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Severe Thunderstorms Threaten Florida Today

UPDATED 9 PM EDT, March 17, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Seth Carrier

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Now that snow has skirted off the Mid-Atlantic coast, the focus will shift to a severe thunderstorm threat as a potent cold front races across Florida.

The first part of a double-barreled storm affecting the East Coast has already raced off the Mid-Atlantic coast, but not before dumping a significant amount of late-winter snow from the central Appalachians to southern New Jersey. This included 13 inches of fresh snowfall in Harmony, Va., 10 inches in Poolesville, Md., and 10.5 inches that blanketed Wildwood Crest, N.J.

Meanwhile, this late-season winter storm still has a few tricks up its sleeve across Florida today. Not only will it wring out 1 to 3 inches of rain across central and southern Florida, but it has also spawned a slow-moving line of potentially damaging thunderstorms that will trudge across much of the Sunshine State this afternoon into Tuesday. In fact, the thunderstorms will rumble Tampa, Orlando, Melbourne and Miami, Fla.

Organizing first from Jacksonville to Tampa Bay, Fla., early this afternoon, the thunderstorms will march into central Florida tonight and exit Florida`s Atlantic coast by daybreak on Tuesday. The single biggest threat accompanying the thunderstorms will be damaging wind gusts as high as 70 mph, although a few tornadoes will also be a concern as instability interacts with shifting winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere.

Thankfully, this system will exit the Eastern U.S. on Tuesday, although tranquil weather will only make a brief appearance before yet another storm tracking through the Great Lakes could squeeze out a bit of an unwanted icy mix across the Mid-Atlantic later Wednesday.

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