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Heavy thunderstorms, some possibly severe, expected across South Florida

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A low-pressure system will be tracking across north Florida later today, Mar. 6, 2014. To the south of the low, southwesterly winds, warmth and humidity will be on the increase. Hence, thunderstorms, some locally severe and some with torrential rain, are on the south Florida weather agenda. These storms will be capable of producing strong, possibly damaging, winds, hail and locally large rainfall amounts (Fig. 1). Tornadoes and waterspouts are also possible.

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The storms are already affecting parts of the central Gulf of Mexico (Fig. 2). These storms, and others developing within the south Florida warm and humid air mass, will be affecting parts of south Florida by early afternoon and continuing into the evening. Along the southeast coast, storms should linger well into the overnight hours.

Winds around the developing low-pressure system have already started to increase early this Thursday morning. A data buoy south of Panama City, FL was reporting 25 to 30 mile per hour winds at 5:00 a.m. E.S.T.

Today’s southwesterly winds (locally gusty to 25 miles per hour) will be replaced by similar northwesterly winds (behind the cold front) on Friday (Fig. 3, Fig. 4, Fig. 5 and Fig. 6). Thus, west-facing beaches along Florida’s west coast can see a risk of rip currents and some local beach erosion. Winds will drop by Saturday and swing around to northeasterly by Sunday.

After the cold frontal passage, temperatures will drop to the upper 70’s by day and the upper 40’s to lower 50’s overnight the next two days. By Sunday and Monday, daytime temperatures will be back into the 80’s with overnight lows rising to the upper 50’s. Even warmer readings, above seasonal averages, can be expected to continue into the middle of next week.

© 2014 H. Michael Mogil