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Severe storms and flash flooding possible across peninsula Wednesday evening and Thursday

The western Florida panhandle, including Pensacola and Panama City, has been classified as an enhanced risk area for severe storms Wednesday evening by the Storm Prediction Center. The SPC has also placed much of the central Florida panhandle, including Tallahassee, in a slight risk area for severe storms for Wednesday night.

Flooding is also a concern, the Weather Prediction Center has designated much of the panhandle in an area of moderate risk for flash flooding.

The powerful storm system moving through the south triggered tornado warnings across Louisiana and Texas early Wednesday morning, including early reports of damage in Port Arthur Texas and Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Areas of eastern Texas including parts of Tyler, Jasper and Newton counties have also picked up over 8" of rain from these storms leading to flash flood emergencies and road closures.

As storms arrive in Florida Wednesday evening, storms are expected to be arranged in a line of intense thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts over 60 mph, torrential rains and frequent lightning. The biggest concern is for damaging straight line wind gusts within this line of storms, but these winds embedded in this line could spin up a tornado. Any storms can form ahead of the primary squall line of storms, they will have a higher potential to be rotating and very intense. Any rotating supercell storm that forms ahead of the line would be capable of a generating a strong tornado or very large hail.

Storms in the panhandle will be at their most intense Wednesday night. Conditions could evolve quickly through the evening and it will be important to have multiple sources of weather alerts Wednesday night that can alert you while sleeping. After sunrise Thursday, the line of storms will move into the Florida Penisula. As the storms track across the state Thursday, the potential for rotating supercells will not be as high. However, the squall line will still be capable of generating some damaging wind gusts of 60 mph or more and an isolated tornado will still be possible.

Thursday evening, the severe threat will end as storms move offshore. Cooler and drier air will return to the state for the weekend.

Copyright 2024 Storm Center. To see more, visit .

William Maxham