A complex of thunderstorms capable of producing wind damage is expected to move through the Florida Panhandle Tuesday evening, where a Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued until 1 am EDT.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (Dr. Athena Masson)

As of 7:30 pm CDT, a squall line of storm was observed on radar entering Escambia and Santa Rosa counties from the northwest.

Segments of this line or new storms that form ahead of it could become strong enough to produce wind gusts up to 60 mph or nickel-sized hail as they progress to the southeast Tuesday evening. The storms are most likely to affect the Emerald Coast beaches and Crestview between 9 and 10 pm CDT, then move toward Panama City and Marianna between 10 and 11 pm CDT, then potentially approach Tallahassee and Apalachicola between 12 and 1 am EDT.

The Severe Thunderstorm Watch is an extension of the earlier Tornado Watch issued for the greater Pensacola metro area that was set to expire at 10 pm CDT. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for the Florida Panhandle through late Wednesday night, where multiple rounds of thunderstorms could produce widespread rain amounts of 2 to 4 inches, with locally heavier amounts of 6 to 8 inches over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Expires at 1:00am on Wednesday May 5th, 2021

An active weather pattern is possible for parts of the Sunshine State this weekend as a strong cold front moves in from the west.

High pressure to the northeast of the state Thursday will continue to keep most of the region dry through the end of the work week. However, beginning Friday night, a warm front stretching from a low pressure system in the southern Plains will begin to lift northeastward across the Florida Peninsula. A few showers will be possible along this frontal boundary as it lifts northward through the state.

The severe weather risk will begin to increase Saturday, especially across the Florida Panhandle as the warm front situates itself to the north of the state and a cold front approaches from the west. This will place most of the Panhandle and North Florida in a “warm sector”. Within this section temperatures and moisture will be high allowing for the development of showers and thunderstorms.

Weather models are indicating moderate wind shear with atmospheric instability increasing in the afternoon. This environment will be favorable for severe thunderstorms capable of producing strong winds, small hail, and isolated tornadoes. Heavy rainfall will also be a concern, especially for areas that have received an abundant amount of rainfall from the previous event which took place last weekend. Isolated flash flooding will be possible through the weekend.

The Storm Prediction Center, as of Thursday afternoon, has so far issued a Slight Risk (hazard level 2 out of 5) for the entire Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area for Saturday. A Marginal Risk (hazard level 1 out of 5) extends into parts of North Florida extending from Cedar Key, through Gainesville, and towards Jacksonville. This could change over the next few days as the event draws closer. However, residents in the Florida Panhandle and North Florida should be prepared for the chance of strong to severe thunderstorms mainly for Saturday.

The cold front is anticipated to move through the western Florida Panhandle during the morning hours on Saturday before approaching the Big Bend and North Florida towards the afternoon and evening. Overnight into Sunday the cold front will continue to move steadily southeastward towards Central Florida. The frontal boundary should exit into the Atlantic by the end of the day Sunday allowing for high pressure to build back into the Sunshine State making for a sunnier and drier start to the new work week.

Expires at 11:59pm on Saturday April 24th, 2021

Many communities in Central and South Florida escaped drenching rain over the weekend, but that is already changing to start the new week.

Bands of showers and thunderstorms moved onshore the Nature Coast and the Sun Coast late Sunday afternoon and evening. One storm prompted a tornado warning in a portion of Pinellas, Pasco, and northern Hillsborough counties shortly before 9:30 Sunday evening. As of Monday morning, a tornado had not been confirmed in the warned area.

Other storms produced pockets of wind damage near Bronson in Levy county and 3 miles west of Ocala on Sunday. By far, the largest impact from the storm has been heavy rainfall. Radar and rain gauges indicated that 2 to 5 inches had fallen over a wide area from Levy and Citrus counties through Marion into Flagler and Volusia counties through Sunday evening.Occasional showers and thunderstorms are expected Monday over Central Florida, but the heaviest is likely to concentrate from Lee and Charlotte counties to the Florida Heartland and eastward toward the Treasure Coast. These areas have the greatest chance for areas of flooding, gusty winds, and perhaps an isolated tornado. 

Radar Simulation Valid at 2 PM Monday

Another upper-air disturbance over Texas is on track to reach Florida on Tuesday. The first showers and thunderstorms from this approaching weather system are expected to start during the wee-hours of Tuesday morning along the Nature Coast and spread eastward after dawn through I-4 corridor all the way to the Atlantic coast. An additional 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected Tuesday. Scattered to numerous storms may deposit locally heavy rain in Southwest Florida and along the Gold Coast, but the heaviest is most probable in Central Florida. Much like Sunday night, a few of the strongest storms may be capable of strong, locally damaging winds, hail, and perhaps an isolated tornado on Tuesday.

Another round of rain and storms is likely on Tuesday

The focus for the heaviest rain and storms is expected to shift south again on Wednesday. South Florida will have the greatest chance of showers and thunderstorms, while areas farther north begin to dry out. A few more storms are possible Thursday, particularly in Southeast Florida, before the weather mostly dries out by Friday for nearly all of the peninsula.

Expires at 8:00am on Thursday April 22nd, 2021

A Tornado Watch continues for portions of the Florida Panhandle ahead of a line of storms with a history of producing destructive winds and possible tornadoes.

