Severe Storms Threaten Niceville, Destin and Okaloosa Island with High Winds, Tornadoes, and Coastal Hazards
In a weather advisory issued Sunday, January 7th, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned residents of Niceville and the rest of the Gulf Coast about the imminent threat of severe storms expected to hit the area from Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Meteorologists with the NWS anticpate damaging winds exceeding 70 mph, the possibility of tornadoes, and hazardous coastal conditions.
NWS’s Mobile affiliate highlighted a significant risk of severe storms, with damaging winds and the potential for tornadoes, including strong EF2+ tornadoes.
Meteorologists say the greatest risk for tornadoes will occur between 3 am and 9 am on Tuesday.
Experts, like Meteorologist Spinks Megginson with Red Zone Weather, urge people in the area to stay informed about the evolving weather conditions through trusted weather channels, or NOAA Weather Radio.
Life-threatening rip currents are expected along the Alabama and northwest Florida panhandle beaches through Wednesday night. High surf, reaching over 10 feet, is predicted from Monday night through Tuesday night along the entire coast, accompanied by coastal flooding around high tide on Monday night. Moderate coastal flooding is possible around Mobile Bay, with an upgrade to a Warning likely. Beach erosion is anticipated, and residents are advised to monitor the situation closely.
Experts predict a high chance of a powerful gradient wind for Northwest Florida, particularly coastal regions.
A High Wind Warning is in effect along the coast from 4 pm Monday to 9 am Tuesday, with winds of 30-40 mph and gusts up to 55-60 mph.
A Wind Advisory is also in place for other areas with winds between 25-35 mph and gusts up to 45-50 mph. Residents are advised to secure loose objects outside to prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles in high winds.
A Storm Warning is in effect for all local marine zones from 4 pm Monday to 9 am Tuesday, with gale conditions expected as early as 9 am Monday.
Southeasterly to southerly winds could frequently gust to 50 knots, and waves over the Gulf may reach heights of 12-17 feet. After the Storm Warning expires, a Gale Watch is in place through Tuesday evening. Mariners and coastal residents are urged to stay informed about the evolving marine conditions.
The National Weather Service’s website has issued a high rip current risk for the Destin and Fort Walton Beach Okaloosa Island area through at least Wednesday. Beachgoers are strongly advised to exercise caution and adhere to any local advisories.
With the potential for severe thunderstorms, residents are reminded of safety rules:
Residents are urged to remain vigilant, stay informed through official channels, and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of others as the severe weather unfolds.