December 2, 2009

NWS: Big Bend area could see 'very dangerous storms;' tornado watch in effect

Steady rain has fallen on the Big Bend region overnight, with some areas seeing as much as 5 inches, said Kelly Godsey, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.

The Tallahassee Regional Airport measured 2 and 3/4 inches overnight as of 7 a.m.

Godsey said that because the rain has been falling at a steady rate, flooding has not yet been an issue but that severe weather threats for the area will increase as the day continues.

Some of these storms show strong rotation,” he said. “We may have some develop that could create some tornadoes in the area later this morning and this afternoon.

The worst of the weather will move into Tallahassee around midday and continue.”

A tornado watch is in effect until 11 a.m. eastern time for the Big Bend, including Leon, Liberty,Wakulla, Gadsden, Franklin and Jackson counties. Other counties under the watch include Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington.

A watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form.
Godsey stressed that the watch could be extended and that residents should stay abreast of weather news.

We want people to really pay attention because the atmosphere is pretty well charged up for severe weather,” he said. “We could have some very dangerous storms by midmorning to afternoon.”

Coastal residents should also be prepared for flooding in low-lying areas. High tides beginning around 2:30 will coincide with high winds from the storm. Godsey said that could lead to tides peaking at 3 to 3 1/2 feet above normal.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms should continue this morning with a chance of flash floods through Thursday morning.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the region, and a coastal flood warning remains in effect through Thursday from Walton County to the Suwannee River.

A flood warning is in effect for the Apalachicola River near Blountstown affecting Calhoun, Franklin, Liberty and Gulf counties. At 4 a.m. the stage was 12.8 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. The river is forecast to rise above flood stage by tomorrow morning and continue to rise to near 15.2 feet by tomorrow afternoon.

A gale warning has been issued for coastal waters from Apalachicola to the Suwannee River.

No comments:

Post a Comment