Storms continue to about 8 p.m., then sunshine for weekend

Update 4:42 p.m.: The National Weather Service expects the storms spread across Palm Beach County to last through at least 8 p.m. before tapering off.

The cold front pushing the storms is forecast to move into the Florida Straits overnight, with drier air filtering in behind.

Mostly clear skies are forecast for Saturday and Sunday with highs in the mid 80s.

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Update 4:24 p.m.: Strong thunderstorms in northwestern Palm Beach County have triggered a significant weather advisory for areas including Palm Beach Gardens, Pahokee, Canal Point, The Acreage and Jupiter Farms.

The advisory is in effect until 5 p.m.

The severe thunderstorm warning for northeastern Palm Beach County has been canceled.

Earlier today, a tornado warning was issued for areas in northeast Broward County and southeast Palm Beach County.

The National Weather Service says a trained weather spotter saw a tornado, but it is a preliminary report that has not been confirmed.

Update 4:09 p.m.: A thunderstorm warning is in effect until 4:45 p.m. for northeastern Palm Beach County.

Forecasters are watching a thunderstorm over Loxahatchee Groves near Wellington that is moving northeast at 10 mph. Cities affected are Wellington, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach and Palm Beach.

Concerns include winds up to 60 mph, small hail and lightning.

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Update 3:50 p.m.: A significant weather advisory has been issued for central and northeastern Palm Beach County, including Wellington, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach and Lake Park.

The advisory is in effect through 4:30.

Small hail, funnel clouds and winds in excess of 45 mph are possible with thunderstorms moving northeast.

 

Update 3:30 p.m.: A large area of storms is over Palm Beach County approaching the coast with showers expected from Boca Raton to Jupiter.

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The National Weather Service says there is a preliminary report of a tornado touching down in the Coral Springs and Margate area of Broward County earlier today. The tornado was reported by an NWS-trained spotter, but has not been confirmed by meteorologists.

National Weather Service meteorologists believe the worst of the storms will be finished just after 8 p.m.

A marine warning is in effect until 4:15 p.m. for coastal waters from Jupiter Inlet to Deerfield Beach.

At 3:44 p.m., severe thunderstorms capable of producing waterspouts were located along a line extending from near Palm Beach Shores to Deerfield Beach moving northeast at 17 mph.

Update 3:15 p.m.: The afternoon storms are approaching the western communities of Palm Beach County as the sea breeze interacts with west winds ahead of a cold front.

Forecasters said some severe storms are possible this afternoon into evening with hail, gusty winds and a small chance of isolated tornadoes.

A severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Palm Beach County will expire at 3:30 p.m.

Check The Palm Beach Post live radar.

Update 2:57 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for southeastern Palm Beach County including Boca Raton and Delray Beach.

The tornado warning has been canceled. The thunderstorm warning is in effect through 3:30 p.m.

Check The Palm Beach Post live radar.

The thunderstorm was located over Coconut Creek moving east at 10 mph.

Concerns include 60 mph wind gusts, hail and lightning.

More thunderstorms are expected this afternoon into early evening as a cold front approaches South Florida.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Miami said the atmosphere is primed for more severe storms, and there is a chance of isolated tornadoes.

The front should move into the Florida Straits overnight.

Update 2:40 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for southeastern Palm Beach County.

The warning is in effect until 3:15 p.m. A tornado warning means a tornado was spotted on radar or on the ground.

Forecasters said the tornado was over Parkland moving east at 10 mph, which puts areas of Boca Raton in its potential path.

Forecasters in Miami are saying radar is showing rotation as westerly winds interact with South Florida’s sea breeze.

The Storm Prediction Center had increased South Florida’s risk level for severe weather to marginal earlier today.

Update 1:50 p.m.: The risk for severe weather this afternoon in South Florida has been escalated to “marginal” by the Storm Prediction Center.

The marginal level is the lowest on a five-tier scale.

