The southern branch of the jet stream is making another visit to Florida this weekend, pumping up the forecast for storms and rain.
National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said the jet will be screaming at up to 138 mph over South Florida. The upper-level winds will help increase turbulence in the atmosphere as a cold front approaches Saturday.
The rain is expected to begin Saturday morning with a 50 percent chance by early afternoon. Spotty showers will continue through Sunday.
A marginal chance for severe thunderstorms is predicted for areas north of Palm Beach County, but the Storm Prediction Center is showing a chance for less violent storms for South Florida.
Despite the glimpse of cooler temperatures early next week, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Frank Strait said winter is essentially over for South Florida. The season was notable for a lack of freezing temperatures at any of the National Weather Service’s official measurement sites.
Even next week’s bluster of Canadian nip will be tempered by a lazy sojourn through the middle of the U.S.
“This is polar air, a fairly chilly air mass, but it’s going to have a few days of modification,” Strait said. “March sunshine will do a bit of a number on it before it gets to South Florida.”
Robert Garcia, a meteorologist in Miami, said a risk of rip currents could continue through the weekend as a long-period swell hits Palm Beach County from the northeast.
“The surf height might not be as bad, but the threat of rip currents can still be there and be really hazardous,” Garcia said.
Florida’s been sitting under a stubborn high pressure system, which jacked the temperature up to near record highs this week. West Palm Beach hit a high of 85 degrees Friday. The normal high temperature for this time of year is 79 degrees.
Temperatures will really start dropping Sunday night and could be in the 50s Monday morning. High temps on Monday will struggle to reach 70 degrees. By Wednesday, the daytime high will be back to near 80 degrees.