Please pardon our very simple site (for now).  A more robust service is coming very soon!
New site coming soon!
Please pardon our dust.  A more robust site is coming very soon!
Please pardon our very simple site (for now).  A more robust service is coming very soon!

The latest in a series of strong weather systems is set to sweep across the Central and Southern United States during the middle of this week. It is likely to bring at least one line of thunderstorms into much of the state starting Wednesday afternoon in the Panhandle and lasting into Thursday morning over portions of central and south Florida.

Strong winds through a large portion of the atmosphere favor gusty winds as the chief concern with the strongest storms embedded in the line. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center outlined a small risk for tornadoes over the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Here are the most likely times of arrival for selection locations across the state:

Noon to 4 PM Wednesday: Western Panhandle, including Pensacola, Destin, Fort Walton, Crestview
5 to 9 PM Wednesday: Eastern Panhandle, including Panama City, Marianna, Tallahassee
10 PM Wednesday to 3 AM Thursday: North Florida, including Lake City, Jacksonville, Gainesville
10 PM Wednesday to 3 AM Thursday: Central Florida, including Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Melbourne
2 AM to 10 AM Thursday: South Florida, including Fort Myers, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, Miami

Some computer models indicate a second line of thunderstorms may move through the Panhandle overnight Wednesday, reaching North Florida during the early daylight hours of Thursday, and finally reaching central and south Florida Thursday afternoon. These storms also have the potential of producing strong wind gusts as they move through the state.

Conditions are expected to improve statewide Thursday night into Friday, followed by a hotter and drier pattern starting Sunday and lasting into early next week.

Tornadoes, wind damage and hail are possible again in parts of Florida for the second time this week.

Another strong storm system is poised to sweep across the Southeast Thursday Night and Friday, producing clusters of strong thunderstorms ahead of it. The risk of destructive weather is greatest in the Florida Panhandle Thursday afternoon and evening, followed by peninsular locations along and north of I-4 Thursday night and Friday.

In their Tuesday morning update, forecasters at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. identified all locations in the Florida Panhandle and much of northeast Florida as having an “enhanced” (level 3 out of 5) risk of the severe weather Thursday and Thursday night. A lower risk was outlined for areas as far south as the I-4 corridor from Tampa to Orlando. The strong storm risk will likely continue across much of Central Florida on Friday as the storm begins to pull away.

Primary hazards from the strongest storms in the enhanced risk area include tornadoes, damaging wind gusts, and large hail. Heavy rain and localized flooding will also be possible in these areas where multiple rounds of thunderstorms move through. The risk wains a bit on Friday across Central Florida, but a tornado or damaging wind gusts can’t be ruled out in these areas.

Drier and cooler air may briefly surge in behind the late-week front across North Florida, but yet another storm system is forecast to develop across the Southeast this weekend and potentially keep scattered thunderstorm chances in the forecast Saturday and Sunday.

UPDATE 11 PM EDT: Two Tornado Watches have been issued for the Florida Panhandle. The first watch expires at 4 am CDT and includes Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. The second watch, issued less than an hour after the first, includes Panama City, Tallahassee and Florida’s Big Bend region until 7 am EDT. The arrival times of the storms hasn’t changed and can be viewed in the original story below the map.

Wind damage, hail, and even a tornado are possible across sections of the Florida Panhandle late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Areas at greatest risk include the western half of the Florida Panhandle and locations farther east near and north of Interstate 10 to Jacksonville.

The Storm Prediction Center has increased the severe threat to a Moderate Risk (level 4 out of 5) for locations near the Florida and Alabama state line. An Enhanced Risk (Level 3 out of 5) is in place from Pensacola eastward to Tallahassee. The Lake City and Jacksonville areas are under at risk levels 1 and 2.

Thunderstorms began to fire Sunday afternoon along and just south of a warm front that was observed to be stretched across southern Alabama and Georgia. This boundary separates slightly cooler and drier air to the north from an increasingly warm and humid air mass to the south. As of late Sunday afternoon, only a few widely scattered thunderstorms had formed along it, and those were expected to move north of Florida by early evening.

