The month of February has been very wet for much of the Sunshine State. Parts of North Florida and the Florida Panhandle have seen double the average of rain generally experienced during the the second month of the year. However, drier conditions are finally on the way once a cold front tracks through the state beginning Monday morning.

University of Florida student forecaster Anthony Bordanaro posted a map on Twitter Saturday from the Climate Prediction Center, highlighting the above normal rainfall that has fallen across the northern half of Florida recently.

A low pressure system over the central United States was continuing to move eastward Sunday into the Mississippi River Valley. Ahead of the cold front winds will shift to become more southerly across Florida, increasing atmospheric moisture and surface temperatures. Afternoon high temperatures could rise slightly above average for some locations. Mid to upper 60s are expected for the Florida Panhandle with mid to upper 70s across the Peninsula. A few areas could enter into the lower 80s Monday afternoon ahead of the cold front. 

The cold front, by day break Monday, should extend from the low pressure system near the Great Lakes southwestward across the lower Mississippi Valley and into the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Scattered showers will begin first along western portions of the Florida Panhandle Monday morning before spreading eastward into the northern Peninsula in the afternoon and evening. Moderate atmospheric forcing is anticipated which will allow for widespread showers to develop ahead of the frontal boundary. Fortunately, upper level wind shear is expected to remain minimal and be confined offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. This should keep the severe risk minimal across Florida throughout the event, although an isolated strong to severe thunderstorm cannot be ruled out.  

The heaviest rainfall is expected across portions of the Big Bend and north and central parts of the Peninsula as a prefrontal trough ahead of the cold front develops over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and encompassed a large portion of the Florida Peninsula by the early evening. Waves of low pressure energy are expected to develop along the prefrontal trough, especially where it intersects the advancing cold front. Although thunderstorm activity will be minimal the threat for isolated flooding will remain for Monday afternoon and overnight into Tuesday. 

The cold front will continue southeastward through Central Florida late Monday night and begin to move into South Florida early Tuesday morning before exiting into the Atlantic. Tuesday will mark the first day of what could be several days of dry and mild conditions across Florida as a surface high pressure system builds in from the west. Temperatures on the backside of the cold front will be cooler, dipping slightly below average, before rising back to near-average Wednesday. 

Expires at 10:54am on Monday February 22nd, 2021

A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of the Florida Panhandle until 4:00PM CDT.

The watch is valid for the following counties: Franklin, Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, and Jackson. This includes the city of Tallahassee.

A line of strong showers and thunderstorms associated with an approaching cold front will be slowly pushing eastward through the Florida Panhandle Thursday morning and afternoon. A few storms have the potential to produce strong straight-line winds, small hail, and isolated tornadoes. Flash flooding will also be a concern for regions that pick up heavy amounts of rainfall.

It is recommended that residents have multiple way of receiving weather warnings throughout this event. One available resource is the Florida Storms mobile app, a free service of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

Tap to open or download our mobile app

Expires at 6:00pm on Thursday February 18th, 2021

Destructive winds and a few tornadoes are possible across portions of the Florida Panhandle Monday afternoon ahead of a powerful cold front. Strong storms capable of producing high winds and isolated tornadoes are also possible across a large portion of the peninsula Monday night.

The chance for strong to severe thunderstorms has been elevated ahead of a deepening low pressure system. A powerful cold front extending from the low pressure is anticipated to move through parts of the Florida Panhandle Monday afternoon and approach the northern Peninsula towards the late afternoon and evening.

The Storm Prediction Center Monday has increased the severe weather risk level for parts of the Florida Panhandle from Slight (risk level 2 out of 5) to Enhanced (risk level 3 out of 5). This Enhanced Risk includes the cities of Tallahassee and Panama City. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were quickly developing Monday morning as a surface low pressure system lifted into the Deep South, dragging a strong cold front northeastward.

Additional convection is expected to develop through Monday afternoon ahead of the cold front. Strong upper-level wind shear and moderate instability is forecast across the Florida Panhandle through the afternoon which will aid in fueling the development of storms.The Storm Prediction Center says that these storms have the potential to produce a strong tornado or two along with scattered damaging winds, a few of which may be significant.

Heavy rainfall will also be a concern which could trigger localized flash flooding. The following are estimated arrival times of showers and thunderstorms for parts of the Florida Panhandle:

The severe risk is expected to taper off late Monday night as the showers and thunderstorms move eastward into northern parts of the Florida Peninsula. A Slight Risk (hazard level 2 out of 5) remains in place for northern parts of the Peninsula including the cities of Lake City, Jacksonville and Gainesville. A few storms could still produce damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes as they approach this region by the evening and through midnight.

