Weather alert: Afternoon storms, flooding, lightning in South Florida forecast again

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Rare is the July day for which the National Weather Service doesn’t have a hazardous weather outlook of dangers from the elements in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area.

Thursday is not one of those rare days.

“We are smack dab in the middle of the rainy season,” said Robert Molleda, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “It doesn’t mean the entire day is going to be stormy.”

Molleda said there is a 50 percent chance or greater that the rest of Thursday and into the weekend there will be some storms to pop up.

The agency’s hazardous weather outlook for Miami says to expect the usual afternoon showers Thursday with the usual problems, including possible winds with tropical storm level gusts over 45 mph.

“Frequent lightning, heavy downpours, and gusty winds will be the primary hazards with the strongest thunderstorms,” Thursday’s hazardous weather outlook said. “Localized flooding is possible due to slow-moving, heavy downpours from thunderstorms over low-lying and poor drainage areas.”

Lightning shredded skies even more than usual lately. Macon, Georgia, 17-year-old Walker Bethune died in a Miami hospital after being struck by lightning July 17 on Tigertail Beach on Marco Island.

Stratford student struck by lightning earlier this month dies in Florida hospital

“If you hear thunder, the lightning strike is close enough to your location that you should seek shelter,” Molleda said.

It is not safe to go back outside until 30 minutes after the last thunder, he said.

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