Thunderstorms possible this afternoon with robust cold front

An approaching cold front has much of South Florida under a marginal risk of severe weather today with the possibility of strong to severe thunderstorms and damaging winds.

The front, which is forecast to dump temperatures into the 40s and 50s overnight, also has a low chance of producing quarter-size hail, but meteorologists have backed off the possibility of tornadoes.

The threat has abated in Palm Beach County since this morning. The National Weather Service in Miami expects most of the severe weather to clear the coast by 5 p.m.

SEE: Check The Palm Beach Post radar map

While rain will be spotty this morning, the greatest chance for thunderstorms will be this afternoon with westerly wind gusts picking up to 23 mph beginning at 2 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Miami said the front will clear out the showers this evening with drier air pushing in tonight and Tuesday morning.

“Temperatures will dip into the 40s over much of southern Florida (and potentially some upper 30s in Glades County on Thursday morning) each morning the rest of the week,” forecasters wrote in a morning discussion. “The east coast metros should hover in the lower to mid 50s except for the western suburbs in the mornings.”

Forecast location of the cold front at 2 p.m. today.

The front is attached to another powerful winter storm that will hug the east coast through Wednesday, bringing snow and blizzard conditions to some areas in the northeast.

Accuweather meteorologists said the storm is expected to rapidly strengthen Monday night into Tuesday, potentially undergoing the kind of rapid intensification called “bombogenesis.”

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For South Florida, it will mean temperatures much lower than what’s normal for this time of year.

Daytime highs Tuesday through Thursday will hover around 70 degrees. The  normal daytime high for mid-March is 78-79 degrees.

Forecast overnight temperatures in the 40s to 50s is a significant difference from the normal 62 degrees for this time of year.

Beachgoers should be aware of a moderate risk of rip currents as the front brings a brisk northwesterly wind. A long period swell pushed toward Florida’s coast by the nor’easter will keep the rip current risk in the forecast through the week.

GOES-East satellite image 7:45 a.m.

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