A potent storm system is forecast to track northward from the Gulf of Mexico into Florida before moving up the southeastern coast this weekend. The storm has the potential to unleash heavy rainfall, gusty winds, coastal flooding, dangerous surf and even isolated tornadoes from Florida to New England over the next several days.
There remains some uncertainty regarding the eventual track and intensity of the system, but impacts could be widespread and significant regardless of the precise details.
As the threat becomes clearer, residents across the Eastern Seaboard should closely monitor forecasts over the next 48 hours.
As of Friday morning, computer model guidance suggests two plausible scenarios for the evolution of the developing storm.
The first would take the organized area of low pressure inland across the Florida Peninsula before hugging the Southeast coast and then tracking northward offshore.
The second scenario depicts a more westward track into the Panhandle of Florida initially before recurving northward through the eastern Gulf states. Either way, much of Florida and areas farther north are expected to experience adverse conditions.
Torrential Rainfall and Gusty Winds for Florida This Weekend
The storm is projected to reach the Florida Peninsula or Panhandle on Saturday, spreading heavy rain and gusty winds across a large portion of the state.
Rainfall totals of 4+ inches are probable from roughly Tampa Bay southward through at least Miami, raising the risk of flash flooding in urban and poor drainage areas.
Winds of 40-50 mph could accompany the steadier rain bands as they pivot through late Saturday into Sunday morning. The strongest winds are most likely near the center of the developing cyclone wherever its tracks, either just inland or along the immediate coast.
Residents should prepare for potential power outages from downed trees and difficult roadway travel conditions this weekend. In addition, isolated tornadoes may spin up embedded within the rain bands, especially across South and Central Florida.
Coastal locales from the Nature Coast around to the Space Coast should also anticipate storm surge flooding at times. Everyone in the State of Florida needs to stay updated on the latest storm forecast over the next 36 hours.
Depending on the eventual track over or near Florida, cities such as Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Miami could face a prolonged period of adverse weather for much of the weekend.