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Heavy rain in the Southeast this weekend; severe storms possible in Florida

A low pressure system emerging out of the western Gulf of Mexico will skirt the Gulf Coast this weekend, bringing rounds of heavy rain to the I-10 and I-20 corridors across the Southeast. While it won’t be raining at all times for the entire weekend, periods of heavy rain will make for a soggy stretch the next few days.

Scattered severe thunderstorms are possible across Florida this afternoon. The severe weather risk is a Slight for areas in yellow (Level 2 out of 5) while the rest of Florida is in a Marginal (Level 1 out of 5). Storms with winds of 60 mph are possible and there is the chance for a brief, weak spin-up tornado as well. The severe weather risk will be highest through 5 pm E.T. for Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando before shifting to the south overnight to the I-75 corridor.

By Saturday afternoon the low will be approaching the coast, sending heavy rain into north Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. Strong thunderstorms will have the chance to move onshore in Florida and could have gusty winds or a brief spin-up tornado.  Meanwhile some cold air draining in from the northern U.S. may result in rain changing over to snow in higher terrain areas of Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama. A cold, heavy rain will be the dominant precipitation type across the region.

The low pressure system will move into the panhandle of Florida Saturday evening as the warm front moves inland into south Georgia. Heavy rain will continue into Georgia and South Carolina. A few severe thunderstorms may persist in north central Florida in the evening. Gusty straight line winds of 60 mph and a brief tornado are the main threats.

The low keeps moving northeast Saturday night into Sunday.  Rain continues east of I-95 in North and South Carolina in the late evening before moving offshore after midnight. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely across south Georgia and Florida right along the cold front. Isolated strong thunderstorms are possible into central Florida as well with gusty winds the most likely threat.

Heavy rain moves offshore by sunrise Sunday. Isolated thunderstorms are likely to be ongoing across central Florida and some could be severe. Gusty winds and a brief weak spin-up tornado can’t be ruled out with the strongest storms. 

The severe weather risk is a marginal (Level 1 out of 5) for Sunday but a few rotating thunderstorms can’t be ruled out.

The front will sweep through Florida through the rest of the morning with rain and thunderstorms along the boundary. By early afternoon the rain will be coming to an end in central Florida. Good news for The Big Game–the forecast will be clear with temperatures in the upper 60s for kickoff, falling into the low 60s by the end of the game.

Rain and thunderstorms will continue to move south into the evening as the front sags toward the Florida Keys. The severe weather threat will decrease into the evening.

Rain totals will be around an inch for most spots, but there will be pockets of 2″ of rain possible where multiple bands train over the same areas. In snorth Florida where the low pressure and warm front track inland, higher rain totals approaching 3″ are possible through Sunday evening. This could lead to brief ponding on the roads especially in places that tend to flood easily.

The overall weather pattern through the middle of February features higher than average precipitation chances for the Gulf Coast and Southeast.

This is one of our top weather headlines on WeatherNation. Stay tuned on PlutoTV or any of our digital platforms for the latest on this system and our other top weather stories.

About the author
Kara has always been passionate about weather and knew from an early age that she wanted to become a meteorologist. Living in different regions of the country and experiencing weather events ranging from ice storms to tornadoes drove her to pursue a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout college, storm chasing became a regular event for Kara, where she saw fir... Load Morest-hand the power of the atmosphere. Kara graduated cum laude from OU and decided to further her meteorology education with a Master's degree from Mississippi State University. The deadly April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak struck while Kara was studying at MSU; her first “Dixie Alley” tornado event and an up close glimpse into the destruction of the storms she so closely studied. Her broadcast career began in Elvis’ birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, where she earned her Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. Kara's career has included coverage of all types of severe weather including tornado events, flooding and tropical systems across multiple southern states. Recently she helped cover the 2020 Easter Sunday deadly tornado outbreak in southeast Mississippi. In her free time, you can find Kara outdoors exploring new areas with her mini poodle,Truffles. Kara is also an avid runner and frequently races in 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. Say hi to Kara on Twitter and Facebook!