First comes the punishment. Then the payoff.
After strong storms pummeled South Florida Thursday morning — causing a tornado in Boca Raton, dozens of crashes and flooding in some areas — forecasters expect cooler, drier weather for Friday and the weekend.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be a nice weekend,” said Kim Brabander, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Thursday’s band of storms — which brought heavy rain, thunder and strong wind — were part of the cool front moving through, said Brabander.
Heavy storms started rolling into South Florida before 8 a.m. and made the morning rush miserable. More than 30 crashes were reported between 8 and 9 a.m. on major highways in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
South Florida was put under a “significant weather advisory” until 9:45 a.m., with a strong line of storms extending from the Golden Glades to Kendall.
In Tamarac, a Broward sheriff’s deputy directing traffic was shocked when lightning struck a metal power box on University Drive. He wasn’t seriously injured.
Some street flooding also was reported, including in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. A tornado reportedly touched down in Boca Raton, causing tree, roof and other minor damage.
Steve Mitchell told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that he was painting in his kitchen in his west Boca home when he heard a loud roar.
“It sounded like a freight train,” he told the station.
By Thursday evening the heavy rain subsided and the temperatures began to drop. The temperatures were expected to be in the upper-50s and low-60s overnight and climb to the low-70s on Friday.
That cooler weather pattern — though it will gradually get warmer — will stay around on Saturday and Sunday, with mostly clear skies.
The busy weather day came at an appropriate time for forecasters: Thursday is National Weatherperson’s Day.