Downpours, Tornadoes to Target Florida This Weekend

As a storm system rapidly organizes over the Gulf of Mexico, severe thunderstorms, torrential downpours and even a few tornadoes will take aim on Florida.

Florida has seen very little severe weather this year, but that could change this weekend.

The greatest potential for thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts, hail and frequent lightning strikes will focus over the Florida Peninsula.

A few of the strongest thunderstorms could also produce a tornado.

During Saturday afternoon and evening the greatest risk of violent storms will stretch from the southwestern counties, to the central and northeastern counties including Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville and Jacksonville.

During Saturday night into Sunday, there is a risk of violent storms shifting to southeastern Florida, including the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas.

Along with the storms will be a risk of blinding downpours and urban flooding problems.

Not only has Florida avoided severe weather this winter and spring, it has not seen much rain.

Downpours produced by the storms will bring much-needed rain to a very dry state.

There is the potential for several inches of rain at the local level with this event.

Florida and its neighbors to the north in Georgia and South Carolina have been in the throws of severe drought.

Streams, lakes and rivers have been drying up, raising concerns for summer water supplies. The dry conditions have also made for nasty, long-lasting wildfires.

After bringing both beneficial rain and dangerous thunderstorms to the southern Atlantic region, the storm system will swing into the Northeast with windswept heavy rain and even heavy wet snow over the mountains Sunday into Monday.

The storm will drag unusually chilly air into the South for a few days next week. Record lows could be challenged in some locations.

The rain will come at a time of the year, when, relatively speaking, little rain usually occurs. For example, Orlando receives, on average about 2.70 inches of rain during April. In July, rainfall averages nearly three times that amount.

April is a time of the year in Florida when the sun is not quite strong enough to drive air mass thunderstorms. The tropics have not yet become active and winter storms have retreated to the north.

It would take a rather unusual and strong weather event to produce rainfall of several inches in one clip. However, this appears to be one of those unusual situations.

More Safety Info:

  1. Hawaii the Target of Unrelenting Downpours, Severe Storms
  2. Chances for thunderstorms and severe weather increasing Friday and Saturday
  3. Fla. is No. 1 on tornado list
  4. Tornado hits Norman, Okla.; more severe weather forecast for weekend
  5. Plains Facing Widespread Severe Storms, Flooding


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