Forecasters said they increased the risk level because of higher moisture levels measured in the upper atmosphere by the National Weather Service office in Key West. That moisture will likely spread northeast, creating the possibility for a few strong storms capable of marginally severe hail and locally damaging winds.

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Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop late afternoon into early evening over the east coast metro areas of South Florida.

Some of the storms could be strong with winds gusting to 45 mph and small hail.

“Can’t rule out the possibility of one or two storms becoming severe, more likely due to wind rather than hail,” Miami meteorologists wrote in an afternoon discussion. “Tornado risk appears to be none to very low, but always need to watch sea breeze and boundary collisions.”

Previous story: A cold front approaching South Florida today puts thunderstorms and lightning in the afternoon forecast, before a weekend return to mostly clear skies.

The front is attached to a low pressure system moving off the northeast coast today. It increases rain chances to 50 percent this afternoon, and National Weather Service forecasters are warning of some strong thunderstorms with the possibility of lightning, small hail and gusty winds.

Check The Palm Beach Post live radar.

Forecast location of cool front at 8 p.m. tonight.

Miaimi meteorologists said the focus of the showers will be along the east coast with southwest winds from the front pushing against an afternoon sea breeze.

The front is expected to move into the Florida Straits overnight with high pressure nudging in behind.

Related: Top 5 lightning strike myths and how to stay safe in a storm. 

That means drier air and clear skies for the weekend, but not cooler temperatures.

Daytime highs will remain seasonably normal for this time of year in the low to mid 80s, with overnight lows hovering around 70.

The rain is still needed in South Florida with Thursday’s drought monitor report extending areas of severe drought into Collier and Lee counties.

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Palm Beach County continues to have moderate drought in the western areas and near Lake Okeechobee, while the drought has modified to “abnormally dry” along the coast.

Drought monitor report released April, 26 2018.

While the threat of rip currents should remain low along both coasts this weekend, Collier County beaches are under a hazard alert for possible respiratory problems relating to red tide.

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Showers expected to continue overnight from Boca to Jupiter

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: The threat of thunderstorms should decrease as sunset approaches, but forecasters said showers could continue through the  night for much of Palm Beach County’s coastal communities.

Another round of afternoon storms if forecast for Tuesday as a cool front approaches South Florida and sea breezes from both coasts collide.

Check The Palm Beach Post live radar.

A few strong thunderstorms are once again possible with the main threat being heavy rain and frequent lightning.

The cold front moves through Tuesday night with drier air reaching South Florida on Wednesday.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for areas of Palm Beach County including Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Tequesta and Lion Country Safari.

Forecasters are tracking a thunderstorm over Lion Country Safari that is moving northeast at 35 mph.

This storm could include 60 mph wind gusts, lightning and penny size hail.

UPDATE 1:23 p.m.: A significant weather advisory has been issued for Central and South Palm Beach County as a quick-moving thunderstorm heads toward the area.

Meteorologists are tracking a strong thunderstorm 10 miles northwest of Coral Springs that is moving north at 20 mph.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible with this storm.

Previous story: National Weather Service meteorologists are warning that a few strong thunderstorms are possible this afternoon as sea breezes and a warm, moist air mass from an approaching cool front interact.

While some spotty showers are possible with south winds pumping in tropical air, it’s the afternoon sea breezes that could be the real trigger to initiate the thunderstorms.

Check The Palm Beach Post live radar.

Forecasters at the NWS office in Miami said sea breezes from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic are expected to move on shore as temperatures increase. A lake Okeechobee breeze may also develop.

“With the moist and unstable air mass in place, showers and thunderstorms should fire along all of these boundaries by early afternoon,” meteorologists said in a discussion of the forecast. “Frequent lightning, heavy downpours, and gusts up to 50 mph will be the main hazards.”

Forecast location of cool front and low pressure system at 2 p.m.

The front isn’t expected to bring South Florida much cooler temperatures, but the skies should begin to  clear late Tuesday into Wednesday.

The normal daytime high for this time of year is 83 degrees, with a normal overnight low of 67.

Satellite imagery from GOES-16 valid as of 10:30 a.m.

