Low humidity and high fire hazards have been South Florida’s recent weather trends, but both will begin changing Thursday afternoon as the regions enters what forecasters are calling a “transition day.”
A cold front moving into the area from the north and west is expected to stall near Lake Okeechobee on Friday and Saturday, according to Robert Garcia, senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service. The stalled front will increase rain chances during the weekend, especially Saturday, and reduce fire hazards due to additional moisture in the air.
“The biggest thing we’re watching [Thursday] compared to [Wednesday], for example, when we had the red-flag warning out for portions of the area, is the fact with the southeasterly breeze we are starting to moisten up off the Atlantic,” Garcia said.
Temperatures might not be as high Thursday as they were Wednesday when highs reached the mid-80s.
“However, with the windy conditions, any fires that get started still are going to be potentially capable of misbehaving so that’s one of the things we’re keeping an eye on,” Garcia said.
The cold front is from the same storm system that spawned tornadoes in Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana as well as Florida’s Panhandle over the last couple of days. Two were killed and two were injured by a tornado Thursday morning near Alford in the Panhandle.
Friday’s weather in South Florida could feature unsettled, mostly cloudy weather as the cold front could bring a bit of rain, depending on where the front finally settles. The best potential for rain Saturday extends from Alligator Alley northward.
“However, we have seen a trend along the east coast, especially up in Palm Beach County, where you may see some of that coastal enhanced rainfall, which could squeeze out a little bit more compared to other areas,” Garcia said.
Thunderstorms risks exist throughout the weekend, which figures to be mostly cloudy.
“But the rip current risk should diminish,” Garcia said. “And then once the easterly wind starts going back up on Monday it’ll return along the Atlantic beaches.”