Windy and warm with scattered storms after midday. After going about 2 weeks without any rain, a slow-moving front in Mississippi will ease into our area later today, bringing clouds and isolated storms to a few areas. High will be 82. Here’s the NWS discussion:

538 AM EDT Thu Mar 22 2012

A stalled cold FRONT to the west of the area will begin to push through
the area on Friday into Saturday increasing chances of PRECIPITATION.
Conditions improve for the latter half of the weekend AS HIGH
PRESSURE moves in on the heals of the cold front.


.NEAR TERM (Today)...

Upper level RIDGE over the Southeast US for the past FEW days
continues to weaken and erode. This is putting our area in a
squeeze play between the slowly approaching cold front to the
west and a moist southeast FLOW from the east. Much of the dry AIR
over the region is now beginning to give way to more moist
conditions as a result. An analysis of CURRENT trends and new model
guidance would suggest that the stalling cold front to the west
will not make it into our western zones in any appreciable way.
Further to the east, today`s setup is similar to yesterday and
expect that we will again see enhanced activity from the Atlantic
sea breeze interaction with the Big Bend sea breeze during the
late afternoon. For locations between the western and eastern
extremes will see much less coverage of showers and thunderstorms
this afternoon. Nonetheless we expect coverage to be slightly
higher than yesterday due to the increase in MOISTURE noted above.

Also an issue is the strong southeast FETCH over the coastal
waters. This will serve to produce a rip current threat from
roughly ST George Island westward. Locations west of Panama City
will see high rip current threats due to the increased exposure to
southeast winds. Have decided to issue a Rip Current statement as
a result. This threat is expected to diminish as the winds subside
later this afternoon.

.SHORT TERM (Tonight through Saturday)...

The stalled frontal system to the west of the area will start to
eject out of the southeast US toward the northeast beginning
tonight. Much of the forcing is expected to lift north with the
parent LOW. However, the associated cold front now just west of
the area will take on more of a northeast/southwest orientation
and begin to push through the area. This will increase RAIN
chances later Friday into Saturday morning. POPS have been
increased this forecast cycle to account for the greater certainty
association with the frontal passage.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday NIGHT through next Thursday)...

The closed upper low will be over the Ohio Valley with the TROUGH
axis cutting through our CWA to begin the period. The low and trough
will move east and off the MID-Atlantic coast Sunday night with deep
layer ridging building in the first part of next week. The upper
ridge flattens by Wednesday night with zonal flow for Thursday.

At the surface, showers and thunderstorms will be ending from west
to east as a cold front pushes through Saturday night. Offshore flow
and a drier airmass filter in behind the front Sunday and Monday. As
high pressure drops south out of east Canada Tuesday to become
centered off the southeast CONUS Wednesday, winds gradually swing
around to the southeast and south. The moist onshore flow continues
through the remainder of the forecast period with low end CHANCE
PoPs on Thursday. MAX temperatures will be in the lower to mid 80s
each day. Minimum temperatures will be in the lower to mid 60s
Saturday night and then drop into the lower to mid 50s across most
areas next week. While these temperatures are cooler than what we
have seen lately, they are still above seasonal norms.


We expect some low clouds to develop in the pre-DAWN hours around or
just after 09Z. Ceilings will primarily be MVFR, although we did
allow for a period of IFR at TLH and VLD. SCATTERED showers and
thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and for now went with
Prob30 groups for all sites in the 18z-24z time frame. Winds will be
southeast to south around 10 knots with higher gusts later this
morning and afternoon.


A strong southeast WIND fetch across the waters will keep SEAS
elevated through this morning and into the afternoon. Winds are
then expected to subside during the later afternoon and seas will
follow. A cold front then approaches later Friday into Saturday
switching winds around to the west and bringing in a better chance
of showers and thunderstorms. The front will then push south on
Sunday and conditions will improve for the later half of the



High dispersions are forecast again this afternoon but minimum
relative humidities will be above critical levels. There are no fire
weather concerns at least through Saturday.