Storm chances are highest ahead of an approaching cold front, also tied to the same storm system, when it arrives after midnight Sunday night. The severe thunderstorm risk is greatest during the following windows of time…

Wind damage and large hail will be the most common hazards from the strongest storms, with the possibility of an isolated tornado. Extreme northern parts of Florida, locations closest to the Georgia and Alabama state line, are more at risk of a tornado, as the greatest atmospheric instability is expected to stay confined mostly to the southern halves of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

While the severe threat is lower for North Central Florida, there is still the chance of a few strong thunderstorms forming mostly during the late morning and early afternoon hours Monday near the cities of High Springs, Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville. Showers and thunderstorms will also move toward the First Coast by early afternoon, before sweeping offshore by early evening. Drier conditions will arrive Tuesday as a higher pressure settles into the area.

Updates will be available on all of the severe thunderstorm threats this weekend on the Florida Storms app or social media accounts, and on your local public radio station through the Florida Public Radio Information Network.

A line of intense thunderstorms is expected to bring the potential for damaging winds and a few tornadoes to the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend late Sunday night into Monday morning.

Tornadoes were observed in northern Louisiana late Sunday morning, multiple tornado warnings were in effect across Mississippi as of early Sunday afternoon. Reliable forecast models show these storms will spread into Alabama early this evening, then into the western Florida Panhandle around midnight. Damaging winds and embedded tornadoes are anticipated within a line of thunderstorms as it approaches.

The Pensacola area is most likely to see the storms between 10 PM and 2 AM. The time of arrival for the Destin, Fort Walton, and Crestview areas is between 1 and 4 AM.

A second surge of wind energy in the lower part of the atmosphere is forecast to surge into the Panama City, Marianna, and Tallahassee areas overnight. This is likely to lead to the intensification of storms as they approach these areas. Present estimates show the storms arriving near Panama City and Marianna between 3 and 6 AM. The Tallahassee and Apalachicola areas should expect the storms to arrive between 5 and 9 AM. The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting the potential of a few tornadoes and damaging winds near these areas as the storms move through.

Forecasters and Emergency Operation officials recommend residents have multiple ways of receiving warnings, including via cell phone, radio, and television. Residents should be prepared to seek shelter in the lowest level of their home, in an interior room, and away from windows. Those who rely on public storm shelters as a refuge should check to see if they are available because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tornadoes, destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph, and large hail are possible across the Florida Panhandle Sunday Night, thanks to a powerful storm system sweeping across the Southeast. Strong storms are also possible across portions of north and northeast Florida Monday.

Jeff Huffman/FPREN

The ingredients for a severe weather outbreak will come together over the weekend across the Mid-South. A strong cold front is expected to track from the Southern Plains into the Lower Mississippi Valley Sunday, then crash into a humid and unstable airmass moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, strong westerly winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere will create an environment favorable for the development of numerous rotating thunderstorms.

The greatest risk of a tornado in the Florida Panhandle is after sunset, making the situation particularly dangerous. Floridians from Pensacola to Florida’s Big Bend are strongly encouraged to be stay informed of the risk throughout the weekend. The storms are then likely to enter the northern third of Florida’s peninsula Monday. At this point, environmental conditions may be less supportive of tornadoes, but damaging wind gusts will remain a valid concern for cities such as Lake City, Gainesville and Jacksonville.

National Weather Service and emergency management personnel are urging residents to have several ways to receive warnings. This will increase your ability to act suddenly in an effort that might save you or your family’s life. Alerts are available via the Florida Storms app, a NOAA Weather Radio, and the stations of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. Live streaming will also be available on the Florida Storms Facebook Page when dangerous storms develop.

Thunderstorms capable of producing wind damage, hail, or even a tornado are possible across the Florida Panhandle Wednesday night, then most of north and central Florida Thursday.

Thunderstorms were off to an early start Wednesday, but confined primarily to areas near and north of the Alabama and Georgia borders.

The morning activity was lining up along a nearly stationary front that stretched from South Texas to the South Georgia. An area of low pressure is expected to intensify along this boundary Wednesday night and move across the Gulf Coast states and into the Mid-Atlantic region Thursday. The greatest risk of severe thunderstorms will arrive just ahead of an approaching front associated with this system.

