Quenching rains on the way

Get set for a soaker that could bring over 3 inches of rain to the greater Jacksonville area starting tonight and Thursday.

It comes from an unlikely source of moisture streaming out of the Pacific from Hurricane Lidia. What’s more, a weak low pressure in the Gulf pushes across north Florida sending a double-whammy of drenching rainfall.

Hurricane Lidia made landfall Tuesday as the third-strongest landfalling Pacific hurricane on record for Mexico with winds of 140 mph. Much of the tropical moisture has shifted toward the Gulf of Mexico. This will boost the potential for heavy rounds of rain Thursday.

Forecast models show the bulk of the heavy rain after midnight through Thursday morning with accumulations between 2-3 inches and some localized totals over 5 inches south of Jacksonville.

A Weather Authority Alert Thursday morning is for the long lasting steady rain.

The rain will be beneficial since much of the area is in a deficit.  Severe drought in the Panhandle and northern Gulf states will get some relief with the rain as well.

Rain has missed many of the Gulf states due to a quiet hurricane season. Of the season’s 17 named tropical storms, only three have passed through the waters of the Gulf.

Severe local weather is not expected and the dry soil will help minimize excessive flooding although the duration of rain will be for several hours non-stop

Widespread steady rains will move in beginning Wednesday night and lasting through Thursday afternoon with some scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. The rain turns more spotty on Friday before drier air moves in this weekend.

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