Central Florida remains in a Marginal Risk for the threat of isolated strong storms overnight Monday and into Tuesday. Activity should continue to weaken gradually through the night as the cold front sweeps away the remaining storms down towards South Florida Tuesday morning. Upon the passage of the strong cold front, cool northerly winds will dive in as a high pressure ridge builds over the region. Drier conditions and temperatures slightly below average will return beginning Tuesday.

Expires at 5:00am on Tuesday February 16th, 2021

Wind damage, hail, and even a few tornadoes are possible in portions of north and central Florida Saturday night ahead of a strong cold front approaching the Sunshine State. A few strong thunderstorms are also possible in South Florida Saturday afternoon, then again Sunday morning from the same storm system.

Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center have identified a region roughly between Gainesville and Melbourne, stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast, as having a "slight risk" (level 2 out of 5) for severe thunderstorms Saturday evening and overnight. This risk level includes the metro areas of Tampa, Orlando, Ocala and Daytona Beach as well. A "marginal" (level 1 out of 5) risk has been drawn to include locations farther south, such as Fort Myers and West Palm Beach.

Multiple rounds of thunderstorms are possible across Florida ahead of the approaching front through Sunday morning. A few cells could develop along a retreating warm front across portions of east-central Florida (near Orlando, Melbourne and Fort Pierce) in the afternoon and early evening hours Saturday. Small hail or damaging wind gusts are possible with the strongest storms with this round.

The more widespread thunderstorm activity is expected to develop along the approaching front near the Nature Coast Saturday evening. Clusters of strong storms capable of damaging winds, small hail, or even an isolated tornado are then expected to move across the peninsula, impacting the following communities at the most likely times listed below:

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue progressing into South Florida during the morning and midday hours Sunday. Although these storms may not be as strong, gusty winds and heavy rain are possible in some areas before they weaken or dissipate entirely Sunday afternoon.

Floridians in the path of the strong storms tonight are encouraged to have multiple ways of staying informed. The Florida Storms mobile app is a free service of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network and reliable resource for storm alerts for your location.

Expires at 11:00am on Sunday February 7th, 2021


A slow-moving cold front could produce numerous rounds of thunderstorms across parts of the Sunshine State to ring in the New Year.

On Thursday, a low pressure system lifting from Mexico into the Gulf Coast of Texas was intensifying into a winter storm as it moved northeastward into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys. A cold front associated with the storm is expected to approach the western Florida Panhandle by Thursday night, just in time to ring in the New Year.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk (risk level 2 out of 5) for portions of the far western Panhandle for Thursday and overnight into Friday. This risk area encompasses the cities of Pensacola and Destin. Strong storms are possible during the overnight hours Thursday, some of which may deliver heavy rainfall, potentially damaging wind gusts, and the chance for isolated tornadoes.

The low pressure system will continue northeast into the Great Lakes region Friday and into Saturday but the cold front, which will continue to extend down into the Central Gulf of Mexico, will make very little progress on its journey eastward. The front is expected to move through the western Florida Panhandle early New Year’s Day before slowly inching towards northern parts of the Peninsula late Friday night and into Saturday. A marginal threat (risk level 1 out of 5) is in place for Friday for the Apalachicola region and the Big Bend for the chance of heavy rainfall and strong straight-line winds. This threat extends eastward to encompass North Florida overnight into Saturday morning.

The cold front is expected to continue southeast crossing through Central Florida Sunday morning before moving into the Atlantic and away from the Sunshine State overnight into Monday. Near seasonal temperatures and drier conditions will return state-wide upon the passage of the front.

Expires at 6:00pm on Friday January 1st, 2021

A powerful cold front is expected to sweep through Florida Christmas Eve, producing dangerous thunderstorms ahead of it and frigid wind chills behind it on Christmas Day.

A squall line of thunderstorms capable of producing destructive winds is expected to develop ahead of the advancing cold front before dawn Thursday morning across the northern Gulf Coast states. The storms are likely to arrive in Pensacola and along the Emerald Coast between 6 and 9 am CST, then sweep into the Panama City and Tallahassee regions closer to midday. Wind damage and a brief tornado will be the primary hazards from the strongest storms in the Florida Panhandle.

