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Two Storm Systems Will Bookend An Otherwise Nice Holiday Weekend In Florida

Two storm systems could affect outdoor plans across the Sunshine State this holiday weekend, with the latter potentially being more disruptive to those with travel plans Sunday or Monday.

The first system will be weak and mostly only affect the northern third of the state, but it might dampen a few Thanksgiving Day plans. Severe thunderstorms swept across portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Tuesday night ahead of strong cold front. This front is likely to weaken during the day Wednesday as it approaches the Florida Panhandle, but scattered showers will still be possible along it through Wednesday night. The severe threat will be minimal by the time the front approaches Pensacola and the Emerald Coast, but enough instability may exist for a few thunderstorms through Thursday in these areas.

Shower chances will spread east Thanksgiving Day, potentially affecting holiday outdoor plans near Panama City and Tallahassee. However, the front triggering this activity is expected to stall to the north of Florida, thereby keeping most of this activity spotty and weak. The rest of Florida will likely be warm and dry on Thursday, with temperatures slightly above average for this time of year thanks to a broad southerly flow.

The warm and dry weather will continue across most of Florida Friday. High temperatures will trend several degrees above average, averaging near 80 across the Florida Peninsula, with upper 70s expected in the panhandle.

Changes will begin Saturday across northern sections of the state, ahead of what will become the next storm system that is likely to affect the Southeast Sunday and Monday. Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are in the forecast from Pensacola to Tallahassee Saturday, followed by more numerous downpours and a few stronger thunderstorms ahead of a second cold front late Sunday.

The front moving across Florida Sunday and Monday may be strong enough to produce severe thunderstorms and gusty winds, although there are too many unknown factors that prevent a more confident forecast on this occurring at the present time. Airport travel may also be slowed across a large portion of the country by this storm Sunday, especially across the Ohio Valley where winter precipitation is expected.

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Dr. Athena Masson
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