Tornado watches expire as storms move away from Big Bend, South Georgia

Only half of the viewing area remained under a tornado watch through 2 p.m. Wednesday as the...
Only half of the viewing area remained under a tornado watch through 2 p.m. Wednesday as the squall line advanced easterly.(WCTV First Alert Weather via NWS/NOAA)
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:39 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 3:32 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - WEDNESDAY 3:30 p.m. - Besides some light to moderate rainfall over the eastern Big Bend, the strongest thunderstorms were over North Central Florida and the Jacksonville area as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. All severe weather watches and warnings have expired.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - WEDNESDAY 12:30 p.m. - Half of the tornado watch was allowed to expire as the squall line moved eastward.

Multiple severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect as of 12:22 p.m. Wednesday.

At least one tornado warning was issued for one South Georgia location. Portions of Lowndes and Brooks counties were in a warning, which expired before noon Wednesday.

There were multiple of high wind gust reports throughout Wednesday morning with gusts above 40 mph reported in some coastal areas, according to the National Weather Service. Trees and downed power lines were also reported throughout the Big Bend and South Georgia.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor the threat as the storms move through South-Central Georgia and the eastern Big Bend.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - WEDNESDAY MORNING - Tornado watches were issued for all of the Big Bend and South Georgia, triggering a First Alert Weather Day.

The Storm Prediction Center prompted the watches, meaning that conditions are favorable for tornadoes and to be weather ready in case warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.

The first watch is in effect for LIberty, Gadsden and Grady counties and points west until noon Wednesday. The second watch is in effect through 2 p.m. for Franklin, Wakulla, Leon and Thomas counties and locations east.

A potent squall line was moving from west to east through the viewing area mid-morning Wednesday, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings along the way. Wind gusts of 58 mph or greater are expected within the warnings.

The environment continued to be prime for severe weather, according to the latest information form the Storm Prediction Center. Severe weather parameters based on short-term guidance models as well as radar-based wind profile data showed more-than-sufficient wind shear and convective energy.

The line is expected to move eastward through the rest of the day and exit the I-75 corridor later Wednesday afternoon.

This is a developing weather story. We will continue to provide updates on this page throughout the day.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A storm system that was centered over the Midwest and bringing rain and snow to parts of the United States Tuesday will also bring a low-end threat of severe weather to the viewing area on Wednesday.

Most of the Big Bend and South Georgia was placed under a level 2 (”slight”) risk of severe weather by the Storm Prediction Center according to their day two outlook. The main hazards of concern were damaging wind gusts with stronger thunderstorms (winds 58 mph or higher) and isolated tornadoes.

The center of low pressure, centered over northern Missouri based on surface analysis Tuesday morning, has a southward-extending cold front attached to it that was producing a line of showers and thunderstorms in the Deep South. The potency of these storms prompted the SPC to issue a tornado watch for parts of the South on Tuesday.

The threat will shift eastward Tuesday into Tuesday night. Guidance models continued to hint at reasonable, but not exuberant, amounts of wind shear, mid-level lift, and convective energy across the viewing area for most of Wednesday as the squall line passes through.

Short-term, high-resolution guidance models differ in the timing of arrival and duration. As of Tuesday morning, it’s likely that the squall line will enter Seminole, Miller, and Jackson counties between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday and move eastward through the rest of the viewing area during the day. For the eastern Big Bend and South-Central Georgia, the line of rain and storms will likely arrive in the afternoon and early evening.

The cold front will likely not pass through the area until early Thursday morning, which does leave a chance for some showers in the eastern Big Bend around dawn.

Download the First Alert Weather app to stay up to date on the latest forecasts and weather information. Also, watch WCTV on air and online for the latest details on the threat.