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Severe Weather Outbreak Expected Sunday

Multiple rounds of strong thunderstorms are likely today across much of the Florida pensinsula and panhandle, and some of them could produce destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph. Large hail and an isolated tornado also can not be ruled out from the strongest cells.

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SUNDAY 4 PM UPDATE:  Numerous reports of wind damage have already occurred with today's storms, mostly concentrated in a corridor from Live Oak to Daytona Beach. Hail and tree branches were also reported by law enforcement to have covered I-10 near mile marker 96 in the Florida Panhandle late Sunday afternoon.  The severe weather risk continues for all areas highlighted in yellow on our map above, and a Severe T-Storm Watch continues unti 8 pm.

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SUNDAY 11 AM UPDATE: A Severe T-Storm Watch has been issued for all of north and central Florida until 8 pm. The watch includes the cities of Tallahassee, Lake City, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, Daytona Beach, Orlando and Melbourne.

 

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SUNDAY 10 AM UPDATE:The severe weather risk is very real this afternoon and evening for a large portion of north and central Florida. The Storm Prediction Center has expanded the area of greatest concern to include more of east-central Florida, which has been updated in the map below (yellow shaded areas). The most-likely timing of the storms for your area has also been updated in the story below. The primary hazard is destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph, although large hail and isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out. 

The storms started early in portions of North Florida, where numerous warnings have already been issued. In some areas, it will be the second straight day severe thunderstorms are possible. Destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph will be the primary storm hazard, driven by unusually strong upper-level winds for this time of year. 

Sunday's severe risk can be attributed to a rare July dip to the jet stream, which will add upper-level support to the typical downpours and lightning the sea breezes have to offer each day. The storm motion will also be atypical in nature, with cells (or complexes of cells) moving in a more southerly direction as they grow stronger. The more mature the storms become, the more likely they are to form a squall (or gust front) that will be the focus for the potentially damaging winds.

Overall confidence in the extent and severity of this event is still rather low, primarily due to the smaller scale interactions that may evolve from nearby storms expected to develop overnight in Georgia. Residual cloud cover from this activity could act to suppress daytime heating in some spots, thereby reducing the severe storm potential. Conversely, rain-cooled outflow boundaries from these storms might also spark newer storms in unexpected areas a lot sooner or later than otherwise anticipated.

Updates on Sunday's severe weather risk, including live coverage if necessary, will be available in the mobile app Florida Storms, or on the Florida Storms social media accounts. 

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