Tropical Cyclone 3 is continuing to track northward across the Gulf of Mexico towards the central Gulf coast and is expected to become a tropical storm today. Most of the rain is on the eastward side of the storm with the potential for heavy rains in the area. Chances for rain will begin increasing across the region Friday night with heavy rains expected to begin around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Rain is the greatest threat with this system with 5 to 7 inches of rain possible across the Florida Panhandle and southeast Alabama. Locally higher amounts are possible and will likely lead to flash flooding or river flooding. Some of the bands will have wind gusts of 35-40 mph but sustained winds are not expected. There is also the potential for tornadoes in individual cells with the storm.

Tropical storm warnings have been extended to the Okaloosa/Walton County line just west of our area. Deadly rip currents, rough surf, beach erosion and heavy rainfall are expected on the coast. The storm is currently moving to the north at 14 mph with a turn to the north northeast expected by Saturday.

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