Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Monday 8 am Update: The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances of tropical development in the Bay of Campeche to 80 percent, and Senior Hurricane Specialist Dan Brown says that a new tropical depression is “likely to form within the next day or so”. 

Original story published Sunday evening: The National Hurricane Center will be watching the southern Gulf of Mexico closely this week, where forecasters say a tropical storm could form by Wednesday or Thursday.

FPREN meteorologist Ray Hawthorne (on the left half of the screen) speaks with host Bradley George (on the right half of the screen) about the possible shape of this year's hurricane season.
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Changes Floridians have made as a result of coronavirus could turn out helping them during hurricane season.

Ray Hawthorne is a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. Hawthorne was a guest earlier today on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando. 

Heavy rain, gusty winds and rough surf are expected Friday across southeast Florida from a potential tropical or subtropical storm developing nearby. The system is likely to move across the northern Bahamas Saturday, then out to sea Sunday.

An assortment of warnings and advisories have been issued for parts of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties for the possibility of strong winds and high seas through Friday.

WEDNESDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: There is now a “high” chance of subtropical development near or north of the Bahamas this weekend, according to the 8 am outlook from the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters place the probability that a depression or storm will form at 70 percent, which is an increase from 50 percent on Tuesday.

Damaging Winds Possible in Central Florida Wednesday

Feb 26, 2020

A line of thunderstorms capable of producing damaging wind gusts is expected to barrel through Central Florida Wednesday afternoon.

More than 45 million people across 14 Southern states are now in the midst of what’s being called a “flash drought” that’s cracking farm soil, drying up ponds and raising the risk of wildfires, scientists said Thursday.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

If you thought September was hotter and dryer than average, you were right.

The National Weather Service says the month was the hottest September in the Sarasota/Bradenton area and the second hottest in Tampa.

Weather map showing potential track of Tropical Depression Nine
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A tropical depression has formed near the Bahamas and is likely to bring heavy winds and rain to islands already hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Nine formed Friday afternoon and could become a tropical storm by Saturday. The storm is expected to have some impact on portions of Florida.

A dangerous squall line of thunderstorms is expected to approach the Florida Panhandle Thursday night, then sweep across the entire Florida Peninsula Friday.

Winter has made a comeback in Florida. Freeze Warnings have been issued from Jacksonville to Pensacola, and a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect tonight as far south as Orlando.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A strong cold front is slated to sweep through the state this weekend, dropping temperatures in the Tampa Bay area into the 30s by Monday morning.

There's the possibility that some spots north of Tampa will experience a freeze.

Long Day Of Wind And Rain Leaves Tampa Bay Soaked

Dec 14, 2018
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A powerful storm system that passed through Florida Thursday night and all day Friday, leaving most of the Tampa Bay area wet. Heavy rain was much more a problem than threats of damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph and isolated tornadoes.

Severe thunderstorms, including the kind that could produce a tornado, are possible in northern Florida Friday, then across central sections of the state Friday night. Heavy rain could also prolong or worsen ongoing flooding concerns along several rivers in north Florida.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Updated 11:30 p.m.

Fast and furious Hurricane Michael barreled toward the Florida Panhandle late Tuesday night with 125 mph winds and a potentially catastrophic storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to board up and get out.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Updated at 2:12 a.m. Tuesday

Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the dangerous storm heading their way.

Update Sunday 1 pm: The National Hurricane Center issued an intermediary update Sunday afternoon to advise that “satellite wind data indicated the depression has strengthened” into a tropical storm and has now acquired the name Michael. The story below has been revised to include this new information.

Tropical Development Likely in the Gulf by Monday

Oct 7, 2018

A tropical depression or storm is likely to form near the Yucatan Peninsula by Monday. It is then forecast to move north and potentially threaten portions of the Florida's Gulf Coast by midweek. Floridians from Pensacola to Tampa should closely monitor the progress of this developing situation.


Florence became a hurricane again Sunday morning, and is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday. There is a growing concern that Florence will be a dangerous, slow-moving and significant threat to the Mid-Atlantic states later this week.

Tornado Watch North and Central Florida

Mar 20, 2018

A Tornado Watch has been issued for all north & central Florida until 7 pm. The potential exists for a significant outbreak of severe thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado, destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph, and hail as large as nickels.

According to the latest data from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network team of meteorologists, here is when the risk is the greatest for various regions around Florida.

Arctic Blasts Arrive With The New Year

Jan 1, 2018

While 2017 may have been the warmest year on record in Florida, the start of 2018 is proving to be frigid.

A freeze is likely in portions of the Sunshine State each of the first seven mornings of the new year, with multiple hard freezes in a row possible north of Interstate 4.  The brutal air mass that cancelled New Year’s Eve celebrations in dozens of states could send subfreezing temperatures as far south as Lake Okeechobee by week’s end.

Tropical Storm Colin Brings Rain, Flooding To Bay Area

Jun 6, 2016
Bobbie O'Brien/WUSF

Tropical Storm Colin dumped several inches of rain across the Tampa Bay area.

A tropical storm warning and flood watch was in effect through Monday.

Rain totals were expected to range from 4 to 8 inches near the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, tapering to 2 inches further inland and to the east.

Tropical Storm Colin Forms In Gulf

Jun 5, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Colin has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Florida, according to the National Weather Service.

Stormy Weather For The Weekend

Mar 25, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

After a beautiful stretch of weather this week, the weekend doesn’t look good for outdoor plans.

A slow moving front and several disturbances moving along it will trigger multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms through Monday.

We don’t think it will be a complete washout at this point, but there will certainly be some downpours to dodge at times over the next five days. The thunderstorm risk will be mainly confined to central Florida Friday when a weak cold front moves through.

Serious Storms Crossing The State Tuesday Night, Wednesday

Feb 23, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A vigorous front will sweep across Florida Tuesday night and Wednesday, triggering numerous thunderstorms capable of producing wind damage and even a few tornadoes.

The risk of severe weather is highest in the Florida Panhandle Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and it will then spread south and east during the day Wednesday.  The front will weaken and exit South Florida Wednesday evening.

El Niño Has Peaked, So Now What?

Feb 14, 2016

We learned this week that winter isn’t over. Neither are the influences from a near-record El Niño. In their monthly discussion, NOAA said Thursday that the El Niño “will likely weaken and transition to a neutral phase by late spring or early summer”.

The damage, per se, has been done. Record rains and eight tornadoes hit south Florida over a span of two weeks in January. This was followed by a cold snap that sent temperatures below freezing multiple mornings in a row across north Florida. 

Tornado Kills Two In Manatee County

Jan 17, 2016
Manatee County Sheriff's Office

Two Manatee County residents were killed and four children were hospitalized after a tornado swept through the rural community of Duette early Sunday morning.

Strong Gulf Storm Soaking Florida

Jan 15, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A fast-moving strong area of low pressure is swinging through the state, soaking most of Florida and even carrying with it a risk for severe weather.