State emergency management officials are urging residents to remain vigilant and closely follow the storm system that is sweeping across the state today. A Tornado Watch is in effect the Florida Big Bend region until 5 p.m. EST today. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe weather in and close to the watch area.
“Heavy rain, coastal flooding and the threat of tornadoes will be with us today as the system pushes east,” said Acting State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors are urged to heed all local warnings and seek safe shelter as the storms pass.”
Coastal flood warnings and flash flood watches are in effect along the Florida Gulf Coast from the Panhandle south to Tampa Bay today. Some areas could receive as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain during the frontal passage.
There is a moderate to high risk of rip currents across all North Florida beaches and across western Central Florida beaches today. Swimming is not recommended in these areas due to rough surf and hazardous marine conditions.
The State EOC in Tallahassee remains activated at a Level 2 or Partial Activation today to monitor the storm and assist with any requests from county emergency management officials. The state has pre-positioned emergency coordinators across the warning area to assist with the response.
Residents in low-lying areas or in flood-prone areas along the coast should heed any evacuation orders from local officials. An all-hazards weather radio remains the most effective way to receive timely and official emergency notifications about emerging weather hazards in your area. If you encounter a flooded roadway, remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.