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...Showers and Thunderstorms Expected in the Panhandle Later Today and Tonight...Damaging Winds, Hail, An Isolated Tornado Possible in the Western Panhandle...Partly to Mostly Cloudy Skies and Generally Dry Conditions Expected Elsewhere in Florida...Moderate to High Fire Threat in the Florida Peninsula...Moderate to High Rip Current Risk for Panhandle and East Coast Beaches...Updated 9:50 A.M. EST Saturday
A cold front is moving through Louisiana and Texas this morning with a line of showers and thunderstorms ahead of it. This line has a history of producing severe weather, and the severe weather threat will continue as it moves into the Panhandle. There is a marginal risk for severe weather in the western Panhandle and a slight risk in the extreme western Panhandle. The primary severe threats with these storms are damaging winds, hail, and frequent lightning, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Locally heavy rainfall is possible as well, with amounts between 1 and 2 inches forecast in some areas with higher amounts possible. The severe threat will be greatest in the afternoon and early evening when the storms are expected to move into the region, but the threat is expected to diminish as the evening progresses. Some showers and storms may reach the central Panhandle and the western Big Bend late this evening and overnight, but no severe weather is expected in those areas.
Elsewhere in Florida, isolated showers are possible today and overnight in South Florida, but dry conditions and partly cloudy skies are otherwise expected through tomorrow morning. Patchy fog may develop in parts of Northeast and northern Central Florida early Sunday morning. High temperatures today will range from the mid 70s to the lower 80s. Overnight lows will be in the upper 50s to lower 60s in inland portions of Northeast Florida and the Big Bend and in the mid to upper 60s elsewhere.
There is a moderate to high fire weather threat in the Peninsula and Northeast Florida today as drought conditions continue, soils are dry, and winds are expected to be between 10 and 15 mph across the majority of those regions. There is no fire weather threat elsewhere in Florida today. Remember, wildfires can still occur on low fire weather threat days. Glades, Okeechobee and Hendry counties currently have burn bans in place.
Everyone is urged to exercise extreme care with respect to outdoor activities that could cause wildfires. Avoid the use of any equipment that can cause sparks near dry grass. Do not toss lit cigarettes on the ground. Report new wildfires quickly to the nearest fire department or law enforcement office. Residents and visitors should always use caution when handling flammable materials and open flames. Remember, wildfires can still occur on low fire weather threat days. When a Red Flag Warning is issued, it means that conditions are favorable for explosive fire growth. For fire safety tips, visit FireWise.org.
Breezy onshore winds and rough surf will cause an elevated rip current risk at many beaches today. A high risk for rip currents is forecast for all East Coast beaches and for Panhandle beaches from Escambia County to Bay County. A moderate risk for rip currents is forecast for all Panhandle beaches in Gulf and Franklin counties. A low risk for rip currents is expected at all other Florida beaches today. Rip currents can still occur on low risk days.
National Weather Service