A Tornado Watch was issued for portions of the Florida Panhandle west of Tallahassee until 6 pm Wednesday, where a few strong cells could develop in advance of the main front arriving later tonight.

A more organized cluster of thunderstorms is likely to develop Wednesday evening across southern Mississippi and Alabama, then spread east into the Florida Panhandle overnight. The storms are forecast to move into (or redevelop across) the northern and central sections of the Floridan peninsula Thursday.

Rainfall amounts

The latest blend of computer model simulations are forecasting anywhere from an inch rain in the Jacksonville area to 2 to nearly 3 inches from Tallahassee westward through the Panhandle. These amounts reflect area-wide averages, but thunderstorms are almost sure to contribute heavier amounts in some areas. A “worst case” situation – rendered by an ensemble of computer models that create many possible scenarios to meteorologists — are indicating the potential for up to about 5 inches of rain in these areas. This scenario can become more probable where thunderstorms “train” or move over the same areas.

Flood potential

A Flash Flood Watch continues through Thursday morning for western sections of the Florida Panhandle.

Rainfall totals over the past 30 days in the Florida Panhandle have been running slightly below average for areas south of Interstate 10. However, areas along and north of I-10 have had more rain than usual and may be more susceptible to flash flooding. There is also a chance the Escambia River, which was experiencing minor flooding near Century for a time in February, could return to minor flood stage again if heavy rain falls in its watershed.

Multiple rounds of thunderstorms, each capable of producing heavy rain in a short amount of time, could cause flash flooding in portions of the Florida Panhandle by midweek. A few thunderstorms may also be strong enough to produce hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes Wednesday and Thursday.

The setup

A cold front is expected to become better organized as it moves through the Tennessee Valley Tuesday, then stall across the Florida Panhandle Wednesday morning. Disturbances high in the atmosphere will travel along the front, producing several clusters of thunderstorms in an increasingly warm, humid, and unstable air mass near the Gulf of Mexico. The unsettled weather is likely to continue through Thursday, before the front weakens and moves across the Florida Peninsula Friday.

The timing

A few showers could develop as early as Tuesday afternoon across the Florida Panhandle, but the heavier and more widespread activity is likely to hold off until late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Additional rounds of thunderstorm activity are then expected Wednesday afternoon and night, before most of it moves a bit farther east into sections of Northeast Florida Thursday.

The severe potential

A few of the thunderstorms may produce hail, damaging gusts, or tornadoes, especially Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning near and west of Tallahassee. However, there is still some question as to how far inland the most unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico will move. If the heavy rain from Tuesday night and Wednesday morning cools the air mass too much, the chance of tornadoes and damaging winds would be lower Wednesday and Wednesday night. Conversely, if enough humidity and warm air from the Gulf is able to return north, the risk of stronger thunderstorm activity would be greater.

Rainfall amounts

The latest blend of computer model simulations are forecasting anywhere from 1.5 inches of rain in the Tallahassee area to nearly 3 inches near Crestview, Pensacola, and Destin. These amounts reflect area-wide averages, but thunderstorms are almost sure to contribute heavier amounts in some areas. A “worst case” situation – rendered by an ensemble of computer models that create many possible scenarios to meteorologists — are indicating the potential for up to about 5 inches of rain in these areas. This scenario can become more probable where thunderstorms “train” or move over the same areas.

Flood potential

Rainfall totals over the past 30 days in the Florida Panhandle have been running slightly below average for areas south of Interstate 10. However, areas along and north of I-10 have had more rain than usual and may be more susceptible to flash flooding. There is also a chance the Escambia River, which was experiencing minor flooding near Century for a time in February, could return to minor flood stage again if heavy rain falls in its watershed.

Strong thunderstorms or widespread amounts of heavy rain are not expected across central and south Florida from this storm system at this time.

A Tornado Watch has been issued for all of north and northeast Florida until midnight. The watch includes the cities of Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, and the Nature Coast.

