Thunderstorms moving into Broward, Palm Beach counties, weather service says


Strong to severe storms have started pounding Palm Beach and Broward counties, the National Weather Service said.

Small hail, funnel clouds, wind gusts to 45 mph, heavy rain and lightning are all possible.

“The entire area is in a marginal risk for severe weather,” the weather service said. “The potential … for strong to severe storms has not changed.”

A marine warning was issued for Pompano Beach north to Jupiter Inlet til about 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

According to the forecast, the worst weather will arrive with a cold front expected to affect South Florida through midnight.

The same storm system will bring a cold front, which has been blamed for severe weather — including tornadoes — in other parts of the country.

At least three deaths were blamed on the storm system, which stretched from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. Storms also knocked down trees, caused airport delays and dropped hail on the Carolinas.

Forecasters in South Florida warned that wind gusts could reach 60 miles per hour here.

South Floridians are urged to pay attention to media alerts and be prepared to take shelter in a strong building.

“We are still in the transition period between winter and summer,” said Barry Baxter, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.

“It’s been wreaking havoc,” Baxter said.

The system toppled trees in St. Petersburg and caused power outages near Orlando. A tornado warning was in effect in the central part of the state for a couple hours Sunday afternoon.

Low temperatures are expected to dip about 5 to 10 degrees from the 70-degree lows the area has been getting, Baxter said. High temperatures will be in the lower 80s.

“It’s going to cool us down a bit,” Baxter said.

These cold fronts can still develop into May, Baxter said. But the time for them is quickly coming to a close.

“We’re not in the summer pattern yet, but we’re getting close,” he said.

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