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    Drenching, Gusty Storms to Hit Florida Spring Training

    By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
    March 6, 2014; 12:32 PM ET
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    For folks living or vacationing in the Sunshine State, unsettled and stormy conditions are in the offing for Thursday.

    Drenching downpours and gusty thunderstorms could cancel or postpone Florida Major League Baseball spring training games in Orlando, Sarasota, Lakeland, Kissimmee, Ft. Myers, Clearwater, Bradenton and Palm Beach.

    The National Weather Service reported gusts up to 60 mph in Pinellas County as severe storms rolled through. The conditions are primed for potential waterspouts.

    As a storm system travels across the northern counties of the state and brings rain, snow and ice to part of the interior South, drenching rain with thunder will reach from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, Gainesville and Ocala.

    Farther south, there is a risk for the storms to be more robust with strong gusty winds and torrential downpours. Occasionally, severe thunderstorms produce tornadoes.

    Motorists may encounter flooded streets and highways in some cases due to the heavy rainfall in a short period of time. With the storms, there is the potential for downed trees and sporadic power outages in some communities.

    This will be a day where boaters may want to keep their craft in port, due to the risk of squalls and sudden rough seas.

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    People visiting the beach, golfing, attending baseball games or walking at theme parks will want to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.

    According to AccuWeather Severe Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "There is a risk of locally severe thunderstorms to hit first near the I-4 corridor from Tampa to Orlando and Daytona Beach."

    As the day progresses, the risk for severe thunderstorms will shift farther south and east.

    "Storms could hit locations south of I-4 and near and north of I-74, including Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Melbourne, Sebring and Fort Pierce, and perhaps all the way down to Fort Lauderdale and Miami during the afternoon and into the evening," Kottlowski said.

    On Thursday, March 6, 2014, the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays was canceled due to inclement weather.

    The storms can bring a lightning strike with little notice. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning while remaining outdoors. A hard-top car or truck offers adequate protection from lightning. Golf carts, pavilions and under trees are unsafe in thunderstorms. Do not drive through flooded roadways.

    A heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday evening ahead of this system dumped over 6 inches of rain on the town of Jupiter, Fla., leading to some street flooding around the town.

    Clearing is in store for much of Florida later Thursday night and Friday with less humid conditions and just the chance of a popup shower.

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