More than an inch of rainfall estimated in some parts of Palm Beach County

Update, 10:30 p.m.: Thunderstorms have moved offshore leaving behind trace amounts of rainfall across Palm Beach County, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach saw an estimated rainfall of 1.28 inches.  At 8 p.m., the official rainfall total for Palm Beach International Airport was 0.74.

Sunny and mostly clear conditions are forecast for Thursday. Palm Beach County will see a high temperature near 81 degrees and a low near 65 degrees, the weather service said.

Update 5:18 p.m.: While thunderstorms have moved mostly offshore for now, National Weather Service forecasters in Miami said there may be more showers tonight as a predicted cold front moves into South Florida.

According to the most recent forecast discussion, meteorologists aren’t expecting the front to get to Palm Beach County until about 7 p.m. It should move through the entire peninsula by midnight.

“Main question that remains then is what is the likelihood of severe weather left at this point?” forecasters wrote. “The truth is, unless the east coast sea breeze develops and instability improves, the threat of severe weather is rather limited.”

Man walks through downpour in downtown West Palm Beach along South Olive Ave. just south of Clematis St. Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2016.

Man walks through downpour in downtown West Palm Beach along South Olive Ave. just south of Clematis St. Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2016.

Rain totals as of 5:45 p.m. per South Florida Water Management District:

Jupiter, 0.45

Forest Hill High School, 1.08

Lake Worth, 1.10

Delray Beach, 1.07

Boca Raton, 0.81

South central Palm Beach County, 1.70

Royal Palm Beach, 0.68

Update 4:45 p.m.: The Storm Prediction Center has reduced the severe weather threat to Palm Beach County as thunderstorms move offshore.

But the weather may not be completely over yet.

As forecasters explain, there are still some lingering showers moving in from the eastern Gulf of Mexico that could hit Palm Beach County later this evening.

For all the weather geeks out there, what happened today was pretty interesting.

Dan Kottlowski, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said there were several ingredients working together that caused the unique storms South Florida got today.

While the surface cold front was well forecast, the wild card turned out to be the thunderstorms that brewed up in Miami-Dade and Broward counties as the sun heated up the moist air. At the same time, a jet streak moving along the jet stream was churning things up higher in the atmosphere.

“It was so warm and moist it didn’t take much for thunderstorms to develop on their own,” Kottlowski said. “You had the southwest wind ahead of the front, and then the winds trying to flow off the water and they all come together right over South Florida.”

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Update 4:10 p.m.: The National Weather Service’s significant weather advisory was lifted, although showers continue to fall throughout the area as we head into the evening commute.

Radar continues to show heavy showers falling throughout Palm Beach County.

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Update, 4 p.m.: 

Be careful on the roads, too:

Update, 3:40 p.m.:

Flights sit at gates at Palm Beach International Airport

Flights sit at gates at Palm Beach International Airport. (Greg Lovett / Palm Beach Post)

Update, 3:35 p.m.: The number of flights delayed at Palm Beach International Airport has grown to 12.

Check the website at http://www.pbia.org/flight-status/departing/.

Download the Palm Beach Post weather app for updated weather information and radar.

A group of parents take shelter under their umbrellas as they await the school bus along Lake Worth road Wednesday May 04,2016 in Greenacres. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

A group of parents take shelter under their umbrellas as they await the school bus along Lake Worth road Wednesday May 04,2016 in Greenacres. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Update, 3:25 p.m.: We’re already seeing some minor street flooding around the area.

Update, 3:15 p.m.: Storms continue to move through the full area, as our radar shows almost no part of the county that isn’t somehow involved in the storm today.

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A man walks through a downpour along S. Olive Ave. just south of Clematis St. Wednesday afternoon as rain begins to enter the downtown area May 4, 2016. A significant weather advisory has been issued for frequent lightning, small hail and winds up to 55 mph for eastern Palm Beach County until 2:45 p.m.. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

A man walks through a downpour along S. Olive Ave. just south of Clematis St. Wednesday afternoon as rain begins to enter the downtown area May 4, 2016. A significant weather advisory has been issued for frequent lightning, small hail and winds up to 55 mph for eastern Palm Beach County until 2:45 p.m.. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Update 2:36 p.m. At Palm Beach International Airport, there are a handful of departure delays. At least seven flights have been delayed since noon at PBIA, according to the airport’s website.

Gregory Meyer, public information officer for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said they are experiencing delays due to the weather, but does not have a specific number at this time. To his knowledge, no flights have been canceled because of the weather.

Check the website at http://www.pbia.org/flight-status/departing/.

Download the Palm Beach Post weather app for updated weather information and radar.

 

Photo by Palm Beach Post photographer Gregg Lovett

Photo by Palm Beach Post photographer Gregg Lovett

Update 2:05 p.m. A significant weather advisory has been issued for frequent lightning, small hail and winds up to 55 mph for eastern Palm Beach County until 2:45 p.m.

A line of strong thunderstorms near Ocean Ridge is moving north at 25 mph.

Locations impacted include West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach, Lantana, and North Palm Beach.

If you see severe weather, please send them to @kmillerweather or kmiller@pbpost.com.

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Contributed by Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Alexandra Seltzer @alexsetlzer.