Farther east, numerous strong thunderstorms are also expected across the Florida Peninsula Thursday afternoon and evening as the front marches in. Wind gusts up to 60 mph and a brief tornado are also possible with the strongest storms, in particular ones that develop ahead of the aforementioned squall line later in the day. Areas most at risk for this second cluster of severe storms are across sections of northeast and east-central Florida, or roughly near and east of a line from Jacksonville to Ocala to Orlando.

The cold front is forecast to clear Florida by Christmas morning (Friday), with frigid wind chills and multiple freezes likely to follow in some areas through the weekend. Rapidly falling temperatures will be noticed first across the Florida Panhandle behind the front Thursday afternoon. For example, after a morning high temperature close to 70 in Panama City, the mercury will likely plummet into the 40s by 4 pm and wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph will make it feel more like the 30s (with the wind chill) by sunset.

The early winter chill will reach all the way to the Florida Keys and Miami by Friday afternoon, where temperatures will struggle just to hit 60 degrees. Farther north, a light freeze is expected Christmas morning across inland areas from Pensacola to Jacksonville, and Friday afternoon highs in these areas will only be in the 40s. Subfreezing temperatures are expected even farther south Saturday morning, potentially reaching Ocala, The Villages, and the northern suburbs of Orlando and Tampa.

Temperatures will gradually moderate across Florida over the weekend as the high pressure system sponsoring the cold blast moves off to the east. An easterly flow is likely to develop by Sunday and Monday, allowing for mild and relatively calm weather to return for several days.

Expires at 9:00pm on Thursday December 24th, 2020

A complex of thunderstorms are expected to move across Florida ahead of an approaching cold front Wednesday, and in some areas the storms will have the potential to produce wind damage or a brief tornado.

The chances of a severe storm or two are highest from Florida's Big Bend to the Tampa metro area, and generally up to about 50 miles inland from the Gulf Coast. The thunderstorms are expected to spread across the Florida Panhandle in the morning hours, then reach the Nature Coast and Tampa metro areas around midday. The activity will then spread into portions of North and Central Florida during the afternoon hours, before weakening over South Florida by early evening.

Wind gusts up to 60 mph and a brief tornado are the primary hazards from the strongest storms Wednesday. Heavy rain and frequent lightning will also accompany the storm activity as it swings through most areas of the state. Wednesday's front is associated with a larger storm system expected to bring heavy snow and ice accumulations to portions of the Northeast and New England.

Expires at 8:00pm on Wednesday December 16th, 2020

A fast-moving front will trigger numerous showers and thunderstorms ahead of it in South Florida late Sunday Night, and a few of them could produce wind damage or even a tornado.

Satellite and radar data revealed a fast-moving front and storm system was becoming better organized Sunday afternoon over the Gulf of Mexico. Scattered showers are possible across the entire state Sunday evening and overnight ahead of it. However, instability is only marginally favorable for thunderstorms across parts of South Florida.

Areas near and south of a line from Naples to West Palm Beach have been outlined by the Storm Prediction Center as having a marginal (1 out of 5) risk for wind damage or a brief tornado from the strongest thunderstorms as they move through. The storms are expected to arrive along the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida close to midnight, then spread into Southeast Florida near Miami and Fort Lauderdale after 2 am.

The showers and thunderstorms are likely to exit South Florida by midday Monday, and the a much drier and cooler air mass will filter in behind it statewide Monday night.

Expires at 11:10am on Monday December 7th, 2020

Rarely does nature follow the precise flip of the calendar, but as hurricane season officially ends, winter arrives in Florida.

The season's first freeze is likely across inland areas of the Florida Panhandle Tuesday morning, and subfreezing wind chills could dip as far south as the I-4 corridor in Central Florida.

A Freeze Warning is in effect tonight for all inland areas from Florida's Big Bend to Pensacola. Tuesday morning lows in the warned area will range from near 30 along the I-10 corridor to around 32 just a few miles from the coast. Temperatures are the beaches will fall to between 32 and 35. A Freeze Watch is in effect for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning across a large section of North Florida, when lighter winds and an even colder push of air will likely send the mercury below freezing in those locations.

A brisk north wind Monday night will send wind chills (what it will feel like) to the middle and upper 20s across most of the Florida Panhandle and North Florida by 7 am, and wind chills near or just below freezing are possible as far south as the outskirts of Orlando, Tampa and Lakeland.

This early winter-like air mass will make it all the way to South Florida as well, where Wednesday morning lows could fall to the 40s in outlying areas near Fort Myers, Naples, and Miami.

The cold snap will likely linger through Thursday, before temperatures gradually moderate back to normal for early December by the end of the week.

Expires at 10:00am on Tuesday December 1st, 2020