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Area Forecast Discussion

FXUS62 KTAE 291357

957 AM EDT SAT AUG 29 2015

...Erika Dissipates but Could Still Bring Heavy Rain Next Week...

.Near Term [Through Today]...
Southerly flow to the east of Gulf upper low is pushing plenty of
deep moisture across the foreast area this morning. Currently,
heavy rainfall is confined to the nearshore waters and the
northeast counties in the forecast area (Ben Hill and Irwin).
Updated the forecast to increase the PoPs in these areas. However,
overall thinking for remainder of the day is unchanged. Plenty of
cloud cover will limit amount of instability this afternoon, but
expect most areas to at least see some light rain. A few spots
could see some training cells with locally heavy rainfall possible
(as seen in Irwin and Ben Hill counties this morning).

One additional note...Tropical Storm Erika has dissipated along
the north coast of Cuba this morning. However, the leftover
moisture is still expected to reach the northeastern Gulf next
week with heavy rain possible. There is some chance that Erika
could regenerate in a couple days as it reaches the southeastern
Gulf of Mexico. However, significant strengthening is not
anticipated, and heavy rain will continue to be the primary


.Prev Discussion [407 AM EDT]...

.Short Term [Tonight Through Monday]...

By this evening, the +PV anomaly over the north-central Gulf will
have moved very little. The associated pressure trough will become
a bit more broad as another wave slides through the center of the
country, from the Great Lakes through the Southern Plains. This
will eventually increase the mid/upper levels southwesterly flow
and advect the northern Gulf anomaly through the Southeast on
Sunday, and off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Monday. Through the same
period, the secondary wave will stall over the Lower Mississippi
Valley. At the surface a trough out ahead of the northern Gulf
anomaly will disturb the broad ridge covering the eastern CONUS.

We`ll likely have a fair amount of convection lingering into the
evening tonight. On Sunday, the western half of the Tri-State
region will be under a slightly drier airmass directly below the
+PV anomaly. To the east, the surface trough and upper forcing
contribution will initiate widespread convection. A weak surface
trough will remain along the western Atlantic coast on Monday,
forced by a ribbon of trailing PV behind the main anomaly. This
will be a focus for convective initiation, with storms spreading
west into the eastern Tri-State region in the afternoon. On
Monday, storms may have the potential to produce higher than
normal rain rates as PWATs over 2" combine with warm cloud depths
between 13-14kft coincide. This could provide an unfortunate
amount of antecedent rain leading up to the approach of Erika.

.Long Term [Monday Night Through Saturday]...

There still remains an incredible amount of uncertainty with
respect to the eventual track of Erika. The general idea is that
Erika will weaken into a depression as it crosses over Cuba, and
that`s where models continue to diverge. From the 00z suite of
guidance, once Erika emerges into the Gulf the ECMWF lifts a weak
surface trough through the northeast Gulf, the GFS redevelops
Erika into a tropical storm and moves it north toward the Tri-
State region, while the HWRF completely dissipates the system. So
at this time, the range of possibilities lies between total
dissipation and a tropical storm at our doorstep sometime Tuesday
or Wednesday. Keeping in mind that the "range of possibilities"
has really been changing with every model run. The one thing that
there remains some confidence about is that we will likely receive
a couple days of heavy rainfall as Erika treks through the region.
Highest average rainfall amounts between 5-7 inches still seem
reasonable, and will most likely be across or east of the eastern
half of the region. Stay tuned...

[Through 06Z Sunday]

VFR conditions prevailed across the area at TAF issuance time,
although satellite revealed dense high cloud cover across most of
the area. Some periods of MVFR CIGS will be possible particularly
at TLH, VLD, and ABY today, although in general VFR conditions are
expected to dominate outside of thunderstorm activity. Periods of
showers and thunderstorms are also expected across the area,
mainly after 15Z and prior to 03Z. IFR visibilities would be
possible in any thunderstorm.


Relatively light winds and low seas will prevail through the
weekend before increasing in advance of Erika early next week.
Showers and thunderstorms are likely over the next several days.

.Fire Weather...

Widespread rain and elevated relative humidity is expected today,
with no red flag conditions expected in the near future.


With around an inch of rain (on average) expected through the
weekend, no impacts are expected. As mentioned earlier, Erika has
the potential to bring 5 to 7 inches in some locations, provided
it remains a somewhat progressive system. Most basins should be
able to handle these amounts considering their low flows. However,
the target area (at this time) for the highest rainfall amounts is
across the southeast Big Bend of Florida where the Steinhatchee
River remains above normal flows. Should these amounts fall in
this region, there could be some significant impacts, even outside
of river basins in rural or urbanized areas. All of this is
highly dependent on the uncertain forecast track of Erika.


.Preliminary Point Temps/PoPs...

Tallahassee   86  72  92  75  91 /  70  30  40  20  60
Panama City   84  74  87  76  88 /  70  30  20  20  40
Dothan        85  70  91  72  92 /  60  40  30  20  40
Albany        85  71  89  72  91 /  70  50  40  20  40
Valdosta      86  72  90  73  89 /  70  40  50  30  60
Cross City    87  74  89  75  89 /  50  30  60  30  60
Apalachicola  85  75  90  78  89 /  70  30  30  30  50





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