Recent Jacksonville Area Waterspouts and Funnel Clouds

Angie Enyedi, NWS Jacksonville

angela.enyedi@noaa.gov


Summary

Recent environmental conditions over coastal northeast Florida were favorable for shallow, surface based rotation which was stretched vertically by a developing cumulus cloud. This type of vertical stretching of vorticity, or spin, led to recent waterspout and funnel cloud events that impacted the northeast Florida coast.

Note, for larger images below, just click on them.

September 13th Funnel Clouds at Jacksonville International Airport

Surface high pressure was centered over the mid-Atlantic U.S. coastline and a coastal trough was offshore of the northeast Florida coast (Figure 1).  This regime focused breezy northeast  to east winds over the forecast area. Coastal showers were moving onshore through the day.

A line of cumulus clouds formed along the east coast sea breeze front, which moved inland over Duval county during the mid-afternoon. The sea breeze front was oriented N-S north of the Jacksonville International Airport, while just south the line was oriented more NW to SE. See Figure 1.  As this sea breeze line moved inland, cumulus clouds along the line continued to grow vertically.