Severe Weather Risk for Florida

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
April 4, 2013; 9:21 PM ET
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Play video A look at the short-term forecast for the Southeast.

A potent storm system developing in the Gulf of Mexico will spread heavy rain, thunderstorms and the risk of flooding and severe weather to much of the Southeast Thursday into Friday.

Some locations with the greatest potential for dangerous severe thunderstorms into Thursday night include The Villages, Orlando, Melbourne, Fort Myers and Tampa, to name a few.

The thunderstorms on Thursday will be part of the same storm system that spawned severe weather across Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An isolated tornado is possible from the strongest of the storms into Thursday evening, especially ahead of the squall line in South Florida in the heavily populated Atlantic Coast area.

The biggest impact from the thunderstorms on Thursday will come in the form of hail big enough to damage windshields, roofs and other structures.

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Damaging winds will also be a major concern with these storms as they blast through the region. In a few locations, winds could gust as high as 60 mph, which could down trees and power lines.

The risk of strong to locally severe thunderstorms will reach southernmost Florida Thursday night into early Friday. This includes Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach and the Keys.

On a positive note, much of Florida needs rain, and the storm system will provide just that in most areas.

While there is a risk of urban flooding and blinding downpours with the thunderstorms, many locations could pick up an inch or so of rain.

Farther north, a soaking rain will also drench areas from Georgia to the Carolinas, Virginia and the Tennessee Valley into early Friday.

If you will be out and about in Florida, keep a close eye on the sky. Thunderstorms will move quickly, and you should take shelter at the first hint of threatening weather.

Remember, lightning is one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths due to weather in Florida, and if you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning if outdoors. (Golf carts and gazebos do not offer adequate protection from lightning).

The storms will swing clear of the region by Friday night. Sunny weather is forecast in most areas for both days of the weekend.

Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.

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