Downpours to Drench Florida Activities Saturday

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
May 3, 2014; 7:24 AM ET
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Drenching downpours and locally gusty thunderstorms will affect a large part of Florida during the first part of the weekend.

The rain can be heavy enough to cause flooding in low-lying areas, spoil outdoor activities and slow travel.

Folks heading to theme parks at Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World and Busch Gardens will want to prepare for wet weather by having rain slickers and waterproof footwear on Saturday.

According to Florida Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The pattern has the potential to set up one thunderstorm after another passing over an area and could bring some communities in the central counties more than 6 inches of rain in a few hours."

Repetitive thunderstorm activity along a narrow swath is known as a training effect.

Motorists should expect poor visibility and excessive water on area streets, secondary roads and highways including long stretches of I-4, I-75 and I-95.

The bulk of the rain is falling south of hard-hit flooded areas of the Florida Panhandle from this past week. Pensacola received more than 20 inches of rain spanning April 29-30 and ended up with close to 30 inches of rain for the month of April.

With time the zone of showers and thunderstorms will settle slowly to the south this weekend.

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From Tampa to Orlando and Daytona Beach, Sunday will be the nicer of the two days this weekend with little or no rain in the offing and a return of sunshine and warmth. Odds favor the rain to slip south of Fort Myers and Miami.

The rainfall is forecast to push completely out of the Florida Peninsula by Sunday, but spotty showers may remain over the Keys in the morning.

The rain is occurring during a relatively dry part of the year for Florida, just ahead of the rainy season fed by tropical showers and thunderstorms during June, July, August and September.

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