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Cold front may mean weekend washout for South Florida

Winter lobs another cool front toward Florida this weekend, promising an uptick in showers Saturday through Monday.

But this late in the season, forecasters aren’t expecting a drastic dip in temperatures. Daytime highs are predicted to hover near 80 degrees through at least Wednesday, with sultry overnights in the low 70s and high 60s.

The slow-moving low pressure system responsible for the front is plodding through the Gulf Coast states today and won’t be off the coast and into the Atlantic until Tuesday. That means there could be some cooler air behind it with north winds, but meteorologist James Thomas said it’s too early to be sure.

LIVE RADAR: Check The Palm Beach Post’s radar map.

A pedestrian shelters beneath a large umbrella as heavy rain falls in downtown Lake Worth Monday morning, January 8, 2018. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

“Cold fronts tend to modify this time of year and aren’t as potent as during the winter,” said Thomas, with the National Weather Service in Miami. “They just aren’t as potent.”

Saturday’s rain chances are 40 percent, but a bigger washout threatens Sunday with up to a 70 percent chance of rain.

Rain totals through Wednesday could tally as much as 2 inches in northern coastal Palm Beach County, with 1 to 1.75 inches in the south and west.

Rainfall totals through Wednesday.

While two hefty bouts of rain have hit South Florida this month, the U.S. Drought Monitor continues to show all of Palm Beach County in a moderate drought, with portions of Broward, Miami-Dade in severe drought.

Everything you need to know about the hurricane season is on The Palm Beach Post’s Storm 2018 page.

Most of Palm Beach County has received about 60 percent of normal rainfall since Jan. 1. That leaves it at a 4.4-inch deficit through mid-April.

In the 16-county region overseen by the South Florida Water Management District, just 48 percent of normal rain amounts have fallen, leaving it with an average deficit of 4.3 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor report released April 19, 2018.

Thomas said thunderstorms are possible Sunday, with showers that could linger through the day and into Monday, which has a 60 percent chance of rain.

“This won’t be just a couple showers,” Thomas said. “It will be widespread rainfall and longer lasting that what we have been seeing recently.”

The National Weather Service has issued a high risk of rip currents for today and Sunday, falling to moderate Monday.

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Overnight heat records broken, why it’s not cooling off

Overnight temperatures have remained in the 80s at Palm Beach International Airport since Friday, breaking a record, tying another and working on a third. 

The normal overnight low for this time of year is 76 degrees, meaning five days of low temperatures that have been six days above normal.

Sunday’s low temperature only dipped to 82 degrees, breaking the 81-degree overnight warm record for that day set in 1963.

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Monday’s low nearly bottomed out at 84 degrees, but a brief overnight shower lowered it to 82, which tied a 1980 record.

And this morning, the low also dipped to just 82 degrees. If that holds through midnight, it will tie a 1928 record.

Warm sunrise in West Palm Beach Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 when the overnight low dipped to just 82 degrees.

“We haven’t been lowering much overnight so by the time we get to the early morning, it’s still pretty warm and it just keeps getting warmer,” said Maria Torres, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.

European heat wave called Lucifer: What should we call South Florida’s?

Torres said a persistent area of high pressure has meant warm southeast winds blowing in all night long and subsidence – sinking air that warms from compression as it falls.

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Also, a lack of afternoon thunderstorms means no kick start to cooling as evenig approaches. Torres said the storms have missed coastal Palm Beach County as southeast and east breezes push them further inland.

That pattern should switch Thursday and Friday when a weak tropical wave approaches South Florida and rain chances go up to 50 percent.

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BREAKING: Part of Palm Beach County at risk for severe weather today

The Storm Prediction Center has put the northern half of Palm Beach County in its marginal risk level for severe weather this afternoon.

Forecasters said the biggest concern is with strong downdrafts that could produce damaging winds and heavy rain.

