Florida gets ready for some strong storms today

Bad weather dominates Florida and South Georgia today

Forecasters say powerful thunderstorms are possible across parts of the South, bringing the threat of tornadoes to north and central Florida as well as south Georgia. This is part of a weather front that has been pounding Texas and the plains states.

Early Wednesday, The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch that covers a large part of Florida, including the cities of Tallahassee, Jacksonville; Gainesville, Orlando and the as far south as the Tampa Bay area.

According to the Weather Channel, from the Tampa Bay area north, today’s forecast called for a 100 percent chance for heavy rain. Windy with heavy thunderstorms this afternoon with a chance that a few of the storms being severe. High 86 degrees and the winds will be a major factor coming from the southwest at 25 to 35 mph

Going north up the Gulf Coast of Florida from Tampa to Tallahassee the chance of severe weather increases the closer you get to the panhandle. Rain totals could reach as high as three to four inches in the Tallahassee area, to around two inches in some areas in the northern parts of Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Tornado warnings and watches are at the highest levels in the panhandle but that does not mean that the Bay Area is out of the woods. The combination of rain, high winds and warm temperatures will keep the area in the possible range for tornado action.

The severe weather warning also went into effect for parts of south Georgia, including Valdosta, also were under a tornado watch. The storms were expected to bring the threat of flash flooding. Flash flood watches Wednesday covered large parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

In North Carolina, a state of emergency is in effect in a small town of Autryville in the eastern part of the state after a tornado damaged a fire station and several mobile homes late Tuesday afternoon. No serious injuries were reported.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.