Summer heat & storms over Memorial day weekend

Heat index nearing 100 each afternoon

First Alert Weather - 6:00pm May 22, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - They’re back! Dangerous thunderstorms have arrived right on time as we head into the holiday weekend. These storms will develop in the late afternoon and evening and bring periods of heavy rain, gusty winds and dangerous lightning at times.

Not everyone will see the rain as they will be hit or miss along the sea breeze set up. The outflow boundaries from initial storms that break out will also bump into other outflows and cause other storms to develop.

The benefit of these storms is that they tend to cool us down a bit, the bad part of these is the dangerous lightning. Lightning can kill and cause brush fires like happened on Friday evening. A lightning strike around 6:30 p.m. near Laurel Rd. in Venice sparked a brush fire and closed I-75 in S. Sarasota for a while.

Some of the rain will be heavy at times and may cause some minor flooding at times. On Friday one storm dumped 5 inches of rain near Ft. Myers prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory. We may see more of these warnings over the weekend.

Plan on some afternoon storms Saturday
Plan on some afternoon storms Saturday (Source: wwsb)

The rain chance each afternoon is at 40%. The storms will build along the sea breeze as it pushes inland and collides with the SE wind coming in from E. Florida. Where the two meet is where we will see the strong storms. One or two of the storms could become severe with winds of 50-60 mph and small hail.

Lightning can kill and can occur outside of the rain area. If you hear the thunder roar go indoors.

For boating expect winds to be out of the SE and then switch to the SW later in the day as the sea breeze develops. Seas will be less than 2 feet through the Memorial day weekend.

Stay safe.

Copyright 2020 WWSB. All rights reserved.