TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Frontal boundary remains near the Florida-Georgia line today due to an area of high pressure circulating of the coast of the Big Bend.

This will keep most showers and storms to the Panhandle until we reach peak heat hours of the day coupled with the westerly flow of winds off the Gulf high.

This afternoon, isolated showers and storms are possible which may briefly damper Independence Day festivities, but the rain is expected to be short-lived. Once we move into sunset and twilight, much of our rain threat will have shifted to the east coast of the state.

Winds will remain out of the west between 5 and 10 mph, apart from the afternoon where winds pick up between 10 and 15 mph. It will remain hot and very humid throughout the day, much like yesterday.

Highs are expected in the upper 80s and lower 90s with the heat index ranging between 99 and 104 degrees. Heat related illness such as heat exhaustion, cramps, and stroke could occur if actions to stay cool and hydrated are not taken. 

As we move into the next work week, all eyes turn to Tropical Storm Elsa. Rain chances have altered for Monday by increasing to 40%. Winds will also begin to pick throughout the day as Elsa is predicted to track just off the coast of Southwest Florida.

By Tuesday, tropical storm conditions will build through the day. High winds between 30 and 60 mph nearer the coast may be common with inland areas feeling 10 to 30 mph winds.

Strong gusts and torrential rain will be a factor with flooding being the largest threat to the west coast. At this time, Elsa is predicted to make landfall along the Nature coast by Tuesday evening and continue to track through the state into Wednesday morning. 

Currently, planning for tropical weather is a wise choice. There are several actions that can be taken to better prepare yourself for tropical weather such as a tropical storm.

  1. Purchasing batteries, battery operated fans, non-perishable food items, Water (2 gallons per person per day), Weather radio, extra propane tank (if you have a gas grill)
  2. Fill up a few gas cans with fuel and place alongside your propane tanks and grill in a fortified but ventilated area
  3. Clean your yard and take away any yard debris that could be picked up by the wind
  4. After celebrating Independence Day, bring in your porch and patio furniture along with any potted outdoor plants
  5. Create a “GO Bag” filled with extra clothing, shoes, socks, first aid kit, water, batteries, flashlight, food, important documents, and pictures in case you must leave in a hurry
  6. Create an exit plan for you and your family which should include an evacuation route and safe locations to meet if you get separated
  7. Check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered 
  8. Make sure your pets are a part of your family plan too
  9. Purchase or make sandbags if you know you live in a flood prone area and place them around your home accordingly