• OIA delays, cancellations; severe threat ends for Central Florida, weekend forecast

    By: Irene Sans , Sarah Wilson

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - After severe storms sweep over Central Florida, weather will continue to improve overnight. Jacket weather for the next few mornings, crisp and sunny afternoons. 

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    5:30 p.m. update

    Severe weather threat diminishes across much of Central Florida as the line of storms travels south toward South Florida. There could still be some strong gusts and hail over Brevard County, but this won't last past 6:30 p.m. Friday. 

    A few scattered showers are still possible over Central Florida through midnight. Overall, conditions are improving. 

     

     

    Marine and beach conditions will be rough and there is a low risk for rip currents along East Coast beaches.

    WEEKEND FORECAST

    Winds will be strong through Saturday, but shifting from the west-northwest during the day, gusts up to 25 mph. Temperatures Saturday will be much more comfortable, highs in the mid 70s, in the evening the temperature will drop to the mid 50s. 

    Drier air arrives just in time for Easter, with the winds out of the northwest. Highs Sunday will reach the mid to upper 70s with plenty of sunshine. 

    Temperatures will be increasing early next week back to the mid 80s by Monday. Still, mostly sunny through Wednesday. 

     

     

    4:30 p.m. update

    Severe storms are crossing Osceola County to the east. Harmony and the Lake Kissimmee area could have 60 mph winds as the storms race to the east at about 45mph. 

     

     

    4:00 p.m. update

    Severe thunderstorms continue to move to the east at about 20 mph. Storms are producing damaging wind gusts of at least 60 mph and possibly quarter size hail. 

    3:20 p.m. update

    Orlando International Airport has a ground stop due to the thunderstorms in the area. Lightning is increasing. There is a maximum delay of 45 minutes and it is likely to increase during the next hour or so as storms move over OIA.

     

     

    Friday 2p.m. update 

     

    The same line of storms that is making its way down to Central Florida already developed a tornado in the Florida Panhandle. Around 8:30 a.m., a tornado was confirmed outside of Tallahassee, according to Channel 9 meteorologist Rusty McCranie. McCranie said the storm was moving through the panhandle at 80 mph and that similarly fast-moving storms are expected in the Orlando area later Friday.

    As the storms get closer, the wind will pick up a bit more. The storms will enter Central Florida from northwest to southeast. The storms will arrive to Marion County first, around noon, then continue to move to the southeast. Some isolated storms could develop ahead of the main line across parts of Osceola and Orange counties. The weather is forecast to continue to deteriorate, with the highest chance of severe storm warnings between 3 and 8 p.m.

     

     

     

    Besides frequent and intense lightning, these storms could develop damaging winds in excess of 50 mph, small hail and isolated tornadoes. 


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    Certified meteorologist Rusty McCranie, Kassandra Crimi and Irene Sans have been monitoring the storms' development all morning. Certified meteorologist George Waldenberger joins them this afternoon for the newscast starting at 4 p.m. through the evening. They will be tracking the storms online and on air throughout the day. To stay on top of the latest weather updates, download the WFTV weather app here.

    After getting off to a stormy start, the skies are forecast to clear for the rest of the weekend, with cooler weather taking hold. During the holiday weekend, high temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-70s – a drastic drop from the 90s seen earlier in the week.

    Watch Eyewitness News at noon for the latest updates.


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