South Florida

Just how cold and windy will it get in South Florida this weekend? Brace yourself

Cold, possible tornadoes in Miami

A new cold front is arriving to South Florida this weekend. But before, we can expect some potentially severe thunderstorms. These storms could bring dangerous lightning and wind gusts in the 60 to 70 mph range.
Up Next
A new cold front is arriving to South Florida this weekend. But before, we can expect some potentially severe thunderstorms. These storms could bring dangerous lightning and wind gusts in the 60 to 70 mph range.

Feeling the chill?

Thursday’s severe storm threat for the state — which brought thunderstorms to a rather parched South Florida — was a preface to a cold front that arrived Friday evening that pulled temperatures in Miami-Dade and Broward down into the mid-50s Saturday morning.

Saturday’s high is expected to hit 68 degrees.

NWS grid 1222.jpg
National Weather Service forecast for Miami-Dade Dec. 22, 2018 through Christmas. National Weather Service

But a warming trend begins Sunday when the high is forecast to inch past 70 degrees. Call it comfortably cool and dry through Christmas on Tuesday.

The hazardous weather warning that had been in effect through Saturday remains, but is now mostly in regard to marine conditions.

On Friday, the weather service issued a gale warning for all South Florida waters, with wind gusts possible to 50 mph into Saturday. Winds are now forecast to sustain around 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph through the day.

WindyWeather03SwimEKM.JPG
A swimmer struggles against rough seas and strong wind gusts on Virginia Key Friday morning, December 21, 2018. The weather was part of a cold front that pushed through late Thursday and into Friday. Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald.com

A high rip current risk, high surf, and coastal flooding concerns, all remain in effect from the Florida Keys to Collier County.

Leading up to the cool down, the winds were so high in parts of Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol in Tampa closed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to all traffic Friday morning, the Bradenton Herald reported.

Spectrum Bay News 9 posted video of winds — said to have gusted to hurricane force at 78 mph at the top of the bridge —that turned a surveillance camera’s image focused on the Skyway Bridge into a stomach-churning shake.

The Florida Highway Patrol re-opened the Skyway Bridge Friday afternoon.

A wet storm system along the eastern coast of the U.S., made travel delays — both in the air and on ground — almost a certainty for this super busy travel weekend as families hope to get home, or leave home, for Christmas.

“We have 18 canceled arrivals today from East Coast cities affected by the weather,” said Greg Chin, communications director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department on Friday. Miami International Airport saw 27 flights diverted to other airports Friday night amid the wet, windy weather.

Some good news: The Weather Channel says there are no major storms on the horizon for the Christmas holiday.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
  Comments