Line Of Strong Storms Followed By A Sharp Chill
A Tornado Watch has been issued until 11 AM Thursday morning for Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties ahead of a line of thunderstorms that is expected to move through much of the Sunshine State Thursday into Thursday evening.
The line of storms is on track to move through the Florida Panhandle from Pensacola to Fort Walton, Destin, and Panama City between 6 am and Noon Central Time. Gusty winds and isolated reports of wind damage or a brief tornado are possible as the line moves through. The line is expected to consolidate as it approaches the Tallahassee area between Noon and 4 PM Eastern Time. The expected time of arrival in the Lake City, Jacksonville, and Gainesville areas is between 5 and 8 PM.
Computer model simulations suggest the line may weaken slightly as it approaches I-4 and the Space coast between 6 and 10 PM, but it will remain capable of producing gusty winds and perhaps an isolated tornado. The weakening line is forecast to reach the Treasure Coast, South Florida, and the Keys between 9 PM and 1 AM. Most of the rain should depart the Atlantic coast by dawn Christmas Day.
Sharply colder temperatures will follow the front Christmas Day into the weekend. Some areas that reach 80 degrees or better on Christmas Eve may fail to get much above 50 degrees on Christmas Day. Freezing temperatures are likely over the Panhandle and North Florida on Christmas morning. The freezing temperatures are expected to become more widespread Saturday morning over North and into Central Florida. For this reason, the National Weather Service issued a Hard Freeze Watch is in effect for much of North-Central Florida, including Gainesville, Lake City, Jacksonville, and Ocala for temperatures as cold as 24 degrees. The Weather Service issued Freeze Watches for much of the First Coast, Nature Coast, and into the northern suburbs of Orlando and Tampa in anticipation of possible freezing temperatures there on Saturday morning. Areas of frost and pockets of freezing temperatures are also possible Saturday morning into Florida's Heartland, where additional frost and/or freeze advisories may be needed this weekend.
The temperatures may be cold enough, particularly in the Hard Freeze Watch area, for exposed pipes to freeze. Freezes are not likely in metropolitan Southeast Florida, but temperatures are likely to bottom in the lower and mid 40s along the Gold Coast for a few hours Saturday morning. Patches of frost may form as far south as the Treasure Coast and a few miles inland from the Southwest Florida beaches, where readings are likely to fall into the mid and upper 30s.
Dec 23: Rain chances increase through the day tomorrow as a cold front pushes through the area. Behind the front, cold temperatures greet South Floridians on Christmas morning. Do you have your hot cocoa and cozy blankets ready? #Flwx pic.twitter.com/tpWnJdpymj— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) December 23, 2020
A slow moderating trend is likely Sunday, but another round of frost and freezing temperatures are likely again Sunday morning. The greatest chances of frost is roughly along and north of the Interstate 4 corridor at that time.
Copyright 2020 WUFT 89.1. To see more, visit .