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Fox News Weather Center

Drenching, Gusty Storms to Roll Across Florida Thursday

For folks living or vacationing in the Sunshine State, unsettled and stormy conditions are in the offing for Thursday.

As a storm system travels across the northern counties of the state and brings rain, snow and ice to part of the interior South, drenching rain with thunder will reach from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, Gainesville and Ocala.

Farther south, there is a risk for the storms to be more robust with strong gusty winds and torrential downpours.

With the storms, there is the potential for downed trees and sporadic power outages in some communities. Motorists may encounter flooded streets and highways in some cases due to the heavy rainfall in a short period of time.

Folks at theme parks and on the beach or golf course may need to run for cover as the storms approach.

According to AccuWeather Severe Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "There is a risk of locally severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon to hit first near the I-4 corridor from Tampa to Orlando and Daytona Beach."

As the afternoon progresses, the risk for severe thunderstorms will shift farther south.

"Storms could hit locations south of I-4 and near and north of I-74, including Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Melbourne, Sebring and Fort Pierce, and perhaps all the way down to Fort Lauderdale and Miami later on," Kottlowski said.

The storms can bring a lightning strike with little notice. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning while remaining outdoors. A hard-top car or truck offers adequate protection from lightning. Golf carts, pavilions and under trees are unsafe in thunderstorms. Do not drive through flooded roadways.