After a beautiful stretch of weather that has lasted most of the month, a slow-moving storm system will have many Floridians finding things to do indoors this holiday weekend. Showers and thunderstorms will begin Thursday in parts of the state, then rain chances will continue through Monday across much of the peninsula. Although disappointing to some, the soaking rain will be beneficial for many considering the recent stretch of abnormally dry conditions.
A cold front will approach the Florida Panhandle Thursday afternoon, triggering numerous showers and thunderstorms from Pensacola to Panama City by early evening. Some of these storms have the potential to be strong or briefly severe, with the primary hazard being damaging wind.
Further east, an increase in moisture and temperature ahead of the front will also begin to make the atmosphere unstable across the peninsula by late afternoon. As a result, showers and a few thunderstorms may develop over inland locations, with the highest concentration of cells expected near or east of the I-75 corridor in central and north Florida. The showers across the peninsula will taper off Thursday night, but thunderstorms will still be possible in the panhandle overnight as the cold front nears.
The front that triggers Thursday’s activity will be weakening and slowing down Friday. Moisture will continue to gather along it, though, potentially producing showers and thunderstorms again over central and north Florida by afternoon. Much of south Florida will still be dry Friday, although a weak sea breeze may trigger an isolated thunderstorm or two by early evening.
A disturbance moving out of the Gulf of Mexico will give new life to the decaying front on Saturday, likely leading a more widespread and long-lasting rain event for many Floridians at some point during the day. Thunderstorms are also possible, especially in the afternoon hours when the atmosphere becomes a bit more unstable. Similar to Thursday and Friday, the heaviest rain will stay confined to areas north of I-4 and in the panhandle, with much of south Florida staying dry outside of an isolated thunderstorm.
A stronger storm system will begin to approach the region late in the weekend from the Southern Plains. With plenty of moisture already in place across Florida, another round or two of rain and thunder will be likely as it moves through. As of now, forecast data suggests that the track of this storm will also leave much of north Florida with a soaking and south Florida with only a few showers. There is also the potential for some severe weather when this third and final piece of energy moves through, but details on that are not easy to ascertain just yet.