As of 7 pm ET, radar data indicated a squall line of thunderstorms capable of producing damaging straight-line winds or a tornado was moving through Florida’s Big Bend. Several accounts of wind damage have been reported from this line in and around the Tallahassee area and points farther west.

The squall line is expected to maintain its strength, or even intensify some as it moves farther east, thanks to strong winds aloft and an unstable mass developing ahead of it. The Storm Prediction Center says there is a enhanced risk of damaging winds up to 70 mph and a few tornadoes with the line.

The most likely arrival times of the squall line in the watch area are listed below. Keep in mind that the greatest wind damage potential is usually a few miles ahead of the reflectivity you may see on radar.

In addition to the wind damage potential, rainfall totals between 1 and 2 inches may cause brief periods of localized flooding where some of the strongest cells track. The heaviest rain is expected to exit the Florida Panhandle by midnight, with clearing skies and cooler conditions expected on Friday.

A Tornado Watch is in effect until 8 PM ET (7 PM CT) for much of the Big Bend and parts of the Florida Panhandle. The watch includes Tallahassee, Panama City, Marianna, Apalachicola, and Lake City.

A line of strong thunderstorms was noted to be getting better organized in the Florida Panhandle early Thursday afternoon, and it was beginning to approach Panama City just before 1 pm.

The squall line is expected to intensify as it moves east through the watch area, thanks to strong winds throughout all layers of the atmosphere and an unstable mass is developing ahead of it. The Storm Prediction Center says there is a enhanced risk of damaging winds up to 75 mph and a few tornadoes with the line.

DOWNLOAD OUR APP

The most likely arrival times of the squall line in the advised area are listed below. Keep in mind that the greatest wind damage potential is usually a few miles ahead of the reflectivity you may see on radar.

In addition to the wind damage potential, rainfall totals between 1 and 2.5 inches may cause pockets of flash flooding where some of the strongest cells track. The heaviest rain is expected to exit the Florida Panhandle by midnight, with clearing skies and cooler conditions expected on Friday.

Multiple weather-related hazards are possible over a large portion of the Sunshine State Wednesday night through Friday morning.

A strong storm system is expected to develop across the Southern Plains Tuesday, then spread into the Mid-South Wednesday, before slowing down as it sweeps across Florida Thursday and Friday.

First Round Wednesday Evening

An increasingly warm and humid air mass will surge northward across the Florida Panhandle first on Wednesday evening. Showers and thunderstorms are likely to form along a warm front between 3 pm and midnight near Pensacola, Fort Walton, Panama City, and Marianna. It is possible a few of these storms will produce damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado or two.

In addition to the risk of wind damage or tornadoes, heavy rainfall is also expected in the western sections of the Florida Panhandle from the multiple rounds of thunderstorms. Forecasters at NOAA's Weather Prediction Center are projecting 2 to 5 inches of rain Wednesday night and Thursday, which may lead to pockets of flash flooding over the 24-hour period.

The Main Event Thursday

A new line of thunderstorms is likely to organize along and ahead of an approaching cold front in the Florida Panhandle around daybreak Thursday. Heating of the day and very strong winds through the atmosphere will foster an environment that is favorable for a gradually strengthening squall line as the front moves through a larger portion of North and Central Florida during the afternoon and nighttime hours.

Arrival times of the squall line

Our best estimate of time of arrival of the squall line is as follows:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a "slight risk" (level 2 out of a possible 5) for severe thunderstorms from the Orlando and Sarasota areas north and westward. A "marginal risk" (level 1) is in effect on a line from Fort Myers to the Space Coast area, as the line may weaken somewhat early Friday morning. The forecaster’s primary concern is for damaging wind gusts and a few brief tornadoes with the line.

The line of thunderstorms is expected to exit the state later Friday morning. A more tranquil weather regime is forecast to follow the strong front in time for the weekend.

_
_
_

UF Media Properties

1885 Stadium Road

PO Box 118400

Gainesville, FL 32611

 

(352) 392-5551

UF Media Properties

1885 Stadium Road

PO Box 118400

Gainesville, FL 32611

 

(352) 392-5551

© 2019 UF College of Journalism and Communications 
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram