• Major local Nor'easter for Jacksonville, Northeast Florida & Southeast Georgia

    By: Michael Buresh


    Sept. 30, 2017 - Photos: Must-see photos of Irma damage in Jacksonville area .... hurricane Irma recap

    First days ahead without a named storm over the Atlantic Basin since Aug. 23rd!....

    The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!..... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

    Weak low pressure has developed along the east coast of Fl. south of Jacksonville.  Due to proximity to land & pretty strong shear, it would appear any consequential tropical development is not likely.  

    But - as emphasized the past several days - with or without the low, strong onshore (out of the east) winds are developing with a very high rip current risk along with bands/waves of heavy rain & coastal flooding.  The strong east winds will translate into the potential for river & tributary flooding inland as well, especially at times of high tide. 


    -- increasing winds off the Atlantic - averaging 15-25 + mph Sat. .... 20-30 mph sustained but gusts 40+ mph Sun. - Mon.

    -- rough seas & surf as surf builds to 9+ feet with breakers at the beaches of at least 6-8 feet Sunday-Monday

    -- beach erosion & very high rip current risk

    -- flooding - especially during any prolonged heavy rain bands.... & at times of high tide which will be given an extra astronomical boost by the approaching full moon (Thu.,Oct. 5). Water levels could reach as high as 2-3 feet, locally 4 feet above average, especially at times of high tide -- along the coast, St. Johns Rivers & most tributaries. 

    High tides @ Mayport: SAT: 4:43am / 5:17pm.... SUN: 5:38am / 6:08pm.... MON: 6:29am / 6:54pm

    -- potential for heavy rain: 2-4", 5"+ for some neighborhoods - especially from near I-95 to the beaches

    -- while the risk appears low overall.... there could be an isolated brief waterspout or small tornado that would move quickly west.

    Radar imagery courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

    Surface map below shows the strong high pressure from the Great Lakes to the Northeast U.S.  High pressure will be a mainstay north of Jacksonville for at least the next week resulting in a very prolonged period of onshore winds that will eat away at our area beaches.  By the time the weather pattern breaks down, it's possible that some of our beaches could experience erosion similar that of a tropical cyclone.

    48 hour wave & wind direction forecast: 


    Maria went Cat. 5 & then some with a minimum pressure of at least 909 mb Tue. evening, Sept. 19th making the hurricane among the top 10 most intense on record for any part of the Atlantic Basin. Maria was the 2nd Cat. 5 of the season over the Atlantic - the first time that's happened since 2007 (Dean & Felix). The catastrophic move over Puerto Rico caused some weakening before more intensification once over the warm water of the Southwest Atlantic.  

    But now Maria is finally transitioning to an extra-tropical low becoming part of a large N. Atlantic ocean storm.....

    Average wave heights:


    "Lee" is dissipating to the east of Maria over the NE Atlantic & the last advisory was issued by the NHC early Sat......

    The Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean is becoming more unsettled.  There are indications of a general lowering of surface pressures across this area in the coming days which might be a hint pointing to tropical "mischief" the first couple weeks of Oct.

    It looks like general & broad low pressure will evolve over parts of the Caribbean/Central America & Gulf of Mexico during the next week to 10 days.  Depending on any land interaction, this could eventually evolve into a tropical cyclone & will need to be watched closely as this is the time of year for slow but sometimes strong tropical development over the still very warm water of the Southern Gulf &/or Caribbean.  Forecast models are not much help on solving the details for right now, so we'll just have to see how things evolve in the coming days realizing there is a strong signal for tropical development in/over/&/or near the Gulf/Caribbean/SW Atlantic.

    Eric Blake, NHC tweeted this interesting & concerning snapshot of the Gulf & Caribbean now vs. 2005 which produced record setting hurricane Wilma in Oct., 2005.  The upshot: the Caribbean is "boiling"...


    Deep oceanic heat content is still very evident - especially over the Caribbean & Gulf.  We will have more tropical troubles before the season is over.

    Sea surface temp. anomalies are slowly recovering over/near the Gulf / Fl./ SW Atlantic since the passing of multiple hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria)....

    East Atlantic IR satellite (Cape Verde season dwindling):

    Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS):

    SE U.S. surface map:

    Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

    Surface analysis of the Gulf:


    Extensive hurricane Irma recap - click here.

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