PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB-TV) – A stalling front to our north has kept moisture around the Panhandle, resulting in a warm and sticky start to the day with some areas of patchy fog. Monday and Tuesday, high temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-80s under a mostly sunny sky with only a stray shower or storm each day.
By the middle of the week, temperatures will be trending cooler thanks to winds out of the northeast pulling colder air south from New England, around a subtropical/tropical low over the far western Atlantic Ocean.
At this time, that low is known as Subtropical Storm Nicole. It has some tropical and non-tropical characteristics. Maximum sustained winds sit at 45 mph, but the system itself is messy and not tropically developed. It is forecast to remain either a subtropical storm or strengthen to tropical storm status by the end of the work week. There is some potential it could become a hurricane, but it is very unlikely it would be stronger than a Category 1. Wind shear in the environment it is forecast to enter will keep the system from strengthening, while a couple of fronts/troughs will direct its steering pattern. It will likely curve into the central or southern peninsula of Florida by Wednesday, move northeast, emerge into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and curve northeast through the Big Bend and up the east coast by the end of the weekend.
Because the panhandle of Florida is on the west side of the storm (based on current and likely forecast path), we are not anticipating many impacts from this storm system. Drier air will be wrapping around the west side, leaving us even with little chance of rainfall. Isolated showers will be possible mainly in our central and eastern counties Thursday and Friday. Higher rainfall totals are expected in north Florida.
On Friday, a cold front will be approaching northwest Florida from the west. This system will help push away Nicole from our area. It will also bring in another shot of cold air through the weekend. High temperatures will tumble to the low 70s on Saturday and low 60s on Sunday. Sunday morning lows will likely be in the 40s with some inland spots dipping to the 30s.