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Severe Weather Risk Increasing Friday Morning

storm basics (01/22/2016)
Posted at 11:15 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 01:26:57-05

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- A vigorous low-pressure system entering the Southeast Friday morning will be strong enough to trigger severe weather concerns for the north Florida / south Georgia region.

Southerly winds will increase ahead of the approach of this strong low and its associated cold front.  Gusty conditions are possible, even outside of any active storms.

Before dawn, a potent line of rain and thunder will sweep across the northern Gulf coast region, entering the Emerald Coast and Panhandle zones in the early-morning hours.  Ahead of the boundary, individual thunderstorm cells may develop in offshore waters.

Strong winds near the surface, and accelerated winds higher in the atmosphere, will lend support to further strengthen some of these thunderstorms, despite the cooler nighttime setting.  The strongest of the storms will be capable of producing waterspouts and tornadoes in an isolated sense.

The broader band of storms is forecast to move progressively from west to east through all WTXL viewing area counties in the hours surrounding the morning commute.  Periods of heavy rain are possible, along with lightning and gusty straight-line winds associated with the storms.

Severe weather risks are higher across the region, with the primary threats coming from damaging gusts from these storms and possible tornadoes.  Particular areas of concern for impactful storms are coastal zones and locations near the Apalachicola River.

The storm line will exit the region to the east by midday.  Cloudy, colder, and windy conditions will take over.

In middle Georgia, there's a slim opportunity Saturday morning for isolated instances of brief frozen precipitation.  No accumulations are expected.  It's highly doubtful at this time that any significant frozen precipitation occurrence would be possible for counties near the state line.