTING IN THIS AREA WITH NO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OBSERVED EAST OF THIS POINT ALONG FAIRFAX ROAD.

SEVERAL HORSES WERE TRAPPED BY BLOWN DOWN TREES AND AND TWO BEAGLES WERE MISSING FOLLOWING THE STORM. OTHER THAN THOSE INCIDENTS NO ONE WAS DIRECTLY INJURED BY THE STORM.

Video of this tornado near Fat Daddy’s ATV Park was posted to social media and First Coast News by Derrick Martin: Video of the EF-1 Tornado near Millwood

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Heavy Rainfall Potential through Wednesday; Slight Risk of Severe Storms Late Tuesday

…Heavy Rainfall Potential through Wednesday…

…Slight Risk of Severe Thunderstorms NE Florida late Tuesday…

Synopsis & Timing

A very dynamic weather pattern will unfold over the southeast region over the next several days as a strong storm system develops across the central United States. Waves of moderate to locally heavy rainfall will impact the local area with embedded isolated thunderstorms beginning this afternoon, then a more widespread heavy rainfall event is expected Tuesday through Tuesday night ahead of a cold front. Strong to severe storms are possible across northeast Florida Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday Night. Widespread rainfall with embedded thunderstorms will impact the area Wednesday, with rainfall gradually ending west to east Wednesday night trailing a cold frontal passage. Cooler and drier conditions are expected by Thursday, Christmas day.

Impacts
The main local impact from this evolving storm system will be widespread heavy rainfall with storm totals nearing  3-4 inches across much of NE Florida, and 2-3 inches across SE Georgia. Locally higher amounts are likely especially over portions of the Suwannee River Valley. There is also the potential for isolated strong to severe thunderstorms, mainly Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday Night across Northeast Florida.
 
Rainfall:

At this time, widespread flooding is not a major concern given that it has almost been a month since significant rainfall fell across most locations. In addition, the rounds of heavy rain are expected during two distinct periods.  The first wave of moderate rainfall is expected later this afternoon through early Monday. Rainfall is expected to decrease in rate and coverage Monday afternoon through Monday night. The second wave of moderate to heavy rainfall is expected late Tuesday through Wednesday ahead of cold front.
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Storm Hazards:

At this time, the best window of opportunity for strong to severe storms is Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night across northeast Florida. A few strong storms may impact southeast Georgia Tuesday Night, but instability will be more limited over this area. There will be a variety of strong to severe storms hazards including gusty winds of 40-60 mph, hail, and the potential for brief tornadoes, especially across the Suwannee River Valley Tuesday evening.  The threat for severe storms may shift into early Wednesday if forecast models continue to trend slower with the frontal passage.
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This storm system is very dynamic and forecast models are in fair agreement through Monday morning, then begin to diverge with the timing of local impacts. Please continue to monitor this evolving weather pattern.

Additional Information Resources:
NWS Jacksonville Webpage:  weather.gov/jax
NWS Jacksoville Facebook:  facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Jacksonville.gov
NWS Jacksonville Twitter:   twitter.com/NWSJacksonville
AHPS River Forecasts:  water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=jax

Factors Not Yet In Place For Significant Strengthening of Arthur

Tropical Storm Arthur has become a little better organized this evening, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is only drifting west or northwest at less than 5 mph.

The radar image below suggests why Arthur is struggling to intensify.  The surface low pressure center (small L on image) is displaced a considerable distance NW of low pressure further aloft (large L). Much of the thunderstorm activity is circulating around the low aloft.  Because the low aloft is not directly above the surface low, there is weak northerly shear over the surface low, along with drier air spreading in from the north.

ArthurRadar

The latest model guidance keep the low aloft separated from the surface low, and thus show minimal intensification of the system over the next few days. However, once Arthur gets east of the South Carolina coast, the surface  low becomes positioned beneath the low aloft, and strengthening is shown…possibly to a hurricane as it approaches the North Carolina coast.

That is the current expectation.  If, however, the surface low becomes positioned under the low aloft sooner, and the system is over the warm gulf stream, intensification could occur sooner than forecast and we could see a stronger system well offshore of GA than currently expected.  This would only impact winds and seas over the marine waters.

At this time…little has changed with respect to expected impacts of Arthur, which should be fairly minimal for areas of northeast FL/southeast GA that are well inland from the coast.  We may see some rain bands from Arthur affect the coastal counties Wed as Arthur moves northward…bringing heavy downpours and gusty winds of 25 to 35 mph.   The greatest threat from Arthur will be strong rip currents through July 4th.

Continue to closely monitor the progress of Arthur, and your latest forecast.

