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NWS Melbourne: Strong to Severe Thunderstorms Tuesday

East Central Florida - Monday January 8, 2024: Another strong cold front is forecast to move through the area on Tuesday. Confidence in both the timing and potential for strong to severe thunderstorms with this system continues to increase.

A band of strong to severe storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts, as well as the potential for a few tornadoes, is forecast to move rapidly across the peninsula late Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Conditions across the local Atlantic waters will gradually begin to deteriorate today into tonight, as winds and seas increase locally. A Small Craft Advisory goes into effect at 4 PM across the local waters for east-southeast winds 15 to 25 knots and seas up to 7 feet. Then, at 10 PM, a Gale Warning goes into effect across the offshore waters for southeast winds 25 to 35 knots with wind gusts up to 45 knots and seas 7 to 12 feet.

The Gale Warning will expand to include the nearshore waters after 4 AM on Tuesday.

Local Atlantic boating conditions will be dangerous to small craft operators through Tuesday ahead of the next front. Conditions will gradually improve on Wednesday. Another system could lead to worsening boating conditions next weekend.

A tightening pressure gradient across east central Florida will lead to windy conditions along the coast late tonight. Southeast winds will increase to 15 to 20 mph, and wind gusts up to 30 mph will be possible.

A moderate risk of rip currents exists at all central Florida Atlantic beaches today, and the risk of dangerous rip currents will remain at least moderate, through mid-week. Always swim within sight of a lifeguard and never enter the ocean alone.

The Saint Johns River near Astor remains just in Action Stage, and is forecast to remain just near 2.0 feet through early this week, before falling below Action Stage by midweek.