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Midweek severe threat for northern half of Florida

Yet another storm system is taking shape over the Western United States and it will bring a chance for severe storms across parts of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A squall line of thunderstorms along a cold front is expected to sweep through the Panhandle from west to east on Tuesday night and portions of North Florida and Central Florida on Wednesday. Environmental conditions could enable storms to produce damaging straight line winds, large hail and a few tornadoes too.

On Monday morning, an upper level trough of low pressure was digging into the Southwestern United States. A surface low was also starting to form. The center of the storm system is expected to deepen and mature as it lifts through the Central Plains into Ozarks on Tuesday. At the same time, it's cold front will be dragged through the Central Gulf Coast. Along that boundary, a squall line of damaging thunderstorms could produce several long track and high intensity tornadoes over Louisiana and Mississippi.

Latest model runs suggest that the line will approach the Mobile/Pensacola area late Tuesday night. It should then push through Panama City and into Apalachicola and the Forgotten Coast before dawn Wednesday. These storms, all capable of producing damaging winds, tornadoes, and hail, will be particularly dangerous due to their nocturnal timing.

During the morning Wednesday, the front is modeled to push through the Tallahassee area and into the Big Bend. By the afternoon, the line will likely be slowing down as it pushes into the North Florida Peninsula. In addition to winds, hail, and tornadoes, flash flooding will become increasingly possible. Wednesday evening, storms are expected to dwindle as they approach I-4. The threat for isolated severe cells will still exist, but it should have diminished substantially by this time.

On Thursday, behind the line of storms, northwesterly winds should guide and less humid and cooler air mass. A calmer weather pattern should prevail through the end of the workweek.

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Megan Borowski