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Strong Front Sweeps Through This Weekend

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  • Warm and humid conditions move in ahead of the front
  • Strong or severe thunderstorms are possible when the front arrives
  • Clearing skies and notably cooler conditions move in behind the front

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The next cold front to move through Florida will be marked by a round or two of strong thunderstorms and gusty winds. It will be preceded by a warm and humid air mass, then followed by a notably cooler, drier one. Severe thunderstorms are possible in the panhandle Thursday and Friday, then in parts of north and central Florida Saturday.

 

Severe Weather Risk

Numerous reports of wind damage, hail, and even a few tornadoes have already occurred with this front across much of the Mid-South. Even though the dynamics aloft with this storm are expected to weaken, it will still be capable of producing some severe weather in portions of Florida. A few of these storms will arrive Thursday afternoon in western sections of the panhandle. The low severe weather risk spreads a bit further east on Friday, encompassing the rest of the panhandle and near the Florida-Georgia border. Strong thunderstorms are also possible a little further south into much of north and central Florida Saturday, although a widespread outbreak of severe weather is not anticipated. The greatest risk with the strongest storms this weekend will be wind damage and hail, although an isolated tornado can't be ruled out especially on Friday.

 

Rainfall Amounts

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The heaviest rain with this front will occur across the Florida Panhandle, where multiple rounds of thunderstorms are possible Thursday and Friday. Rainfall totals could exceed two inches in some areas west of Tallahassee, which would likely aggravate an already existing river flooding risk brought on from last weekend's deluge. Areas further east, including much of north Florida, might receive one to two inches of rain late Friday and Saturday. As the front accelerates and weakens when it moves through central and south Florida, rainfall amounts will be much lighter, generally adding up to an inch or less.

 

Temperature Changes

Warm, humid air will spread north across the entire state Thursday and Friday, with temperatures warming well above normal for this time of year. Highs could even top 90 across interior sections of central and south Florida by Friday. The upper-level winds will be shifting rather dramatically, though, over the weekend. This will allow a much cooler air mass to move south in the wake of the weekend front. As a result, temperatures will fall, on average, by nearly 15 degrees in most areas Sunday and Monday. For much of central and south Florida, this will result in near-normal early April readings, which equates to daytime highs near 80 and overnight lows generally near 60. Further north, however, a brief shot of below normal temperatures will send the mercury into the upper 40's Sunday night near the I-10 corridor and daytime highs will likely only reach the upper 60's and lower 70's Monday.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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