No drought relief in rain forecast

Published: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

A normal winter-time cold front passing through North Florida may bring rain starting today, but likely not enough to make the slightest dent on local drought conditions.

According to senior National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Zappe, a cold front is forecast for today that will push across the state resulting in a 50 percent chance of rain, highs in the mid-70s and lows in the upper 50s.

The front is predicted to stall south of the area through Saturday, keeping highs in the lower 70s and lows in the upper 50s, with a 20 percent chance of rain.

Complicating this weekend's forecast, however, is that meteorologists are watching a potential low pressure system that appears to be forming in the Gulf of Mexico. The system is expected to move across northern Florida later on Saturday - bringing with it a possibility of potentially strong thunderstorms Saturday evening into Sunday morning, said Zappe.

On Sunday there is a 50 percent chance of rain forecast, with highs in the 70s and lows in the mid-50s.

"We aren't exactly sure of the exact track and strength of the low pressure system, but we are still going for a chance of thunderstorms on Saturday night and Sunday morning," said Phil Peterson, also a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

The cold front will push through late on Sunday bringing cooler and drier weather conditions for next week.

"It looks like it will be turning colder next week and we're projecting a low of 36 for Thursday morning, but we aren't looking for any major freezes," said Peterson.

Even with two systems providing a chance of rain, "It doesn't look like it will make a major difference in the drought because the system will be fast-moving," said Peterson. "But every little rain we get will help, but not enough to make any major impact."

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