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Ida Inundates Florida Panhandle, Tropics Remain Active

Ida's heavy rain that began Sunday in the western Panhandle continues Tuesday and is expected to push into more of North and Central Florida on Wednesday.

Flash Flood Watches were in effect from Marianna to Panama City and westward to Pensacola today, where another 2 to 5 inches of rain are forecast. Isolated amounts of 5 to 7 inches are possible near the strongest, most persistent rain bands. The heaviest rain is likely Tuesday morning in the western Panhandle, but is likely to continue through much of the day over the eastern Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend, including Tallahassee.

Isolated tornadoes and strong winds from thunderstorms remain a threat over much of the Panhandle Tuesday and into the Big Bend area through Tuesday evening. Ida will continue to pull away from the state, but trailing moisture will keep heavy rain bands and thunderstorms in the forecast along the Nature Coast and eastern Big Bend areas late Tuesday night into Wednesday. Heavy rain is likely to expand southward into the I-4 corridor, including Tampa and Orlando, and eastward to Ocala, Gainesville, and Jacksonville during the day Wednesday. Pockets of flash flooding are possible anywhere near these areas.

Drier air is forecast to spread southward into much of North Florida Thursday and Friday, but Central and South Florida will still have a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Ida is not the only tropical system in town. Tropical Storm Kate formed Monday morning, but is expected to remain over the open waters of the Atlantic well east of Bermuda through the upcoming holiday weekend. A strong tropical wave is moving off of Africa and is forecast to become the season's next depression and named storm by Wednesday. It, too, is forecast to stay over the open waters of the tropics through the weekend. Finally, an area of disturbed weather over the southwest Caribbean has a low chance of becoming a depression later this week if it can remain over the water and not move inland over Central America.

Copyright 2021 Storm Center

Ray Hawthorne