Tornado watch is on for central Florida

Haze over the ocean mutes the sunrise off Palm Beach, Thursday
Haze over the ocean mutes the sunrise off Palm Beach, Thursday

The National Weather Service has posted a tornado watch for most of central Florida and reaching south through the Treasure Coast and into Palm Beach County Thursday morning. The watch is set to expire at 1 p.m.

A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form and residents should be alert for threatening weather and keep an eye out for more weather warnings.

The rough weather is arriving a little ahead of forecast. National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bettwy in Miami said that this morning's radar and satellite information showed the boundary of an approaching cool front to be moving faster than previously forecast.

Bettwy expected the weather in our area to go south, so to speak, closer to 10 a.m..

"I fully anticipate that more watches - severe storm and tornado - to extend to the rest of South Florida late this morning," Bettwy said.

Those warnings will also likely be extended later into the day, he said.

The forecast warns these storms have the potential to pack small hail, and lightning, but meteorologists say the wind will be a bigger issue.

The weather service says, "the storms could be strong with gusty winds 40 to 55 mph, frequent to excessive lightning, small hail and heavy rain."

The rain chances officially are pegged at 40 percent In Palm Beach County, 50 percent in the Treasure Coast.

Despite the cloudy skies, high temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees in Palm Beach County and 88 degrees to the north.

The storms stick around through the night. Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid 60s.

All the stormy weather is due to clear by Friday afternoon, giving us some sun and some cooler temperatures, with highs in the mid to low 80s as you go north. That milder weather will prevail through the weekend.

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