We continue to monitor a threat for severe weather on Sunday, the first really significant threat for severe storms since last January. A cold front will approach the state by Sunday afternoon and evening. A line of severe storms is expected to develop over the Gulf and track toward the state of Florida during the day. Storms will arrive by late afternoon around Tampa Bay and farther south Sunday night, with a threat for damaging winds, hail and tornadoes. A more substantial threat for severe weather is expected from the I-4 corridor northward into southern Georgia with a greater risk of wind damage and tornadoes Sunday afternoon and evening.
Currently, SWFL is under a Level 2 *SLIGHT* risk for severe thunderstorms with a Level 3 *ENHANCED* risk from Tampa Bay and the I-4 corridor northward into south Georgia. There is a chance that the *ENHANCED* risk could be upgraded to a Level 4 *MODERATE* risk especially if the tornado threat looks like it will be higher than forecast.
Sunday evening through Sunday night. It is possible it could be delayed until early Monday morning.
Damaging wind gusts, hail with the squall line as it moves through. If isolated storms can develop ahead of the main line, they will be more likely to have tornado potential. The wind fields north of I-4 will be more favorable for this type of scenario with more turning of the winds with height in this area, which is needed for storms to rotate and produce tornadoes.
We will be evaluating the threat tonight thorugh the day Sunday and will post further updates as needed.
Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley