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Wet and Mild Conditions Entering into the Sunshine State this Weekend

Cold Front Expected to Stall Over the Peninsula this Weekend
National Weather Service
Cold Front Expected to Stall Over the Peninsula this Weekend

The roller coaster of winter and spring-like weather continues over the next several days as another cold front takes aim at the Sunshine State for the weekend.

The cold and dry air mass that brought sub-freezing temperatures and widespread freeze warnings overnight will begin to subside Thursday. An area of high pressure is expected to move eastward over the Florida Peninsula diverting in a more east-southeasterly flow into the weekend. Temperatures are expected to return into the 60s statewide Thursday with possible lower 70s in South Florida. Temperatures will continue to rise into Friday as the high pressure moves eastward into the Atlantic, driving in a warm and moist southerly flow. Highs on Friday will range from the mid 60s in the Panhandle to the mid 70s in central and southern parts of the Peninsula.

However, this warming trend will be brief, and cooler conditions with the chance of scattered showers will be possible over the next several days. Beginning late Thursday a cold front is anticipated to move into the Florida Panhandle and track eastward into northern parts of the Florida Peninsula overnight into Friday. Scattered showers and a few isolated thunderstorms will be possible during this time frame as the front continues east-southeast. The front will approach Central Florida and likely stall over the region Friday night and stay over the Peninsula through at least Saturday. Cloudy skies and scattered showers will continue along the frontal boundary with temperatures falling back into the mid 50s to lower 60s behind the front but maintaining the 70s ahead of the near-stationary cold front.

A weak surface low pressure system is expected to develop along the frontal boundary, a process known as cyclogenesis. The low pressure system is expected to quickly develop and strengthen in the western Atlantic and give a boost of energy to the stationary cold front beginning Saturday night. Rainfall should become enhanced across the Florida Peninsula with a few scattered thunderstorms possible.

The developing low pressure will gain latitude which will allow for the cold front to pick up momentum and slip southeast towards South Florida early Sunday. A few scattered showers will be possible, mainly for southern portions of the Peninsula before the cold front finally moves into the Atlantic. A brief dry period will settle over much of the state Sunday as a high pressure system builds in from the north. However, another system is expected to build off the Atlantic coast by Monday pushing another cold front into the state.

Unlike the previous cold fronts that have swept through Florida over the last few weeks, temperatures should remain mild over the next several days. Parts of the Florida Panhandle and North Florida will dip back into the 50s Saturday as the cold front stalls to the south. However, an area of high pressure strengthening over the Bahamas and northern Caribbean will help to usher in a continuous warm and moist flow to the Sunshine State. While scattered shower chances may stick around into early next week, temperatures should remain comfortable. Highs are expected to climb into the mid to upper 60s across the Florida Panhandle beginning Monday with 70s mainly for the Florida Peninsula.

Copyright 2021 WUFT 89.1

Dr. Athena Masson