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Isolated to Scattered Showers and Thunderstorms This Afternoon and Evening... Highs in the Upper 80s to Mid 90s... Heat Indices Reaching the Low to Mid 100s Across the Peninsula... Six River Flood Warnings Remain in Effect... Tropical Storm Fred is Weakening and is Forecast to Become Post-Tropical Tonight or Tomorrow... Moderate Risk of Rip Currents for East Central Florida Beaches and Walton County...Updated 11:10 am EDT Thursday
A few showers currently moving across the Western Panhandle and some remaining patchy fog across parts of the Big Bend and Suwannee Valley should both diminish by mid morning. High pressure over the state will help limit rain chances to only a few sea breeze showers and thunderstorms later this morning and afternoon. Precipitation percentages will only range from about 20% to 40% for most of the state, with the highest values confined to the interior Peninsula and South Florida. Waterspouts are possible in South Florida today. Although widespread severe weather is not expected, some of these storms may become strong to severe, with the greatest threats being gusty winds, frequent lightning, and locally heavy downpours.
High temperatures across the state are forecast to range from the upper 80s across the Florida Keys to the mid 90s across portions of Central Florida and North Florida. Heat indices may reach the upper 90s across the Panhandle and the low to mid 100s across parts of the Peninsula. Although these heat indices do not meet heat advisory criteria, they are still potentially dangerous for sensitive groups. Everyone is encouraged to stay hydrated and seek immediate medical attention if a heat-related illness is suspected.
There are currently six river flood warnings in effect for rivers in and around West Central Florida. Two rivers, the Myakka River at Myakka River State Park and the Peace River at Arcadia, are currently in moderate flood stage and are not forecast to reach major flood stage at this time. Five other river locations are currently in minor flood stage, but are not expected to reach moderate flood stage at this time. All rivers currently flooding are either already falling or are forecast to crest in the next day or two. Eight other rivers are currently in action stage, but are not forecast to reach flood stage at this time.
Conditions will be favorable for some drying out of the saturated areas over the next 5 days or so, with only up to a quarter of an inch of rain forecast for the West Central Florida area over the next 24 hours, and only up to an inch and a half over the next 5 days. You can find the latest river gage readings and river forecasts at the Southeast River Forecast Centerís website here.
A moderate risk of rip currents is forecast for East Central Florida from Volusia County to Martin County and for Walton County in the Panhandle. A low risk of rip currents is forecast for the rest of the state. Beach goers are urged to check with local beach patrol or beach warning flags for the latest surf conditions before entering the water. Always swim within sight of a lifeguard. For more information on rip currents click here.
Tropical Storm Fred has strengthened a little overnight and now has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Fred is currently located in the Central Atlantic about 690 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, or almost 3000 miles east-southeast of Miami, and is moving to the west-northwest at 8 mph. This general motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days. Fred is battling with strong upper winds, so some fluctuations in strength will be possible today. However, Fred is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Friday morning and become a post-tropical low by Friday night. For more information on the tropics please visit the National Hurricane Center website here.
National Weather Service