STORM ALERT: Large hail, tornadoes possible with Thursday storm event

National Weather Service
Walton Sun

Severe thunderstorms are expected today. A tornado watch is in effect until 1 p.m. for the Okaloosa area and 2 p.m. for Walton and Bay counties.

Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are all possible. The event will be ongoing early this morning in the form of a squall line moving east across the area.

This line will generally move east across the entire area between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Behind this line the atmosphere may become unstable enough by this afternoon for another round of thunderstorms. These storms will likely be more isolated in nature, and depending on instability, the tornado threat will be greatest with these storms.

This secondary area of storms will be just ahead of a cold front that will be moving east across the area late this afternoon into early evening. The severe threat will be diminishing from west to east as the front moves through, and should end by mid evening.

The entire area is in an “Enhanced Risk” of severe storms today. In addition to the severe weather, widespread heavy rainfall, primarily associated with the morning squall line, will be possible today.

Best chances for heavy rain will be this morning with the line, and some localized flash flooding could be possible. Outside of thunderstorm areas, gusty southerly winds are expected today in the 15 to 20 mph range, with occasional gusts to near 30 mph.

This strong southerly flow will also produce higher surf of 3 to 5 feet along the beaches as well as a High Risk of rip currents.