TIMELINE: Powerful winter storm heading toward Florida could bring severe weather, tornadoes

A winter storm system moving across the south that reportedly killed a mother and child in Louisiana is heading toward Florida. The system spawned a line of dangerous tornadoes.

Tonight's low: 65 degrees | Tomorrow's high: 78 degrees | Rain: 70%

Main weather concerns: Severe storms will arrive on Thursday with the potential to produce an isolated tornado and straight-line winds of up to 60 mph. Temperatures will reach the 70s on Thursday but will steadily drop into the 40s and 50s as this cold front moves across the state with the coldest air arriving early Saturday morning. Showers are expected across much of our viewing area on Thursady with 70% coverage.

The high rip current risk continues all along our entire east coast. Surf is in the 5-7' range as east-northeast swell comes into the beaches. Temperatures beach side hit in the upper-70s, water temps are near 70. Another swell increase this week will add to the risk.

The morning hours will be great for a trip to the theme parks. Highs will top out near 78 degrees with partly cloudy skies. As the day progresses, rain chances will begin to increase. 

Thursday is a FOX 35 Storm Alert Day. Big changes are on the way to end the week as a strong front rolls through Thursday afternoon bringing the threat for severe storms. The severe weather risk will increase in advance of the front for the southeast today and then spread East into the Florida Panhandle by late tonight.

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There is a threat for heavy rain, lightning, damaging winds and an isolated tornado across central Florida Thursday afternoon/ early evening. 

Here's when storms are expected to arrive in your area:

  • Anywhere from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Thursday starting in North Central Florida
  • 10 a.m. - noon: I-75 corridor
  • Noon: Lake County area
  • Orlando-metro/I-4 corridor: 2 - 4 p.m.

Storms should be clearing out to the south by 6 or 7 p.m.

Behind the front, expect the coolest air of the season with lows into the 40s Saturday morning through Monday morning. Highs will be in the 60s during this time.