A cold front will bring an end to our dry weather today, but not necessarily an end to the comfortable temperatures. The storm system that triggered severe weather across much of the central U.S. moved into the Florida panhandle Thursday night, and is currently approaching North Central Florida. The front will be strong enough to produce a round of showers and thunderstorms for all of North Florida during the day Friday. The entire weekend won’t be a washout, though, as slightly drier air moves in Saturday shutting down the rain chances for several hours. Slightly cooler temperatures will follow the front, but highs are still expected to reach the 70′s both Saturday and Sunday.
Though the storm has weakened as it moved across the country, a risk for severe weather remains. The primary threats will be wind damage and lightning, with a risk of small hail as well. The chances for severe storms are highest in areas that have a chance to destabilize (or heat up) the most Friday afternoon before the clouds and rain hit. This will most-likely be near and south of a line from St. Augustine to Ocala, or primarily in St. Johns, Putnam, Marion and Flagler counties. Small pea-sized hail is also possible with a few of the stronger storms in the aforementioned areas. If a significant sea breeze can form near the St. John’s River, there is the remote possibility that an isolated tornado may develop as the cold front nears. Once again, those chances are very low.
TIMING OF THE STORMS
The squall line of showers and thunderstorms will be entering North Florida via the panhandle by morning commute time, crossing the I-75 corridor late morning to early afternoon, then clearing the First Coast and North-Central Florida by early evening.