Thunderstorms may become strong enough to produce wind damage in portions of North Florida and the Florida Panhandle Thursday evening.
In addition to the possible wind gusts up to 60 mph, heavy rain and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning could accompany the stronger cells. This is an enhancement to the typical afternoon and evening thunderstorm cycle Floridians are used to this time of year.
The highest chances for the adverse weather will be across portions of northeast Florida in the early evening hours, followed by another round that could affect parts of the panhandle in the late evening or overnight hours. The storms will be generally moving southeast, crossing the Alabama and Georgia borders from the northwest. The activity is likely to dissipate over the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic coastal waters in the overnight hours.
An upper-level disturbance, working in concert with rain-cooled outflow boundaries from other storms, will add more strength to the typical afternoon sea-breeze storms, yielding the severe weather risk. The leading edge of larger, mature clusters of cells will be most prone to the violent down-burst winds. The frequent lightning risk and heaviest rain will likely occur near the early stages of storm development.
The upper level disturbance triggering today's storms is still likely to be nearby Friday, possibly leading to another round of strong thunderstorm activity in the afternoon or evening hours.