One of this year's last soakers is forming before we enter our winter dry season.

The untimely advance of cool weather that was propelled southward by high pressure over the northeast U.S. is heading for a collision with very moist tropical air that will advance northward from an area of low pressure over the Florida Keys this weekend. The result can be gale force winds, high tides, and beach erosion along the northeast Florida coast from Saturday into the first part of next week.

Over the years our coastline has been damaged more frequently by northeasters than hurricanes. They often pound our shoreline for three to five days between late September and the end of November, scouring several feet of sand from our beaches, endangering foundations of structures along our coast.

Northeasters can’t be tracked like tropical storms and hurricanes. The stage for one to form is set when a strong high pressure advances eastward over the northeast U.S., often with record low temperatures. At the same time, very moist tropical air over the Bahamas or Florida Keys maintains low barometric pressures. As long as the pressure differential between these two systems interact, our beaches can be pounded by rough seas.

At the same time, we still have nearly two months left in the 2011 hurricane season. We will continue to monitor the low pressure near our coastal waters for tropical storm formation.


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