Batten the hatches: Severe weather moving in Saturday

staff report

FORT WALTON BEACH — Northwest Florida should brace for potentially severe weather Saturday.

According to the National Weather Service in Mobile, an organized line of showers and thunderstorms is expected to spread across the region Saturday morning through late Saturday night.

Some of the storms could become severe, with damaging wind gusts over 60 miles per hour and possibly brief tornadoes.

“It currently appears that the best potential for severe weather will be from late Saturday morning through Saturday evening, with the severe threat greatly diminishing after midnight Saturday night,” NWS said in a statement on its website.

The weather services urged those with outdoor plans Saturday to “stay weather aware” and “be prepared to take action” should severe weather approach.

Santa Rosa County is under an “enhanced” risk for severe weather, while Okaloosa and Walton counties are under a “slight” risk for severe weather, according to an alert from the NWS Storm Prediction Center.

Damaging wind gusts are the greatest threat.

The chance of rain Saturday is 30 percent, increasing to 70 percent in the early evening then 100 percent later Saturday night. Skies will clear Sunday with a low of 47 Sunday night.

The NWS also issued a rip tide warning from 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday evening.

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