Update as Noon Wednesday:
The strongest showers and thunderstorms are just offshore from the western Panhandle. Thunderstorms may develop inland this afternoon and early this evening over the Panhandle. A few of these storms may produce gusty winds, but the latest high-resolution models are forecasting a greater concentration of thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. These storms may continue eastward and affect the Florida Peninsula late this evening and overnight.
There are signs another line of thunderstorms may form over the Florida Panhandle shortly after sunset. These storms may strengthen as they head toward the Tallahassee area around or shortly after midnight, and could reach the Jacksonville and Gainesville areas around sunrise. If the first line of thunderstorms is weaker than currently anticipated, the second line may also impact the I-4 corridor during the mid to late morning hours on Thursday.
A couple rounds of storms are becoming increasingly likely over South Florida, including Fort Myers, the Gold Coast, and Treasure Coasts starting early Thursday morning and continuing occasionally into Thursday evening. Gusty winds, lightning, and heavy rainfall are likely to accompany the strongest storms.
Here are the most likely times of arrival for selection locations across the state for the first round of showers or thunderstorms.
Noon to 4 PM Wednesday: Western Panhandle, including Pensacola, Destin, Fort Walton, Crestview
5 to 9 PM Wednesday: Eastern Panhandle, including Panama City, Marianna, Tallahassee
10 PM Wednesday to 3 AM Thursday: North Florida, including Lake City, Jacksonville, Gainesville
10 PM Wednesday to 3 AM Thursday: Central Florida, including Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Melbourne
2 AM to 10 AM Thursday: South Florida, including Fort Myers, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, Miami
Original article as of Tuesday Evening:
The latest in a series of strong weather systems is set to sweep across the Central and Southern United States during the middle of this week. It is likely to bring at least one line of thunderstorms into much of the state starting Wednesday afternoon in the Panhandle and lasting into Thursday morning over portions of central and south Florida.
Strong winds through a large portion of the atmosphere favor gusty winds as the chief concern with the strongest storms embedded in the line. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center outlined a small risk for tornadoes over the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Some computer models indicate a second line of thunderstorms may move through the Panhandle overnight Wednesday, reaching North Florida during the early daylight hours of Thursday, and finally reaching central and south Florida Thursday afternoon. These storms also have the potential of producing strong wind gusts as they move through the state.
Conditions are expected to improve statewide Thursday night into Friday, followed by a hotter and drier pattern starting Sunday and lasting into early next week.