ORLANDO, Fla. - A powerful storm system sweeping through the southeast will reach Florida on Thursday, increasing the chance for severe thunderstorms overnight.
As a surface low lifts east-northeast through the Tennessee Valley, it will drag a cold front into North Florida.
A FOX 35 Weather Alert Day is in effect, as the cold front pushes into northern counties late Thursday night.
The Storm Prediction Center has Dixie County, Gilchrist and northern Alachua counties in an "enhanced risk" for severe thunderstorms, (orange).
A TORNADO WATCH has been issued for the Florida Panhandle. This watch will likely get expanded Eastbound with time today as the severe weather risk increases.
In an update from the Storm Prediction Center, scattered and severe storms will likely be ongoing on Friday morning and throughout much of the day.
"A tornado is possible despite marginal low-level," the center said.
Damaging wind gusts are also a possibility.
By Friday, all of East Central Florida is included in a "slight risk" (yellow) for severe weather.
Damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible in the stronger storms.
Most of Thursday will be dry, with temperatures climbing to the upper-80s to low 90s.
As moisture continues to increase thanks to southerly winds, a few showers/isolated storms may develop late in the afternoon, especially near the Volusia coast.
In stronger storms, damaging straight line wind gusts of 50-60 mph are possible, as well as small hail and a brief tornado.
On Friday, scattered showers and storms are expected, ahead of the main band of convection, which should reach Lake and Volusia counties by sunrise.
Activity will move south across East Central Florida through early afternoon.
Scattered powerful storms are expected, with the threat for damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes.
Be sure to have the FOX 35 Weather App downloaded to be the first to know if conditions turn severe in your area.