Nicolas De Sayve was ready to leave Panera Bread at Woolbright Road and Federal Highway with two of his friends when the skies in Boynton Beach opened up.

They decided to stay seated in their booth with their empty plates until the rain let up.

“Eventually we will have to go,” De Sayve said.

But the three weren’t too concerned. They said it didn’t look too scary out, and said it was just typical weather.

Alfonso Clemons planned to come to Panera to use the WiFi and ended up getting soaked. He decided to wait under the overhang until it let up.

I know one dog who is cowering in the bathroom right now.

Update 1:56 p.m. Forecasters are watching rotation right off the coast of Boynton Beach. If anyone has photos of waterspouts, please send them to kmiller@pbpost.com or @kmillerweather.

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Update 1:40 p.m. A significant weather advisory has been issued for coastal Palm Beach County.

Forecasters are warning of excessive lightning, small hail, and winds up to 55 mph.

At 1:33 p.m., a strong thunderstorm with rotation was just offshore of Pompano Beach and moving north at 15 to 20 mph. Torrential rain is also possible with this storm.

Areas impacted include Boca Raton to Boynton Beach.

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Update 1:19 p.m. A special marine warning has been issued for coastal waters off southern Palm Beach County as thunderstorms track north.

The National Weather Service says it is tracking a strong line of thunderstorms off the coast of northeastern Broward County moving northeast at 25 knots.

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Update 1:13 p.m. Severe thunderstorms that are pounding Broward and Miami-Dade counties may reach Palm Beach County before the cold front comes in from the north.

While the National Weather Service is forecasting storms associated with the cold front to begin approaching between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., showers propagating from the warm moist air already present could fire up sooner than that.

Dan Kottlowski, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said the most unstable air in the South Florida is over eastern Palm Beach County as daytime temperatures heat up.

“Once you get thunderstorms they develop like a cancer,” he said. “The outflow of one thunderstorm can force another to develop.”

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Update 12:43 p.m. The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Miami-Dade County as daytime heating mixes with super moist air to produce pop-up storms.

Matt Volkmer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne, said the storms are much like what is experienced during summer when afternoon heating and sea breezes help fire up the atmosphere.

“South Florida just got a lot of heating this morning with the cloud canopy off to the north and it just got unstable down there,” Volkmer said.

The storms associated with the approaching cold front are just reaching Fort Pierce and are expected to by to Palm Beach County after 2 p.m.

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Update 11:30 a.m. Trained weather spotters are reporting hail in Miami-Dade County from thunderstorms that have boiled up down south.

The storms are not part of the cold front expected to hit South Florida this afternoon. That front did produce hail as it passed Flagler County this  morning.

A significant weather advisory was issued for parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Wind gusts of up to 55 mph, frequent lightning and torrential rain is being reported.

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Update 9:50 a.m. The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting hourly rainfall rates near two inches as the heaviest rainfall focuses on the east coast of Florida at about 2 p.m.

In an updated forecast, meteorologists are warning of localized flash flooding with the strongest storms.

Today’s weather will come in two bouts. The first is associated with an upper level pulse traveling west with winds in the middle atmosphere. The cold front is closely following that and will continue showers and thunderstorms into early evening.

 

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Update 9:05 a.m. All of South Florida has been upgraded to a slight risk of severe weather today by the Storm Prediction Center.

Previously only a small slice of the east coast, including Palm Beach County, was in the slight category, which is the second level on a five-tier threat scale.

About 8.4 million people are now in the slight risk category. That means increased chances of hail, frequent lightning and up to 60 mph winds.

The storms are expected to move into Glades County in the next couple of hours. They should reach Palm Beach County by early afternoon and continue through early evening.

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Update 8:56 a.m. The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for South Florida through Saturday night as low humidity and overall dryness can lead to an increased risk of fires.

Any fires that develop, possibly from lightning strikes, will spread quickly, forecasters wrote.

Winds across South Florida will also range from a sustained 10 to 15 mph with stronger gusts. Dew points

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Previous story:

The severe weather risk for southeast Florida, including Palm Beach County, has been upgraded by the Storm Prediction Center as a cold front makes its way through the state.

An area stretching from northern Miami-Dade County through the Treasure Coast is now in the “slight” risk category for thunderstorms, which includes a 5 percent chance of tornadoes.

Meteorologists specifically mention Vero Beach  to Palm Beach as an area to watch.

Five lightning myths dispelled. 

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The slight risk category is the second on a five-tier threat scale.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Miami said this morning several atmospheric elements are coming together to enhance the risk of severe storms, including the cold front, the  jet stream, which has dipped down over the Gulf of Mexico and Florida, and mid-level winds blowing at up to 45 mph.

Forecasters expect the storms to move in from the west and south west mid to late morning. They should spread across South Florida into early afternoon with a second round hitting later in the afternoon and evening with the actual cold front.

Another lightning death raises toll to highest in 15 years. 

Frequent lightning and winds gusting at more than 60 mph are the biggest threats. But there is also a concern for hail and locally heavy rainfall.

“If the east coast sea breeze does develop, isolated tornadoes are not out of the question as storms approach the coast,” Miami meteorologists wrote.

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