The National Weather Service said thunderstorms should be focused more toward interior areas of the county with “one or two” becoming severe.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Storm Prediction Center

Update: Significant weather advisory for Palm Beach County expires

Update 7:42 p.m.: The significant weather advisory for southeastern Palm Beach County was allowed to expire.

But thunderstorms with lightning are still moving through Palm Beach County with showers possible into the overnight hours.

Today’s thunderstorms developed along a frontal boundary north of Lake Okeechobee interacting with moist warm air in South Florida.

Update 6:35 p.m.: A significant weather advisory has been issued for southeastern Palm Beach County, including Delray Beach and Boca Raton.

Forecasters are tracking a line of strong thunderstorms with rotation that could produce funnel clouds.

Damaging winds of up to 55 mph and small hail are possible with these storms. The advisory is in effect until 7:45 p.m.

 

Update 6:30 p.m.: The National Weather Service has allowed the tornado warning to expire for East and Central Palm Beach County.

Update 6:05 p.m.: A strong line of thunderstorms extending from 7 miles west of North County Airport to 8 miles southwest of Lion Country Safari has triggered a severe thunderstorm warning for northeastern Palm Beach County.

Locations impacted include West Palm Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and Riviera Beach.

The thunderstorm warning is in conjunction with the tornado warning for areas including Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach and The Acreage. The tornado warning is in effect until 6:30 p.m.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for northern-central Palm Beach County until 6:30 p.m. The areas that might see tornadoes include Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach and The Acreage.

The National Weather Service is warning of possible quarter-size hail, and are calling this a “dangerous storm” that will be near Lion Country Safari around 6:30 p.m.

The line of thunderstorms with the potential tornado is moving east at 35 mph.

Forecasters are warning people to take cover in areas where storms are heavy.

Update 4:30 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a special marine warning for Lake Okeechobee as strong thunderstorms extend over a northwestern portion of the lake moving southeast.

Wind gusts of 39 mph or higher are possible. Frequent lightning, and heavy downpours are also expected.

Previous story: Showers and some strong thunderstorms are possible in South Florida today as daytime heat combines with a frontal boundary limping through the state.

The National Weather Service in Miami said “robust” showers are forecast, especially after the sea breezes kick up this afternoon.

Gusty winds and heavy rain is also possible as the slow-moving boundary may linger over some areas. Rain chances jump from 41 percent at 1 p.m. to 70 percent at 2 p.m.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Up to 1.19 inches of rain could fall in parts of western Palm Beach County and south of Lake Okeechobee, while the Weather Prediction Center has coastal areas with up to 0.75 inches.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., is forecasting thunderstorms for Florida, but did not have any part of the state in a threat level area as of 7 a.m.

But slight cooling aloft triggered by a mid-level trough could mean a more unstable atmosphere, NWS forecasters said.

Related: How hail is formed 

Warm surface air shooting into a frigid upper atmosphere is one recipe for thunderstorms. A muggy overnight where temperatures dropped only into the mid-70s in West Palm Beach means daytime temperatures could heat up quickly.

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“Daytime heating in combination with the frontal boundary and upper trough in this rich atmosphere should bring robust coverage of showers and storms as we head into the afternoon, especially as both sea breezes get going,” NWS forecasters in Miami wrote in their morning discussion.

 

Showers, wind, waterspouts, how long “gloomy” weather will last

The National Weather Service in Miami is forecasting “rather gloomy” weather for most of Wednesday as scattered showers stream in from the east.

While up to a half-inch of rain is possible in isolated areas where rain bands stall, forecasters don’t expect widespread accumulation, which would help alleviate the parched conditions in Palm Beach County.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

In fact, showers are expected to concentrate over Miami-Dade County to Fort Lauderdale with less rain falling to the north.

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“Rainfall amounts not expected to be very high due to the quick-moving nature of the showers, but would’n’t be surprised to see isolated amounts over a half-inch where concentrated bands set up,” forecasters wrote this morning.

Related: Wildfires trigger state of emergency in Florida 

A high risk of rip currents continues today along the Atlantic beaches with east winds sustained at 17 mph and gusts as high as 24 mph.

