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Severe storm threat across Florida as winter begins

Truckers may hit strong winds, large hail

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The first day of winter will be a wet and stormy one for most truckers in Florida. The new season officially begins at 10:59 a.m. ET Tuesday.


Related: A look back: 6 impactful weather events in 2021 transportation


A low-pressure system will move across the Florida Peninsula Tuesday, sliding along the southeast coast Tuesday night. It will drag a cold front across the region, pumping plenty of moisture into the atmosphere and producing elevated levels of instability.

The threat for severe storms is mainly across southern parts of the Florida Peninsula, including Sarasota, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Everglades City, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Melbourne and Orlando. Large hail and/or straight-line winds of 60-plus mph are possible in these places and/or spots in between. An isolated tornado or two could form as well.

Pockets of heavy rain could lead to reduced visibility at times, as well as localized areas of flash flooding. Heavy rain will also drench portions of northeastern Florida and southern Georgia, in addition to eastern parts of the Carolinas. This will impact drivers heading through Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston and Wilmington.

Storms will end across Florida later in the afternoon, with rain ending in the Carolinas overnight.


Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 10 from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, Florida.
• Interstate 75 from Miami to Macon, Georgia.
• Interstate 95 from Miami to Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Other notable weather this week

Look for periods of heavy mountain snow, valley rain and high winds Tuesday night through Christmas weekend in the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. Up to 10 feet of snow could pile up in parts of the Sierra Nevada, with road closures likely due to treacherous whiteout conditions.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.