Cool Air Spreads Southward While Tropical Disturbance Lingers in Southern Gulf

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Cooler air is moving southward today behind a strong cold front. The actual front moved through Southeast Texas earlier this morning, with breezy northwesterly winds between 15-25 mph with higher gusts behind it. Temperatures have also been a lot cooler behind the front and it’s now 60F in Dallas, 69F in Houston and 76F in Jackson, MS at noon.

Temperatures like these are certainly a nice change, especially after the record-breaking heat this summer. And although the humidity in Houston was relatively low this past weekend, temperatures were still slightly above average with highs in the upper 80’s. Typically in mid October, afternoon highs are in the low 80’s with overnight lows in the low 60’s. The next few days will be absolutely beautiful with slightly below-average temperatures also expected. 

This afternoon into the evening hours, the cold front will move eastward across the Southeast. With plenty of moisture and instability across the area, isolated strong to severe storms will be possible from the eastern Carolinas down through a good portion of Florida. The main threats will be heavy rain and wind gusts between 40-60 mph. Once the front moves through, cooler weather will filter in across this region late Tuesday into Wednesday. In the Birmingham area, temperatures will fall overnight into the low 40’s with highs Wednesday afternoon only in the mid 50’s. Atlanta will also see cooler weather tomorrow. Highs today will be near 80F with highs tomorrow near 57F.

A strong cold front is moving eastward today with cooler air filtering in back behind it. Heavy rainfall continues across central and southern Florida throughout the day. Image: ImpactWeather

Not only will temperatures be cooler behind the front, but strong northwesterly winds can be expected this afternoon/evening. Winds will be between 15-25 mph with higher gusts. Of course, this is nothing in comparison to what our friends in West Texas experienced yesterday. In Lubbock, wind gusts were over 60 mph at times which stirred up a dust storm Monday afternoon across the Texas South Plains. An 8,000 foot-high dust cloud moved through the city during the evening rush hour with visibilities less than a quarter of a mile. An ImpactWeather employee, who lives in Andrews, Texas, experienced it first hand. It moved over her house around about 7:30 pm last night and visibilities dropped quickly as the dust cloud rolled through.

 Taken on Monday, October 17 by an ImpactWeather employee in Andrews, TX outside of Midland. This picture was taken from her front porch. Photo: Connie Dunn 

Strong northwesterly winds (indicated in yellow) can be expected across the Plains and along the Gulf Coast today behind the front. Isolated severe storms (red) will be possible from Florida into the eastern Carolinas. Heavy rain (green) can also be expected, especially over central and eastern Florida. Image: StormWatch

The cold front isn’t the only weather feature we’re watching today as Tropical Disturbance 52 in the southern Gulf of Mexico continues bringing heavy rain to Florida. No tropical development is expected. The cold front is expected to move into the southeast Gulf of Mexico tonight and should steer this disturbance to the northeast across the Florida Peninsula early Wednesday. Winds across the southeastern Gulf and the Florida Straits remain in the 20-35 mph range with higher gusts in some of the squalls. These squalls will move across southern and central Florida this afternoon and evening.

 Image: ImpactWeather TropicsWatch

 The main threat from this system will be heavy rain. Central Florida will see the heaviest rain this afternoon and evening, with totals of 1-3 inches and isolated amounts to 5 inches. Heavy rain will also continue across southern Florida and rainfall totals through tomorrow morning will be between 2-4 inches with isolated amounts to 6 inches possible. Isolated severe storms will be possible into Wednesday morning. The front should move through by Wednesday afternoon with improving conditions expected thereafter.

This has turned out to be a fairly active week weather-wise. I certainly don’t mind the cooler temperatures, but here in Texas we could sure use some of the rain Florida’s getting.

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