Lightning safety tips

Watch a NOAA video about being safe when thunderstorms and lighting approach.

Watch a NOAA video about being safe when thunderstorms and lighting approach.

What do we get in South Florida for a heat index that could skyrocket to 106 degrees on Thursday?

Strong thunderstorms with potential wind gusts up to 55 mph, flooding and frequent lightning, the National Weather Service says.

This is what you can expect in a forecast that calls for a 60% chance of severe storms that could arrive after 5 p.m. and last into the night.

“Damaging winds could occur, especially over the east coast metro areas and vicinity,” the weather service says.

About half an inch or rain is expected except in areas where multiple thunderstorms pass through.

Heat warning

That wetness will have hot grounds to fall upon. The high is 86 in Miami and 93 degrees in Marathon (which, like all of the Florida Keys, could see isolated thunderstorms, but not as many as predicted for the mainland).

But it will feel as hot as 106 today — and 107 degrees on Friday and through early next week when rain chances in Miami decline to 30% on the weekend and 20% into Wednesday. Saturday’s high in Miami is forecast at 89 and in Fort Lauderdale it should hit 90.

Orlando is going to get up to 92 degrees, but a weak cool front has stalled just north of Lake and Volusia counties and is expected to hover through Thursday night. This means a lot of rain — 80% — is soaking east central Florida and to the south of this front, the National Weather Service says. Strong wind gusts, too.

The wettest weather in that part of Florida is expected from Osceola and Brevard counties, something that already started Thursday morning.

Tropical system

NHC trop outlook 725.png

National Hurricane Center’s tropical weather outlook for July 25, 2019, shows a front in the Gulf but it isn’t expected to develop.

National Hurricane Center

As for the tropical system the National Hurricane Center is looking at, it’s now a nearly stationary frontal system and a weak area of low pressure that is bringing clouds and disorganized showers across the northern and central Gulf of Mexico. The blob is expected to drift northward.

Don’t worry about this one, the Hurricane Center says. Development is given a near zero chance of development over the next five days since upper-level winds are in play.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.

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