UPDATE 5:00PM – As the sun sets, our opportunity for stronger thunderstorms may be dwindling just a bit. The arrival of the aforementioned (below) piece of energy out of the Gulf of Mexico has been delayed just a bit. Nonetheless, Gator Doppler is showing a line of cells forming off-shore from Cedar Key to Tampa. This activity is likely to increase in intensity and coverage through 8pm as it comes ashore along the Nature Coast, spreading across the I-75 corridor near or just south of Gainesville between 8pm and Midnight. At this time, we still can not completely rule out the possibility that a strong or severe storm will form, but the chances are not as high as talked about earlier today. We’re always watching, and will be in the WRUF weather center until the threat has completely diminished.
Thunderstorms will likely NOT be as widespread or long-lasting as Monday’s activity, but the environment is becoming slightly more favorable for a few stronger cells to form. A cold front has yet to move through Gainesville, and until it does, our atmosphere is gradually becoming a bit unstable. Temperatures have warmed into the middle 70s and dew points are nearing 70. The warm and humid air mass, combined with the lift generated by a weak impulse of low pressure moving out of the Gulf of Mexico, will likely trigger a few thunderstorms near and south of the front by late afternoon. The question is, how far south will the front be when the storms finally do develop. Current indications are that the front will be near a Cedar Key-Gainesville-St. Augustine line (or near US HWY 24). This means the greatest chances for a few stronger thunderstorms will be primarily in Marion, Putnam, and Flagler counties. A few cells could move as far north as Alachua and Clay counties, and we will be watching that closely this afternoon. The greatest concern with today’s storms will be damaging wind gusts to 60 mph, heavy rain, and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. An isolated tornado is also possible with a few of the storms in central Florida.
THE BOTTOM LINE
When: Today until Midnight
Where: Most-likely in Putnam and Marion Counties, but it can’t be ruled out as far north as Alachua and Clay counties.
Threats: Damaging wind, frequent lightning, and locally heavy rain.