Related: Teen saved from rip current on Palm Beach as high risk continues

That breeziness will increase the chances for waterspouts along cloud lines in the Atlantic and Biscayne Bay, forecasters note.

But the gloomy weather won’t last long. The showers will move into the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight, with gradual drying overnight.

Things should dry out Thursday and Friday, although breezy conditions will continue with temperatures close to what’s expected in April – highs near 80 degrees and overnight lows in the mid-60s.

 

Up to a half-inch of rain in southeast Florida today where rain bands concentrate.

Just in: Showers dissipate for now but still watching cold front

Update 1:50 p.m.: A line of showers that was expected to hit Palm Beach County at about 2 p.m. has dissipated, but forecasters said they are still watching for activity as the cold front nears.

The storms, which may have spawned a tornado in Okeechobee County, are ushering in cooler, drier air that will drop temperatures overnight into the 50s and 60s. The high Friday is expected to be about 5 degrees below normal, staying in the mid-70s.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Scharfenberg said as temperatures continue to heat up today, there may still be some spotty showers this afternoon.

Update 12:10 p.m.: Palm Beach County is now included in an area that forecasters believe could experience severe weather this afternoon.

The Storm Prediction Center has the region in its marginal category for the possibility of damaging storms. The marginal category is the lowest level on a five-tier scale ranking severe weather, but the storms moving south ahead of a cold front did  include damaging winds and hail in the Space Coast.

National Weather Service forecasters believe the line of storms will reach Wellington at at about 1:45 p.m. moving to the coast by 2:30 p.m.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Miami are not expecting the storms, which also triggered a tornado warning north of Port St. Lucie, will be as robust as they move further south.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

But NWS meteorologist Kevin Scharfenberg said because they were going to hit Palm Beach County near the hottest part of the day, there is a concern for spotty thunderstorms.

“We’re not looking for too much severe weather, but we’re keeping an eye on it,” Scharfenberg said. “There is some discussion that the area of concern will move further south because of how they storms have already acted up.”

In Fort Drum, emergency managers and the National Weather Service are reporting possible tornado damage with flipped campers, downed trees and sheet metal lodged in trees.

Update 9:25 a.m.: The National Weather Service in Miami has moved forward the timing of today’s showers and thunderstorms, with rain beginning in Palm Beach County as early as mid-morning.

Thunderstorm chances increase throughout the day into early evening.

The Storm Prediction Center is has also moved the “marginal” threat are for severe weather closer to Palm Beach County.

A tornado warning was issued in Okeechobee County this morning with reports of up to 1-inch hail.

Radar image as of 9:30 a.m. April 6, 2017.

 

Previous story: A cold front pushing through Florida today will come with thunderstorms, some of which may be severe.

The Storm Prediction Center is giving areas of the Treasure Coast a marginal risk of severe weather, while Palm Beach County is forecast to see more mild storms beginning at about 2 p.m. and lasting through evening.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

But with the marginal area just north of Lake Okeechobee, no one should rule out the possibility of more severe weather pushing south.

The low pressure system dragging the cold front through Florida was responsible for 10 tornadoes Wednesday in the southeast, including reports of high wind and hail in North Florida.

“A few scattered showers and thunderstorms will still be possible during the day with diurnal instability as the front moves through the area,” National Weather Service forecasters in Miami wrote in their morning discussion.

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That means high temperatures that will reach nearly 90 degrees again today could cause enough instability in the atmosphere to spawn some storms.

The cold front is expected to be through South Florida by late tonight with “abundant” drier cooler air behind it.

Related: Protect yourself from lightning by knowing myth from fact

Satellite imagery from 5:45 a.m. Thursday

Tonight, temperatures will drop into the 60s along the coast and the 50s inland.

Friday morning should have the coldest temperatures, with 50s along the coast and 40s inland.

Forecasters are also cautioning residents that gusty southwest winds and low relative humidity will make for an enhanced risk of wildfires. About 70 percent of Palm Beach County is in a moderate drought.

