Much cooler and drier air to reach Michael-slammed areas of Florida, Georgia this weekend

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 19, 2018, 3:20:59 AM EDT

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Much cooler and less humid air is forecast to make its way into the Deep South, including Michael-slammed areas of Florida and Georgia this weekend, before the potential for heavy rain later next week.

High temperatures have been flirting with record high levels over the past few days. Temperatures in general have been averaging 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

A cold blast slicing across the Midwest and Northeast this weekend will eventually send cool air to the Gulf coast.

"Prior to much cooler air's arrival this weekend, slightly lower temperatures are in store into Friday, thanks to an east to northeasterly breeze," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Static SE Friday


The more immediate cooling will be much more pronounced across the northern parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and may be accompanied by clouds and spotty showers in some locations.

A stronger push of cooler air is scheduled to arrive Saturday night. The much lower temperatures are then expected to last though much of next week.

People may notice a change as far south as central and South Florida, let alone the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia.

Fall Weather SE 10.18 AM


"High temperatures well into the 80s and nighttime lows near 70 will be replaced with highs in the 70s and nighttime lows in the 50s and 60s," Anderson said.

"The period from Sunday to Tuesday will bring noticeably lower humidity."

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Cooler and less humid air will spread down much of the Florida Peninsula later this weekend as well.

Next week may become wet or trend even cooler

As next week progresses, humidity levels will rise, while a return of cloud cover and some rainfall will keep high temperatures suppressed.

There is the potential for locally heavy rainfall during the middle to latter part of next week as tropical moisture becomes involved.

There is a slight chance for a low-grade tropical feature to crawl eastward along the upper Gulf coast which may contribute to the rain later next week. However, at this time, there is a very low risk of the strengthening of any feature due to proximity to the coast and wind shear that is forecast to be be strong in the region.

Wind shear is the increase in wind speed with increasing elevation or over horizontal distance in the atmosphere. When wind shear is too strong, tropical systems typically weaken or fail to develop.

There is also the chance that a southward dip in the jet steam may increase in the Eastern states next week.

If that big jet stream plunge occurs and holds on, it could be enough to keep heavy rain away a while longer and allow even cooler and drier air to spill southward.

Even if heavy rain fails to materialize by the middle of next week, the track of a tropical system from the eastern Pacific could be a player late next week.

Static Flood Threat Next Week


That storm may pass to the north of the region, but could still pack enough punch for a round of heavy thunderstorms and perhaps severe weather to end next week.

Mexico Beach Damage AP

Kim Clarkson carries some belongings she retrieved from her damaged home in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


Storm drains that have been blocked by debris or filled with sand even well inland of the coast from Michael may contribute to urban flooding with the anticipated rain next week or any storm with heavy rain that comes along.

People that have brought belongings outside of their damaged homes and businesses to clean and salvage them may need to cover these items with tarps or move them to a sheltered location.

A substantial amount of wind shear currently exists across the prime development areas of the Atlantic basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Tropical Atlantic 10.19 AM


"The wind shear and pockets of dry air will continue to act as a deterrent to tropical storm formation into at least the first part of next week," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

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