Destructive winds gusts up to hurricane force are possible in the Florida Panhandle early Saturday morning from a line of intense thunderstorms racing in before sunrise.

A tornado is also possible, along with flash flooding where soils are already saturated from heavy rain that fell Friday.

A strong atmospheric disturbance over New Mexico Friday morning is forecast to move eastward along the Gulf coast Friday night into Saturday. A very warm, humid, and unstable environment is expected to stream northward ahead of this disturbance. Thunderstorms are likely to erupt over Oklahoma and Texas Friday afternoon and organize into a formidable squall line over parts of Mississippi and Alabama Friday night.

High-resolution model simulations are indicating this line is likely to hold its strength into the Florida Panhandle during the pre-dawn hours of Saturday into Saturday morning. This line has the potential to produce hurricane-force wind gusts as it moves through the Panhandle during this time. There is also the possibility that storm cells may develop in front of the squall line early Saturday morning, and these individual cells are capable of producing isolated tornadoes, as well.

Areas of flash flooding are becoming more probable with the frequent rounds of rain and storms. Widespread rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches, with locally higher amounts, could easily cause flooding of roadways. The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said that minor river flooding could gradually develop later this week along the Chipola, Apalachicola, and Ochlockonee Rivers if enough rain falls upstream of these rivers Friday into Saturday.

After a break in the weather later Saturday afternoon, another round of showers and storms is possible over the Panhandle late Saturday night into Sunday morning. There is greater uncertainty on a possible third round of thunderstorms, but early indications are the threat of damaging storms is lower with a possible final round early Sunday. Drier conditions are expected late Sunday afternoon into Monday over the Panhandle, but rip currents could continue to pose a danger to swimmers in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

Expires at 4:00pm on Saturday April 10th, 2021

A line of thunderstorms moving through the Florida Panhandle early this morning intensified some, and has prompted the issuance of a Tornado Watch for the Big Bend and eastern Panhandle area until 1 PM. The Tallahassee metro area is included in this watch.

The storms are likely to be in the Tallahassee area between 9 and 11 AM before moving eastward into the Big Bend early this afternoon. A few of the storms within the line are capable of producing damaging, straight-line gusts and isolated tornadoes.

An official wind gust of 74 mph was recorded at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City at 6 AM CT this morning as the storms rolled through. 

Expires at 1:00pm on Thursday March 18th, 2021

A strong storm system that is expected to produce an outbreak of tornadoes and damaging winds over Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia could also produce a few instances of severe weather in parts of the Panhandle and North Florida late Wednesday night into Thursday.

An extensive area of warm, humid, and unstable air will flow northward from the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. The winds high in the atmosphere are still strong in the spring months and, in concert with unstable air mass, are likely to contribute to a severe weather episode over the Deep South. Thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds, and strong tornadoes are most likely to form over east Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana around midday Wednesday and spread eastward into Mississippi and Alabama late Wednesday afternoon and night. It is possible scattered showers and storms could produce reports of damaging weather as soon as Wednesday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle, near the Alabama state line; however, the greatest threat is likely to hold off until late Wednesday night.

The cold front attached to this storm will approach the Panhandle during the wee hours of Thursday morning. The storms over Louisiana and Mississippi are likely to congregate into a squall line as they move into the Panhandle from Pensacola to Panama City between midnight and sunrise Thursday. Damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes could be embedded within the line. If severe weather occurs in the Tallahassee area, it's more likely to occur some time Thursday morning. Thunderstorms are likely to be in the Lake City, Gainesville, and Jacksonville areas Thursday afternoon. Strong wind gusts are possible, but it is unclear whether the storms will be as strong over such a large area as they move eastward along the I-10 corridor.

Expires at 11:00am on Thursday March 18th, 2021

Severe thunderstorms capable of producing strong tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds are becoming increasingly probably over a large area of the Deep South Wednesday, and a few of these storms may affect portions of the Florida Panhandle.

A strong low pressure area over central California Monday morning is expected to move eastward toward the lower and middle Mississippi River Valley by Wednesday. Warm, humid, and unstable air -- the fuel needed for thunderstorms -- will be in place over large portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and neighboring states. Strong wind shear, which is an increase in wind speed or direction as one goes up in the atmosphere, is forecast to be in about the same location as the unstable air. The end result is an increasing risk for dangerous severe storms as soon as Wednesday afternoon, lasting into Thursday.

The Florida Panhandle will also have a risk for severe weather, but it may be somewhat less than areas farther north in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. The start time of the greatest risk is subject to change, but the greatest potential appears to be from Wednesday afternoon until about dawn Thursday from Panama City and Marianna west to the Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Pensacola areas. If severe weather occurs in the Tallahassee and Big Bend areas, it would most likely happen after sunrise Thursday morning until about midday. Other parts of North Florida, including Lake City, Gainesville, and Jacksonville, could see strong storms Thursday afternoon. It is unclear at this time how widespread the severe weather could be Thursday afternoon since the greatest energy associated with the storm is more likely over Georgia and the Carolinas.

Everyone over North Florida and the Panhandle is encouraged to check in on the forecast in the coming days, especially on Wednesday and Thursday when tornado watches and severe weather warnings could be issued. Now is a good time to review or develop your severe weather and tornado safety plans in case protective action is needed later this week.

Expires at 10:00am on Wednesday March 17th, 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

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