Thursday, 01 March 2007 00:00
Severe WeatherWritten by WGCU Newsroom
Most of the panhandle is under a tornado warning this evening as a massive cold front moves across Florida…and we could see some severe weather here in Southwest Florida too.
The state’s storm prediction center is forecasting a ‘high’ risk of severe weather for northern Florida. That means numerous tornadoes are expected. A ‘moderate’ risk is forecast down to about I-4.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist – Daniel Noah – says while it’s only a quote ‘slight risk’ here in southwest Florida that still means a decent chance for very severe weather.
“Any storms that do develop, the atmosphere is very cold aloft, so the potential for very large hail and damaging downburst winds is there, however the most significant severe weather will remain in Northern Florida.”
To put it in perspective, the February 2nd tornadoes occurred under a “slight risk” forecast. Those tornadoes killed 21 people and caused millions of dollars in damage in Lake, Volusia and Sumter counties.
Noah says it’s rare for such a large region to be under a high risk.
“We don’t get into a high risk from the storm prediction center very often in the state of Florida. And when it does happen it is a big event, it’s significant. We’re talking widespread, prolonged severe weather across the panhandle through Jacksonville overnight.”
Noah says a combination of a warm front over the panhandle and the southern end of that massive cold front are causing the severe weather.