weather

Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University are forecasting another active hurricane season, even as residents of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts may still be recovering from last year's historic events.

Scattered thunderstorms are likely to form Tuesday afternoon in parts of North-Central and Northeast Florida. A few reports of gusty winds and hail are possible with the stronger storm cells.

Tornado Watch Issued For North Florida

Mar 18, 2021

Update March 18, 2021 at 11:45AM EDT: The Tornado Watch has extended eastward to include parts of North Florida until 6:00 PM EDT Thursday evening.

The following counties are in the watch area: Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Union. This includes the cities of Cross City, Perry, Lake City, Gainesville, and Jacksonville.

A strong storm system that is expected to produce an outbreak of tornadoes and damaging winds over Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia could also produce a few instances of severe weather in parts of the Panhandle and North Florida late Wednesday night into Thursday.

Another Round of Strong Storms Possible for Monday

Feb 14, 2021

The wet Valentine’s weekend is expected to extend into the new work week as a stationary front continues to drape itself over portions of the Florida Panhandle and North Florida. Scattered shower and thunderstorms, some of which could be strong, are anticipated across the Sunshine State for one more day before a brief dry period returns to the state.

Housing remains one of the greatest long-term recovery needs in Calhoun and Jackson counties more than two years after Hurricane Michael.

“The dire shortage of housing is a major issue in both of our communities,” said Kevin Yoder, chairman of the North Florida Inland Long-Term Recovery Group, during a conference call Thursday.

2020 was one of the two warmest on record across the globe, and one of the warmest in Florida.

According to data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2020 was tied or close to tying with 2016 for the world’s warmest year.

City of Atlantic Beach

Three Northeast Florida cities and two nonprofit groups will receive nearly $2 million from the state to help protect the region from damage caused by future storms.

A strengthening low pressure system is anticipated to move northeastward this week dragging a cold front towards the Sunshine State to ring in the New Year.

On Wednesday a low pressure system lifting from Mexico into the Gulf Coast of Texas was gradually intensifying as it continue to track northeastward. A cold front dragging behind and stretching through the Gulf of Mexico is expected to cross through the Deep South Thursday morning and approach the western Florida Panhandle by Thursday night, just in time to ring in the New Year.

News Service of Florida

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. leaders Wednesday supported looking for ways to increase homeowners’ rates, as they try to stem a flood of new policies at the state-backed insurer.

From the Carolinas to Central America, many are glad to see the end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It set a number of records, including the most named storms.

News Service of Florida

As the most-active hurricane season on record officially ends on Monday, Nov. 30, Florida overall has been relatively lucky.

Two storm systems could affect outdoor plans across the Sunshine State this holiday weekend, with the latter potentially being more disruptive to those with travel plans Sunday or Monday.

Many residents in the greater Tampa Bay region had a rude awakening Wednesday upon learning Tropical Storm Eta wasn't slowly making its way toward the Panhandle as expected but instead taking a sharp turn in their direction.

Eta became more challenging to track when it moved into the Gulf of Mexico as it weakened into a tropical storm.

News4Jax

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Clay and Putnam counties  due to Tropical Storm Eta. The storm is expected to affect the First Coast as a depression beginning overnight on Thursday, with the worst effects expected in Jacksonville around sunrise on Thursday.

Conditions are expected to rapidly improve by Thursday afternoon across most areas of the state.

DeSantis Expands State Of Emergency For 'Erratic' Eta

Nov 11, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis
LYNNE SLADKY / April 2020 Associated Press file photo

Pointing to the “erratic nature” of the storm as it threatened a large part of Florida’s west coast, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday expanded a state of emergency and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration as Tropical Storm Eta prepared to make landfall Thursday.

Update as of 1:00pm Wednesday:

Aircraft Reconnaissance indicates that Eta has weakened to a tropical storm with top sustained winds of 70 mph. It had briefly become a hurricane Wednesday morning. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Suwannee River to Bonita Beach, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Peak surges of 2 to 5 feet above normally dry ground are forecast somewhere within the surge area, particularly within a few hours of midnight near the time of high tide.

