ORLANDO, Fla. – A steamy and soggy setup is in place across Central Florida for the next two days as a weak front stalls just to the north with high pressure to the east.
Rain chances continue to trend above normal, with increasing southeasterly flow favoring showers and thunderstorms likely across interior neighborhoods.
Rain coverage Wednesday and Thursday afternoon sits at 50-60%, with a high chance of lightning and locally heavy rainfall.
Before the storms develop, temperatures will heat to near 90 along the coast, and the mid-90s inland. High humidity will push afternoon head index readings above 100 in several inland locations.
“If your plans take you to the beaches this week, the red flag will be flying warning you of the high risk of rip currents,” News 6 meteorologist Candace Campos said.
Friday appears to be the direst of the next seven days as rain chances lower to near 30% area-wide and highs in the mid- to upper 80s at the coast to low 90s inland.
Tracking the tropics
A nontropical low located a few hundred miles east of Bermuda, over the central Atlantic Ocean, has a 10% chance of tropical development over the next five days. The next named story will be called Dolly.
Meanwhile, a large plume of Saharan dust is spreading over the eastern Atlantic this week, which will help limit development over the next week across the tropics.
And the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal moved across parts of the Midwest on Tuesday after lashing the South, unleashing downpours and bringing gusty winds as more high winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecast.
Heavy rain hit Missouri on Tuesday morning and Cristobal was expected to intensify later in the day as another “energetic” weather system approaches from the west and begins to interact with it, the National Weather Service said.
Cristobal may produce flash flooding and isolated river flooding, as rain continues overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, the weather service said.
By mid-afternoon, the wind had picked up considerably, with a gust of 62 mph recorded at Midway International Airport, on Chicago’s Southwest Side, according to the weather service. There were reports of downed trees in and around the city, with electricity provider Commonwealth Edison reporting about 19,000 without power in northeastern Illinois late Tuesday.
Weather service meteorologist Rafal Ogorek said that winds of 50 mph were expected from late afternoon until about midnight.
Boaters were being warned of gale-force winds on Lake Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Ogorek said as much as an inch of rain could fall on the region before the storm cleared out.
A tornado, unconfirmed by the weather service, was reported in Iroquois County late Tuesday, south of Chicago. However the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department said it didn’t receive reports of damage or injuries.
High winds could be felt from Nebraska to Wisconsin, forecasters said. In parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, the gusty winds and low humidity will bring the threat of wildfires in areas with dry grass, forecasters warned.
Heavy rain was reported in northeastern Iowa, with Waterloo reporting 2.12 inches of rain, filling creeks and causing puddling in the streets, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Kenny Podrazik. Forecasts call for scattered showers and thunderstorms overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, prompting a flash flood watch for the area.
In Nebraska, the weather service was warning residents of much of the state to prepare Tuesday and Wednesday for rough weather that could include winds exceeding 65 mph (105 kph) in places, as well as heavy rain, and the possibility of hail and tornadoes in the central and eastern parts of the state.
Cristobal weakened into a depression early Monday after inundating coastal Louisiana and ginning up dangerous weather along most of the U.S. Gulf Coast, sending waves crashing over Mississippi beaches, swamping parts of an Alabama island town and spawning a tornado in Florida.