An interesting weather system may develop near Florida this weekend, and it has the potential to wash away your outdoor plans. There is also a chance it could produce more than just heavy rain.
It must be stated before anything else that confidence is extremely low on the specifics of what may (or may not) occur this weekend in Florida.
Nonetheless, reliable forecast data is suggesting a significant rainfall event will occur somewhere across the state Saturday or Sunday. The rain could also be accompanied by gusty winds, choppy seas, and even severe thunderstorms if a stronger storm system were to develop.
The reason for the unsettled weather is an area of low pressure that is expected to form over the Gulf of Mexico Friday or Saturday. This will not be a traditional fast-moving cold front that often sweeps through this time of year, producing only one episode of wet weather. Rather, it is likely to be a slow-moving storm that has the potential to produce long-lasting periods of rain or thunderstorms in some areas.
Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne shared an animation of all the possible tracks the area of low pressure could take this weekend from one particular ensemble of model runs.
Several inches of rain are forecast to fall in some areas Saturday or Sunday, which could lead to localized flooding. Thunderstorms capable of producing wind damage or even a brief tornado also can’t be ruled out. However, it is too early to credibly forecast where any of this may occur. Furthermore, depending on the strength and track of the low, high seas and gale force winds are even possible along Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts prior to or immediately following the passage of the storm.
This story only serves as an early notice to anyone planning to travel or vacation in the state this weekend, and we encourage all Floridians and visitors to stay informed of future forecasts when considering your holiday plans. Our team of meteorologists at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will continue to monitor forecast data over the next few days and post frequent updates on this site and in our mobile app Florida Storms.