The NWS has all of South Florida under a fire weather watch between 7 a.m. Friday and 10 p.m Friday.

While heavy rain may fall in some areas today, there isn’t expected to be enough to make up for an unusually parched dry season.

“The cold front will bring a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms today, but is very unlikely to bring widespread significant rainfall,” forecasters in Miami wrote this morning.

According to the Weather Prediction Center, between 0.25 inches and 0.50 inches is possible over the next 24 hours.

 

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Florida lightning deaths highest in nation, know myth from fact

Florida often experiences the most lighting-related deaths than any other state, including in 2016 when nine people were killed.

There are persistent myths about lightning that the National Weather Service has tried to dispel. Knowing the facts can save your life.

  • Lightning is not attracted to metal. Metal is a good conductor of electricity, which is why lightning rods are used on top of tall buildings, but it is the height of the building, not the metal that meteorologists believe draws the lightning. That is why it’s dangerous to seek shelter under a tree during a lightning storm. Lighting will seek out the tallest object to strike.

“Lightning is not attracted to anything,” said John Jensenius, an expert with the National Weather Service. “I’ve seen various articles about batteries and screwdrivers, none of which had any effect.”

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Lightning strikes south of Belvedere Road near I-95 in West Palm Beach on July 9, 2009. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
Lightning strikes south of Belvedere Road near I-95 in West Palm Beach on July 9, 2009. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
  • A car with a metal roof is good shelter from lightning, but not because of the rubber tires. If lightning strikes the car, it will be conducted by the metal around and into the ground. A convertible does not offer the same protection.
  • Lightning can strike from 10 miles away, meaning sunny skies when a storm is imminent are still dangerous.
  •  Lightning tends to strike the tallest object in an area, so trees are not safe places to seek shelter.

Related: Watch amazing slow motion video of lightning striking Florida beach 

  • A person injured by lightning is not electrified. Victims typically die of cardiac arrest. People who can administer CPR will not be electrocuted if they do so.
  • Lightning can strike the same place twice.
  • People playing golf do not account for the majority of lightning deaths. Fishermen account for more than three times as many lightning deaths as golfers. Camping and boating each account for almost twice as many deaths.

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“People get the idea that jewelry, headphones, golf clubs attracts lightning but that’s not the case at all,” said Matt Bragaw, a meteorologist and lightning safety specialist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne. “Metal conducts electricity very efficiently, but it does not draw electricity to it like a magnet.”

If anything, Bragaw said, it’s the act of swinging a club that might draw lightning’s attention because it makes the gofer the tallest object in what is usually the mostly wide open terrain of a tee or fairway.

“Anytime you increase your height, you increase your chances of getting hit,” Bragaw said.

Palm Beach Post Digital Senior Editor John Bisognano drives down the middle of Jupiter¹s Abacoa Golf Club No. 16 fairway. (Note the ball just above John¹s head). Photo courtesy Jay Rose
Palm Beach Post Digital Senior Editor John Bisognano drives down the middle of Jupiter¹s Abacoa Golf Club No. 16 fairway. (Note the ball just above John¹s head). Photo courtesy Jay Rose

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Foggy morning, afternoon storms expected in Palm Beach County

National Weather Service forecasters are expecting another foggy morning in Palm Beach County on Wednesday as light winds, moist air and temperatures come together.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Forecasters issued a special weather advisory Tuesday morning warning of dense, patchy fog throughout South Florida and visibility reduced to one mile or less.

In a hazardous weather outlook issued Tuesday afternoon, meteorologists said conditions are good again for fog to form late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. In the thickest fog, visibility could be reduced to less than a quarter mile.

 

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Fog, which is basically a surface-level  stratus cloud, occurs when the temperature lowers to the dew point and winds are low. Also, southwest winds will be blowing in moisture, keeping the dew point high.

There is still a chance for afternoon thunderstorms Wednesday as a cold front pushes through. The Storm Prediction Center has Central Florida under a marginal risk for severe weather Wednesday.

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