Update as of 8:30am Wednesday:

Eta has come to a near halt in the southern Gulf of Mexico and is likely to remain over the Gulf of Mexico for several more days.

Portions of South Florida and the Keys are bracing for heavy rains and tropical storm conditions as early as this weekend as Tropical Depression Eta makes its about-face and heads toward Cuba.

That turn to the northeast is expected later today as Eta – which has devastated portions of Central America – retreats from that coast and approaches Cuba as a strengthening tropical storm.

As of Friday morning, Eta was located about 430 miles west-southwest of Grand Cayman and moving to the north at 8 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Days of occasional heavy rainfall may increase the risk of flooding over saturated South Florida late this upcoming weekend into early next week ahead of what is likely to be Tropical Storm Eta in the Caribbean.

 

Eta weakened to a depression over Central America, but it has moved back over the warm water of the Caribbean Friday morning. Atmospheric conditions make re-strengthening into a tropical storm a good possibility later Friday or Saturday.

Days of heavy rainfall may increase the risk of flooding over saturated South Florida this upcoming weekend ahead of what is likely to be Tropical Storm Eta in the Caribbean.

After hammering Nicaragua and Honduras as a powerful Category 4 storm, Tropical Storm Eta appears poised to make a U-turn and threaten Florida this weekend.

Eta made landfall Tuesday morning and has weakened to a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of Wednesday morning, Eta was located about 90 miles off the coast of Nicaragua and maintained maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

It is moving west at 8 mph, but forecasters say Eta will switch course and begin moving west-northwest and then turn to the north Thursday night and Friday.

Update as of 10:45am Monday:

Eta continues to rapidly intensify and is now a category 2 hurricane with top winds of 110 mph. It is forecast to become a major hurricane soon and make landfall early Tuesday as an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane in Nicaragua.

Update as of 7:30am Monday:

Amid a lively hurricane season, the state trust fund that subsidizes reinsurance for property insurers in the private sector is performing adequately.

Financial services firm Raymond James serves as the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s advisor. The company’s Kapil Bhatia gave an update Tuesday on the fund’s estimated claims-paying capacity for the next two years.

UPDATE 4 PM CDT WEDNESDAY

#Zeta is nearing the SE LA coast as a strong category 2 storm with winds up to 110 mph. It has strengthened right up until landfall, similar to what Hurricane #Michael did in 2018.


UPDATE 1 PM CDT WEDNESDAY

Bermuda is under a tropical storm watch as Hurricane Epsilon – which formed late Tuesday night – makes its way toward the island.

Epsilon became the 10th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and could continue to gain strength as it works its way through the Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of Wednesday morning, Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds had grown to 85 mph, with higher gusts, and was located about 425 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. It is moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

Update 5PM AST Wednesday

Epsilon was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane late Wednesday afternoon. This is the fourth major tropical cyclone (Cat. 3 - 5) of the 2020 hurricane season.

The center of Epsilon was located 340 miles east-southeast of Bermuda Wednesday evening with maximum sustained wind speeds of 115 mph. Forward speed has decreased over the last 24-hours with the storm tracking to the northwest at 10 mph.

According to a new study from the University of South Florida and Brown University, Hurricane Irma in 2017 had an even greater long-term effect on nursing home residents than the federal government reported.

Mortgage down payment assistance loans are helping put people back in neighborhoods recovering from Hurricane Michael.

“As a native Floridian, I don’t know that there’s ever been or ever going to be a better time to buy a house in North Florida than right now,” said Trey Price, executive director of the Florida Finance Housing Corporation, the organization overseeing the Hurricane Michael Recovery Loan Program. “It’s really an incredible program we’ve got right now.”

Permanent housing remains out of reach for many low-income residents two years after Hurricane Michael.

Katherine Leskovac, 62, has been staying in a camper parked in a mostly empty lot on Sherman Avenue in Panama City. “Ever since Hurricane Michael, I’ve been living here,” she said. But she says she wouldn’t really call it living. “You can never get comfortable.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, the Category 5 storm’s 160 mph winds tore through much of Bay County — sparing Panama City Beach the worst damage, but leaving the rest of the county’s communities in shambles.

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