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

A strong storm system has the potential to produce severe thunderstorms across portions of the Sunshine State Sunday night and Monday, which will then be followed by the coldest air of the late fall season for all of Florida.

Thunderstorms capable of producing wind damage and tornadoes will be lined up ahead of a cold front when it arrives near Pensacola and the Emerald Coast late Sunday afternoon and evening. The storms are expected to reach the Panama City and Tallahassee regions later Sunday Night, then move into portions of north and central Florida from Gainesville and Ocala to Jacksonville and Orlando Monday morning. Showers and thunderstorms are also possible in South Florida along the front Monday night, although they will likely be weaker and more on the scattered side.

The air mass following Sunday and Monday's front will be the coldest of the late-fall season. In fact, so cold that the first frost or freeze of the winter will likely occur across inland areas north of the I-4 corridor and across the Florida Panhandle Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

Expires at 6:00am on Sunday November 29th, 2020

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.

Expires at 6:00pm on Wednesday April 29th, 2020

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.

Expires at 12:00am on Wednesday April 22nd, 2020

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.

Expires at 8:00am on Monday April 20th, 2020

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.

Expires at 5:00am on Monday April 13th, 2020

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.

Expires at 12:00pm on Saturday April 11th, 2020

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