Severe weather possible before weekend cold front arrives

Severe storm risk

(Image credit: NWS-Miami)

More than an inch of rain soaked the Cape Coral area of Southwest Florida overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning, and more was on the way for the first part of the weekend along with the potential for some severe weather in parts of South Florida.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center put much of South Florida at a Level 2 risk — forecasters call it a “Slight Risk” — Friday night through Sunday morning with the bulk of the storms occurring Friday night and Saturday.

For Saturday, the SPC has South Florida at a Slight Risk from just south of Naples over to Boca Raton on the East Coast, down to the peninsula’s southern tip.  A slice of Level 1 or “Marginal Risk runs from around Fort Myers up through West Palm Beach. Central Florida is expecting thunderstorms.

“The main hazards with these storms look to be gusty winds, small hail, minor localized flooding, and funnel clouds,” National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said. “Given the instability and shear, along with the presence of the jet, a brief tornado can’t be entirely ruled out, though the most prime location for that looks to be across the far southern portion of the peninsula.”

Sunday is expected to be clear and much cooler, with highs only around 70 in Miami, headed for an overnight low of 55; 67 in Orlando going down to a Monday morning low of 46; and 66 in Tampa heading for a low of 48.

Come to think of it, that’s not bad football weather. But expect to see lots of jackets and sweatshirts at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Super Bowl Sunday with game time temperatures slipping into the 60s along with wind gusts of up to 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

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RAINFALL REPORT: Observers for the rainfall network CoCoRaHS reported up to 1.26 inches of rain in Cape Coral, from late Wednesday through early Thursday morning. Glades and Hendry counties reported up to 1.23 inches; and Sarasota County had just under an inch.

An observer near Pahokee in Palm Beach County reported 1.10 inches, while coastal areas had closer to a quarter of an inch as a weak cold front rolled down the peninsula Wednesday night.

Northeastern Miami-Dade picked up as much as 0.81 of an inch, and around a half-inch fell on the Treasure Coast.

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Severe Weather Awareness hurricanes

AROUND THE CORNER AND DOWN THE STREET: Do we need a reminder? Apparently so, as Thursday is the day to focus on hurricanes in Florida as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Just in case you’re keeping score at home, there are 121 shopping days until the start of the 2020 hurricane season on June 1. (Image credit: NOAA)

Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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