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.

Rain chances across parts of Florida swing up Thursday and especially Friday and Saturday when strong thunderstorms and gusty winds sap the joy out of the end of the work week.

The crummy weather, which has already announced itself with morning rain showers in parts of South Florida like Kendall, Doral and Opa-locka, according to CBS4 meteorologist Lissette Gonzalez, is associated with a trough of low pressure moving across the central and northwestern Bahamas.

The National Hurricane Center has been monitoring that tropical disturbance for a couple days and, in terms of development, the Thursday morning advisory is the same as the Wednesday outlook. On Thursday afternoon, forecasters slightly bumped the chances of development Thursday and Friday to 10 percent and a low 30% shot through Tuesday as it moves northwestward toward Florida’s peninsula at 5 to 10 mph. The band of thunderstorms then turns northeastward off the southeastern coast of the United States.

But all the moisture associated with the wave is moving rain in Florida’s direction.

Where the rain will be

For South Florida, that means storm chances go from 50% Thursday to 60% Friday and Saturday, before hovering at 50% through Monday.

Lightning and street flooding is likely. Boaters should know that waterspouts are also possible with these storm bands.

The Florida Keys will also see some of this wetness and lightning with isolated and scattered thunderstorms.

No weather warnings for Bradenton, however. The Tampa Bay region will still likely see rain, but only 30% to 40% through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service also has an advisory for East Central Florida, such as Orlando, concerning the possibility of strong thunderstorms Thursday and into the start of the work week as the wave’s related moisture moves toward the state.

Chantal reclassified

As for Chantal, she’s now weakened to a tropical depression with winds at 35 mph. That system is several hundred miles southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and not considered a threat to the United States.

Miami Herald Staff Writer Alex Harris contributed to this story.

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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