Wildfire threat for parts of Florida, wintry blast for Northeast

By MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Wednesday, a combination of ongoing drought, gusty winds of up to 36 mph and low humidity helped to spread wildfires in the panhandle of Florida.

Apalachicola, Florida, is more than a foot below its normal rainfall for the year so parts of the state are very dry.

There is no precipitation forecast for the next 24 hours, but the winds are expected to calm down in the Panhandle Thursday.

The bad news is that these gusty winds and dry conditions will move into central and southern Florida Thursday where Red Flag Warnings and Fire Watches have been issued for the area.

Winds could gust 20 to 25 mph with relative humidity down to near 20%.

Attention now turns to a new storm moving out of the Rockies to bring severe weather to the South and then move into the Northeast which could combine with cold air and produce May snow.

Severe weather is forecast Thursday, in Dallas and Oklahoma City where the biggest threat will be damaging winds, large hail and possibly an isolated tornado as well.

Severe weather moves into the Gulf Coast by Friday for Houston and Alexandria, Louisiana, where damaging winds and large hail will be the biggest threat.

This same storm system will join with a cold front from Canada and should bring rain and snow for the Northeast Friday night into Saturday morning.

At this point it looks like the heaviest snow will be mostly inland areas Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and into New England. There is a chance we could see some snow flurries even in Philadelphia and New York City in May.

The big story for everyone will be the record cold for this time of the year from the Midwest into the Northeast where numerous record lows are possible this Mother’s Day weekend.

Record heat continues in the Southwest with Heat Advisories and Warnings from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Wednesday, several record highs were tied and broken once again. They include Phoenix which tied their high at 106, Tucson reached 106, Palm Springs tied with 108 and Las Vegas hit 101 which was not a record but it was the first 100 degree reading of the year for the city. More records or near records possible Thursday in Phoenix, Yuma, Palm Springs and Tucson.

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