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Mostly Sunny and Hot With Low Rain Chances Across North Florida Panhandle...Heat Index Values Could Reach as High as 115 Degrees...Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings in Effect...Isolated to Scattered Afternoon Showers and Storms Over Central and South Florida...Moderate Risk for Rip Currents at Panhandle Beaches...High Chance of Tropical Development Today or Tomorrow...Updated 9:30 AM EDT Friday
Strong high pressure will remain in place across the Southeast U.S. and continue the heat wave across our region. Rain chances will again be low across North Florida, with only a slight chance for showers and storms mainly south of I-10 late in the afternoon. Any thunderstorms should be short-lived, but could contain gusty winds and frequent lightning.
The main story will be the heat and humidity. With high temperatures expected to rise to between 98 and 103 inland and 94 to 98 near the coast, heat indices (or how hot it really feels) are forecast to peak between 105 and 115 degrees, with the highest values expected in the Florida Panhandle and western Big Bend. An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the eastern Panhandle and western Big Bend, with a Heat Advisory in effect for the remainder of North Florida.These conditions will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Residents and visitors should take extra precautions to stay hydrated and cool during the peak heating of the day. Children, the elderly and animals are highly susceptible to the heat. For more heat safety tips, click here.
Across Central and South Florida, a 20-40% chance of rain is forecast for mainly interior and western areas as isolated to scattered storms initiate along the seabreeze and collide late in the day near and west of the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee. Rain chances will be highest over South Florida. A few storms could become strong and contain frequent lightning and gusty winds. Storm movement will be slow, bringing the possibility of heavy downpours. Storms should begin to dissipate or move offshore this evening, with rain ending by 9pm over eastern areas and by midnight along the West Coast. Afternoon temperatures will climb into the low and mid 90s, with a few inland areas possibly reaching the upper 90s. The added humidity will produce heat index values in the 100 to 105 degree range, but increased afternoon cloud cover should help with the duration of peak heat indices.
Elevated southerly winds this afternoon will create a moderate risk of rip currents from Walton to Franklin County. Elsewhere, a general low risk of rip currents is forecast. However, rip currents may still form near piers and jetties and also during outgoing tidal cycles. Beachgoers should check beach flags before entering the water. For more information about rip current safety, click here.
Storm activity associated with an area of low pressure located north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico remains disorganized. Interaction with land today may limit further organization, but environmental conditions will be more favorable for development on Saturday as the system over the southeastern Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting a 60% chance of tropical depression or tropical storm development within the next 48 hours, but an 80% chance of development within the next 5 days. For the latest information, click here.
National Weather Service