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Saturday and Tuesday storms in Florida could be severe. Forecasters say where and when

In World
January 06, 2024

Saturday’s thunderstorms ahead of an advancing cold front in South Florida could be severe, Miami’s National Weather Service warned Saturday morning.

The cold front will be mild with highs in the mid-70s and overnight lows in the mid-60s.

How strong could the storms be?

Thunderstorm chances for South Florida dropped from 50% from Friday’s forecast to 40% Saturday morning. But the potential bangers could be strong. Forecasters’ concerns about the storms are:

Wind gusts to 30 mph.

Nickel-sized hail.

Tornadoes: “There’s a very conditional chance that tornadoes could form with some of the strongest storms, mainly over the southwest coast,” Miami forecasters said in its hazardous weather outlook.

Hazardous beach and marine conditions. Waves could crest as high as 7 feet at Atlantic beaches and there’s a high risk for rip currents.

When and where

The Gulf coast and Lake Okeechobee area may see storms arrive first, in the early afternoon, between noon and 2 p.m. Cedar Key to Tampa, with its 90% rain chance Saturday, and Orlando could also be affected, the Weather Channel said.

Orlando’s 90% storm chance could include isolated wind gusts up to 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

Bradenton also has a 90% storm chance Saturday and 80% on Tuesday.

The Naples area expects the storms around 1 to 3 p.m. Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers are at an elevated risk, according to the Weather Channel.

The swath encompassing Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Everglades City may see the storms between 3 and 5 p.m.

Miami, Homestead and parts of Broward County would follow between 4 and 7 p.m., according to the weather service. Sunday rain and thunderstorm chances are 40% before noon, then the chance is slight by 1 p.m. but the day will be mostly cloudy. Monday in the Miami area will be cloudy with wind gusts between 21 and 33 mph.

The Florida Keys’ has no severe weather alerts but rain is possible Saturday at 40% during the day and 50% at night, and then a boosted chance on Tuesday night at 60%.

There is the potential for another round of strong to severe thunderstorms Tuesday, the weather service in Miami said in an early Saturday morning email alert. “But confidence is low at this time across South Florida,” forecasters added.

The storm chance Tuesday is 70% with wind gusts to 36 mph. Showers and possible thunderstorms are likely in the evening before and after 1 a.m. That cold front won’t be extreme, either, with a daytime high of 80 on Tuesday and a low of 66. But expect a bit chillier Wednesday with a high reaching 74 and a low dipping to 63.

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