April 2, 2009
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The National Weather Service Office in Jacksonville (NWS Jax) is advising local emergency management officials on the high potential for a severe weather outbreak this afternoon and overnight. Forecasting officials have stated that the conditions forming are very similar to those in the Midwest severe storms: long lived rotating super cells that can produce long lived tornadoes.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has placed the whole Southeastern United States under a moderate risk for severe weather. While this may not sound significant, according to NWS Jax, this is very rare. The forecast area has a 15% chance of tornadic activity (also rare) and a 30% chance of hail and strong winds.
The weather incident is likely to occur in two phases: thunderstorm development later this afternoon into the evening due to daytime heating followed by a lull. Then a squall line is expected to move through the area around 9 p.m. overnight until 6 a.m.
During this time, severe weather is forecasted. Alachua County Emergency Management is advising the public to monitor the situation and be prepared to take protective actions. Additionally, weather alert radios should be checked to ensure good working order and proper set up for reception of severe weather information.
The National Weather Service has produced a web based briefing found at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/vHLS/Severe_Weather_Today/player.html
For more information, contact David Donnelly of Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6500.