Update Sunday 6 pm: We have no changes since our last update. We are reasonably confident UF campus will stay lightning free through 9 pm. However, a brief shower can’t be ruled out during the second half of the ceremony. UF Forecaster Dan Henry with a video update…
Storm Track Radar
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Update Sunday 1 pm: It promises to be another warm and sunny day in Gainesville, with afternoon highs reaching 90°. The sea breezes will also fire up a few towering clouds by early evening, similar to the past several days. Today, however, moisture has decreased some in our atmosphere and the chances of any rain near campus are much lower. IF a shower can develop, it would most likely be between 7:30 and 9 pm, tapering off by 10. We will, as always, keep an eye out and alert you on Twitter @UFWeather with updates. You can also check out views of Storm Track Radar below.
Update Saturday 8pm: So far, showers have danced all around Gainesville and campus has stayed dry. We have been watching a few cells on Storm Track Radar about 5 to 10 miles to the northwest of the city, as well as a few to the southeast of town. Latest data analysis suggests the atmosphere is still moderately unstable in Alachua County, especially on the eastern half. Chances of a shower developing between now and when the Saturday ceremonies are over are still close to 50 percent. However, the risk of lightning has diminished some, and it is becoming more likely that festivities can continue as planned in The Swamp.
Update Saturday 6 pm: Storm Track Radar was generally free from any rain near Gainesville. However, we did note that the sea breeze fronts from both coasts have not arrived. As they get closer to the city, we expect a general increase in the coverage of showers and possible thunderstorms closer to 7 pm. The cells will be rather small in size, slow-moving, and very difficult to track. We will keep you updated frequently @UFWeather on Twitter or via the Q & A box below.
Update Saturday 1 pm: Newest forecast data suggests graduates and their friends and family attending Saturday’s ceremonies in The Swamp should prepare for a possible weather delay. Similar to Friday, a few showers and thunderstorms may develop in the area between 5 and 7 pm, then potentially dance in and around Gainesville until 8 or 9 pm. Cell motion will be generally to the east-northeast at a very slow 10 mph. A period or two of heavy rain and lightning can’t be ruled out, especially between the hours of 7 and 8 pm. A lingering shower or two is possible up until 9 pm, at which time most of the activity should start to dissipate quickly.
Update Friday 2 pm: The timing and possibility of this afternoon’s rain chances remain the same. Any showers that develop would likely diminish by 8 pm. Also note, we have added the possibility of a late afternoon shower to develop Saturday due to a possible sea breeze merger. If anything does develop, it should be brief in nature. Sunday’s dry outlook remains the same.
Update Thursday 11 am: We haven’t made any significant changes to our commencement forecast published Tuesday (below). However, we are starting to nail down specifics of any possible rain. At the present time, we believe a few showers will be in the area late Friday afternoon, sliding in from the northeast and moving to the southwest. A brief downpour can’t be ruled out, but it would likely end by 8 pm. Regarding Sunday, we have have added a slight chance of an evening shower thanks to likely faster movement of an approaching system that will bring increasing chances of thunderstorms early next week.
Original posting from Tuesday…
– Showers, possible t-storm in the area Saturday 6 to 9 pm
– Dry weather expected Sunday
– Evening temps will cool into the 70s
Thousands of graduates from the University of Florida are expected to walk into the next stage of their life under the lights this weekend. Spring 2016 commencement ceremonies will take place in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at 7 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. The UF Weather Team has been closely monitoring forecast conditions for several days, including the possibility that a few showers may be in the area at times. Generally warm and dry weather is expected all weekend in the afternoon hours, with the chance for a brief delay in the ceremonies Friday or Saturday evening.
Watching Friday Closely
High pressure over the western Atlantic has been in charge for many days, leading to warm and dry weather for much of the state. To our north and west, one storm system after another is keeping it unsettled from the southern plains to the Northeast. Thankfully, the ridge of high pressure is likely to hold, preventing widespread rain or thunder. However, it may be just warm and humid enough for a few showers to develop Friday evening in the vicinity of Gainesville. We don’t believe it will last long or be significant enough to cancel the festivities, but of course this is something we will watch closely. Please check this page often for updates or follow us on Twitter for alerts.
Early Summer Warmth
Temperatures will be above average for this time of year through the weekend, likely hitting 90° in the afternoon hours and only cooling into the 80s when the ceremonies begin. After sunset, temperatures will likely fall through the 70’s and a nice breeze will kick in from the east. The humidity could make it feel a bit warmer than the actual temperature, especially Friday if there are some showers nearby. Slightly drier air is expected Saturday and Sunday.