St. Patrick's Day rain heads to Sunshine State on Monday

Heavy rain and huge hail pounded the Gulf Coast and states from Texas to South Carolina much of the weekend. The western Gulf gets a chance to dry out as the storm energy pushes into Florida Monday.

HOUSTON – A frontal boundary that helped produce deadly tornadoes in the Ohio Valley and softball-sized hail over the Plains has not moved much over the past few days, making for a wet St. Patrick’s Day weekend along the Gulf Coast.

The ferocity of the thunder and hail storms has tapered off Sunday, but heavy rain remains a problem.

A three-hour radar loop showing where showers and thunderstorms are ongoing. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are indicated in yellow. Tornado Warnings are indicated in red, while Tornado Warnings with a confirmed tornado are indicated in purple. Flash Flood Warnings are indicated in green, while Flash Flood Emergencies are indicated in pink.
(FOX Weather)


As the dying cold front continues to dissipate over the western Gulf Coast, the focus of the heavy rain and severe storms shifts to Florida for Monday. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a Level 1 out of 5 risk of severe weather from Gainesville to Tampa and Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale.

Any storms that develop have the potential of turning strong to severe, with cloud-to-ground lightning, hail and gusty winds reaching 60 mph or higher. 

The severe storm threat in Florida on Monday, March 18, 2024.
(FOX Weather)



While Texas and Louisiana dry out after the soggy weekend, the flood threat remains. A flood warning remains for several rivers throughout most of the week.

At least 45 water level gauges along rivers and tributaries in the lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast are at flood stage, as an active El Niño pattern has resulted in a fairly wet start to the year for communities such as Atlanta, New Orleans and Tallahassee, Florida.

Minor river flooding.
(FOX Weather)


Popular March events to be mostly spared from wet weather

Fortunately for planners and attendees of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Savannah, Georgia, and THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, both events appear to be largely spared from turbulent weather.

The 200th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah took place Saturday morning, but events to commemorate St. Patrick and Ireland’s Christianity enjoyed good weather all weekend long.

Less than 150 miles away, thousands of golf fans lined the course in northeastern Florida for the annual THE PLAYERS Championship.

In the past, the PGA tournament has been the subject of washouts, but no such problems this year.

The FOX Forecast Center expects the entire region to begin to dry out late Monday as a ridge of high pressure and cooler temperatures set in.