March 11, 2010

Severe Weather Set to Blast Florida Today

The risk of violent thunderstorms today shifts east of last night`s severe weather outbreak in the Mississippi Valley into the Sunshine State. The same storm system will help foster the gusty winds, hail and isolated tornadoes this afternoon and tonight from Jacksonville to Miami.

The main low pressure will wrap up into the Mid-Mississippi Valley while a trailing cold front slowly moves east of the Mississippi River. At the same time today, rich, Atlantic moisture will spread ahead of the front across Florida.

This moisture, combined with the heating of the day will help spark severe afternoon thunderstorms. Wind damage and heavy rain will be the main threats, but isolated tornadoes and large hail can`t be ruled out either.
Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami are all at risk for these violent afternoon thunderstorms. While the activity should wind down during the evening, more severe storms will likely redevelop overnight along the Florida panhandle with a weak upper level impulse moving toward the peninsula.

One to three inches of rain will likely fall from these storms across most of the Sunshine State. Heavy showers and thunderstorms will also approach the Atlantic Coast today. One to two inches falling in a short time from eastern North Carolina into southern Georgia could lead to flooding problems, especially in poor drainage areas.
For this, Flood Watches and Warnings continue from Alabama to the Florida panhandle into southern Georgia. These may expand into more of the Sunshine State later today.

Today`s severe threat is a part of the same system that produced five tornadoes yesterday and last night in northern Arkansas and southern Louisiana. There were at least four injuries reported in two of the twisters across north central Arkansas. Hail the size of hen eggs gutted parts of Arkansas with several reports of wind damage in Arkansas and Missouri.

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