Heavy Rain And A Few Strong Storms Likely For A Second Consecutive Weekend
Another front is expected to stall over Florida this weekend, resulting in heavy rainfall and a few strong thunderstorms for some communities.
The front is part of part of the storm system bringing exceptionally cold temperatures from the Plains and Midwest south to the Texas Gulf Coast. Cooler than normal temperatures are likely this weekend over the Panhandle behind the front, but most of the state will not feel the effects of the severe cold happening in the center of the country. Instead, south to southwesterly winds in the middle and upper atmosphere will direct moisture from the Gulf over much of the state, which will produce times of heavy rain.
The area most likely to see the most widespread heavy rain over a long period of time is over the Big Bend, where 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecast through the weekend. The more persistent thunderstorms are expected to produce heavier amounts in places. The runoff from the rain could cause river level rises along the Sante Fe River north of Gainesville, an area already experiencing minor river flooding from last weekend's storm. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Sunday night from Panama City to Cross City.
A little bit of sunshine over North-Central Florida may destabilize the atmosphere enough to produce a couple of stronger storms on Saturday. A similar situation could occur Sunday and extend to areas along the I-4 corridor, Space Coast, and Treasure Coast. Widespread, damaging severe weather is unlikely, but strong winds in the upper atmosphere could be enough to produce a couple reports of damaging wind gusts with the strongest storm cells. Any thunderstorm is capable of lightning and downpours that could cause brief flooding.
The greatest amount of sunshine is likely in South Florida this weekend, farthest removed from the front. Still, the typically humid air is still capable of producing scattered, mainly afternoon showers or a thunderstorm.
The front is likely to straddle the state off and on through next week with scattered showers or thunderstorms closest to the front on any day. However, the worst of the cold weather is likely to remain north of the state for much of next week if current forecast holds.
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