South Florida

A tornado was confirmed in South Florida. More could come as disturbance dwindles

The National Weather Service in Miami confirmed that a tornado touched down in South Florida as part of a disturbance that brought thunderstorms to the area Friday and promise to bring more wet weather through Sunday.

STORY: Sunday’s expected thunderstorms could come with hail and tropical storm-level gusts

The tornado was short-lived and only an EF-0 when it passed over the Loxahatchee area of Palm Beach County around 4:50 p.m. Friday, according to the weather service. A survey of the area by the NWS showed that damage was contained to a horse stable, nearby fencing, and trees.

An EF-0 tornado is the weakest rating on the Fujita scale that measures a tornadoes intensity. An EF-0 has winds in the 65 to 85 mph range and damage is usually light. The rating scale goes up to EF-5 which produced “incredible” damage with winds greater than 200 mph.

Disturbed weather

More ugliness is expected on a South Florida weekend that includes the Fort Lauderdale Air Show and West Palm Beach’s SunFest music festival.

Some of these thunderstorms Saturday could produce heavy rainfall, gusty winds and small hail.

“Funnel clouds are also possible with strong storms that develop today,” NWS Miami warns. Some minor flooding could occur and there is a potential for waterspouts on the Atlantic coast and .Lake Okeechobee.

The disturbed weather should keep temperatures to about 84 degrees as a high, according to the weather service, rather than the broiling weekend originally predicted.

Weekend and work week

Don’t put away your umbrellas when the last note rings out from headliner Keith Urban’s stage Sunday night at SunFest.

Some of this yuck is sticking around into the work week, with a 40 percent chance of more storms in Miami-Dade and a 50 percent chance in Broward and Palm Beach counties into Monday night.

Tropical disturbance status

Much of this weather is the result of a tropical disturbance that started earlier in the week near the Bahamas and gradually moved along the Florida coast.

The good news is that this system is pretty taxed out.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s Saturday morning tropical weather outlook alert, the low pressure disturbance is now just a disorganized shower and thunderstorm event located offshore of the coast the Carolinas.

Environmental conditions are not conducive for this to turn into a tropical depression or tropical storm and the system is expected to move northeastward where it will merge with a frontal system off the United States east coast by Sunday night. Chances of development are at zero and the hurricane center plans no further alerts on this early starter.

Maybe you might want to consider a day trip into the Florida Keys where rain chances are no more than 20 percent through the weekend and work week and highs are 86 degrees.

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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.
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