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5-Day Statewide Weather Outlook for March 13 - 17, 2012

weather-graphic-03-13-2012-pmPleasant, Mostly Dry and Warm Conditions in Place Across the State This Week…

A Few Isolated Showers May Develop Over North Florida and Southeast Florida Through mid Week… Areas of Fog Will Likely Develop by Dawn Each Morning… Moderate Risk of Rip Currents Along the Atlantic Coast through the Upcoming Weekend… This Week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week…

Tuesday:

High pressure will stay in control of the weather over most of the state today.  This will bring partly to mostly sunny skies to the Peninsula.  A weak disturbance will pass through the Southeast U.S. and this may combine with the energy from the afternoon sea breeze to allow a few isolated showers and thunderstorms to develop over North Florida.  Rain chances are near 20-30% to account for a stray shower or two and lightning will be the main hazard.

High temperatures will peak in the mid to upper 70s near the coast and in the low 80s throughout inland portions of the Sunshine State.  Our low temperatures will also stay rather warm and in the mid 50s over inland portions of North Florida and the low 60s near the North Florida Coast.  Central Florida will see lows fall into the low 60s while South Florida stays in the upper 60s to low 70s tonight.

By tonight, rain chances will diminish over North Florida and with plenty of moisture over the region, areas of fog will likely develop.  The greatest chance for localized dense fog will be over the Florida Panhandle where visibilities may decrease to near a half of a mile or less by daybreak tomorrow morning.  Anyone who plans to drive overnight should use extreme caution and should be prepared to slow down or stop when approaching an area of dense fog.

Wednesday – Saturday:

Pleasant, mostly dry and warm conditions will be in place over the Sunshine State this week.  High pressure will remain in control of our weather and this will make it a great week for outdoor activities.  A few isolated showers may develop over North Florida on Wednesday as a disturbance passes through the area, but rain chances are less than 20% so most areas will stay dry.  Additionally, a few stray showers or storms may impact Southeast Florida and the Florida Keys tomorrow and Thursday, but again rain chances are minimal and only a few localized areas will receive rainfall.  Overall, this week will be quite enjoyable for those who plan to spend time outdoors.

High temperatures will peak in the upper 70s near the North Florida coast this week and in the low to mid 80s across the rest of the state.  For our lows, temperatures will dip into the low to mid 50s throughout inland North Florida and in the upper 50s to low 60s near the North Florida coast.  Central Florida can expect lows to dip into the low 60s this week and South Florida will likely see lows stay in the upper 60s to low 70s.

For the overnight forecast, with clear and calm conditions in place, areas of fog will likely develop statewide each night this week.  The greatest chance for fog will be over the Florida Panhandle, where visibilities may decrease to a half of a mile or less.  Localized areas of dense fog may also develop over the remainder of North Florida, Central Florida, and also over Southwest Florida through the upcoming weekend.

Fire Weather & Drought Conditions:

Although relative humidity values will remain too high for fire weather watches and warnings this week, our current drought situation and lack of significant rainfall in the forecast will result in a somewhat elevated risk of wildfires over portions for the southern Peninsula.  Despite the low wildfire risk, everyone is urged to exercise care with respect to outdoor activities that could cause wildfires. We encourage all residents and visitors to stay Firewise.

Looking at our drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 98% of the state under moderate drought, nearly 40% of the state under a severe drought and around 15% under an extreme drought.  It is estimated that the Panhandle still needs 3-6 inches of rain to completely relieve the long-term drought.  Elsewhere, all areas of the Peninsula north of Lake Okeechobee need around 9-12 inches while South Florida needs an estimated 3-6 inches to relieve this drought.  These conditions are forecast to persist or intensify across most of the state through at least May.

Rip Currents:

There is a moderate risk of rip currents along the entire Atlantic Coast this week due to onshore winds.  The Gulf Coast beaches will have a low risk of rip currents this week, but this does not mean that rip currents cannot develop.  With plenty of sunshine in the forecast and pleasant conditions, it will be a great week to head out to the beach.  We encourage all beachgoers and spring-breakers that plan to enter the surf to look for warning flags and to also swim within sight of a lifeguard.  Everyone should check their local rip current forecast and learn how to escape a rip current before going to their beach destination.

Click here for the latest watches, warnings, and advisories from the National Weather Service.

For coastal and offshore forecasts throughout Florida and Georgia, please click here.

This week, March 12 – 16, 2012 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week!  During the week, the National Flood Insurance Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, are partnering to raise awareness regarding the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what Floridians can do to protect themselves.

Michelle Palmer
Deputy State Meteorologist
State Meteorological Support Unit
Florida Division of Emergency Management
www.FloridaDisaster.org
www.KidsGetAPlan.com

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