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A Slow Moving Cold Front to Bring Storms for the Start of 2021

A strong, but slow, cold front is expected to move through the Sunshine State beginning Thursday
A strong, but slow, cold front is expected to move through the Sunshine State beginning Thursday

A strengthening low pressure system is anticipated to move northeastward this week dragging a cold front towards the Sunshine State to ring in the New...

A strengthening low pressure system is anticipated to move northeastward this week dragging a cold front towards the Sunshine State to ring in the New Year.

On Wednesday a low pressure system lifting from Mexico into the Gulf Coast of Texas was gradually intensifying as it continue to track northeastward. A cold front dragging behind and stretching through the Gulf of Mexico is expected to cross through the Deep South Thursday morning and approach the western Florida Panhandle by Thursday night, just in time to ring in the New Year.

The Storm Prediction Center on Wednesday issued a slight risk (risk level 2 out of 5) for portions of the far western Panhandle for Thursday and overnight into Friday. This risk area encompasses the cities of Pensacola and Destin. Strong storms are possible during the overnight Thursday, some of which may deliver heavy rainfall, potentially damaging wind gusts, and the chance for isolated tornadoes.

The low pressure system will continue northeast into the Great Lakes region Friday and into Saturday but the cold front, which will continue to extend down into the Central Gulf of Mexico, will make very little progress on its journey eastward. The front is expected to move through the western Florida Panhandle early New Year’s Day before slowly inching towards northern parts of the Peninsula late Friday night and into Saturday. A marginal threat (risk level 1 out of 5) is in place for Friday for the Apalachicola region and the Big Bend for the chance of heavy rainfall and strong straight-line winds. This threat extends eastward to encompass North Florida overnight into Saturday morning.

The cold front is expected to continue southeast crossing through Central Florida Sunday morning before moving into the Atlantic and away from the Sunshine State overnight into Monday. Near seasonal temperatures and drier conditions will return state-wide upon the passage of the front.

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