Additional Information Resources:
NWS Jacksonville Webpage: srh.noaa.gov/jax
NWS Jacksonville Facebook: facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Jacksonville.gov
NWS Jacksonville Twitter: twitter.com/NWSJacksonville
AHPS River Forecasts: water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=jax

 

Tropical Depression 1 – Local NE FL and SE GA Impacts Tonight thru Early Thursday

…Marine & Coastal Impacts likely Wednesday and Wednesday Night from Tropical Depression One…
…Depression One likely to become a Tropical Storm later Today…

 

Synopsis & Forecast Confidence: 

Tropical Depression One was about 170 miles SE of Flagler Beach early this morning. Conditions are favorable for this depression to develop into a Tropical Storm later today and then track north and northeast offshore the northeast Florida and southeast Georgia coast Wednesday night.  Forecast models have come into good agreement with this storm strengthening to Tropical Storm strength as it moves northward while paralleling the southeast Atlantic coast through late Thursday.
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Local Impacts & Timing:
Based on the latest forecast, the greatest impact from this system will likely be over the adjacent Atlantic waters and along the immediate coastline Wednesday and Wednesday night, with conditions improving Thursday as the low tracks farther NE away from the region. A tropical storm watch was issued this morning for the offshore Atlantic coastal waters (20-60 NM east of the Altamaha River southward to 20-60 NM east of Flagler Beach). This watch means that Tropical Storm conditions are possible over these waters within 48 hours.
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Marine Impacts:
NE winds will likely increase to Tropical Storm strength Wednesday and Wednesday night over the offshore waters (20-60 NM offshore). Winds will increase up to 35 knots offshore with gusts up to 50 knots possible Wed through Wed night.  Seas will build up to 7 to 9 feet offshore. Mariners are encouraged to continue to closely monitor this system. 

Coastal Impacts:
As onshore winds increase through midweek and swells build, the chance of dangerous rip currents along the coast will also increase. Today there is a moderate risk of rip currents, with a high risk of rip currents expected on Wednesday. Breezy ENE winds will near 15-20 mph today and Wednesday with higher gusts. 

Thunderstorm/Rainfall Outlook:

Coast: Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to begin to move onshore later today, edging their way northward up the Atlantic coast tonight through late Wednesday. Bands of showers and isolated thunderstorms will move onshore through Wednesday night, with locally heavy rainfall possible. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible generally south of St Augusine thorugh Thursday, with locally higher amounts. Gusty winds in squalls may reach up to 40 mph.

Inland:  Scattered mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms are expected both today and Wednesday.

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Once again, this forecast is highly dependent on the eventual track and strength of this Tropical system.

Additional Information Resources
NWS Jacksonville Webpage: www.srh.noaa.gov/jax
NWS Jacksoville Facebook: facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Jacksonville.gov
NWS Jacksonville Twitter:  twitter.com/NWSJacksonville
AHPS River Forecasts: water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=jax

…Marine and Coastal Impacts Likely Late Tuesday through Wednesday from Low Pressure east of Florida Atlantic Coast…

Synopsis & Forecast Confidence: 
An area of low pressure was about 197 miles ESE of Palm Coast, Florida  this late afternoon. Conditions are still favorable for this low to develop into a tropical system (likely a tropical depression Tuesday, and tropical storm Wednesday) over the next  few days as remains east of the Florida Atlantic Coast, and then tracks northward track toward the Carolinas after mid-week. Forecast models have come into some agreement with this low through early Tuesday, then, however, continue to diverge with the strength and track of the low as it begins a northward trek late Tuesday  through Wednesday. This is the time period when the system will near the local coastline.
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Impacts & Timing:
Based on the latest forecast, the greatest impact from this system will likely be over the adjacent Atlantic waters and along the immediate coastline Tuesday and Wednesday, with conditions improving Thursday as the low tracks farther NNE away from the region.
Marine Impacts:
N-NE winds will increase into the 15-20 knots with combined seas of 3-5 feet expected to build to 4-6 feet offshore today as swells increase.  As the low drifts farther south of the waters Mon & Tue, wind speeds may decrease into the 10-15 knot range then increase again Tue night-Wed as the low begins lift northward along the Florida Atlantic coast. At this time, winds 20 knots or less are forecast through the upcoming week with seas 6 feet or less. These magnitudes could change if the storm track shifts and/or the storm strengthens. Mariners are encouraged to continue to closely monitor this system.

Coastal Impacts:

As onshore flow increases today through midweek and swells build, the chance of dangerous rip currents along the coast will also increase. Today there is a moderate risk of rip currents, with at least a moderate risk of rip currents expected to continue through midweek.
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Thunderstorm/Rainfall Outlook:

Coast: Below normal rain chances in the 20% or less range today. As the storm develops tonight into Tuesday, onshore winds will bring a low 20-30% chance of showers with the best chances south of St. Augustine through midday Tuesday. Rain chances increase late Tue night through Wed into the 50-60% range as the storm drifts northward, likely  paralleling the Florida Atlantic coast with squalls brushing the coastline and making some inland penetration. Squalls are the outer rain bands of the storm, and brief locally heavy rainfall as well as gusty winds of 25-40 mph will be possible in the rain bands as well as isolated thunderstorms.

Inland (generally west of the Interstate 95 corridor): Below normal rain chances in the 20-30% range are expected during the afternoon and evenings, except for a corridor of higher rain chances in the 30-40% during the late afternoon and early evening near the I-75 corridor today and again Tuesday since the area will be on the drier, west side of this low pressure system. Therefore, rainfall is not a major concern at this time. Wednesday, moisture is expected to increase as the low begins to track northward, possibly paralleling the local coastline, and rain chances increase into the 30% range for SE Georgia and 40% for inland NE Florida.

Once again, this forecast is highly dependent on the eventual track and strength of this developing area of low pressure.

Additional Information Resources:

NWS Jacksonville Webpage:  srh.noaa.gov/jax

NWS Jacksonville Facebook:  facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Jacksonville.gov

NWS Jacksonville Twitter:   twitter.com/NWSJacksonville

AHPS River Forecasts:  water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=jax