A line of intense thunderstorms is expected to bring the potential for damaging winds and a few tornadoes to the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend late Sunday night into Monday morning.
Tornadoes were observed in northern Louisiana late Sunday morning, multiple tornado warnings were in effect across Mississippi as of early Sunday afternoon. Reliable forecast models show these storms will spread into Alabama early this evening, then into the western Florida Panhandle around midnight. Damaging winds and embedded tornadoes are anticipated within a line of thunderstorms as it approaches.
The Pensacola area is most likely to see the storms between 10 PM and 2 AM. The time of arrival for the Destin, Fort Walton, and Crestview areas is between 1 and 4 AM.
A second surge of wind energy in the lower part of the atmosphere is forecast to surge into the Panama City, Marianna, and Tallahassee areas overnight. This is likely to lead to the intensification of storms as they approach these areas. Present estimates show the storms arriving near Panama City and Marianna between 3 and 6 AM. The Tallahassee and Apalachicola areas should expect the storms to arrive between 5 and 9 AM. The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting the potential of a few tornadoes and damaging winds near these areas as the storms move through.
Forecasters and Emergency Operation officials recommend residents have multiple ways of receiving warnings, including via cell phone, radio, and television. Residents should be prepared to seek shelter in the lowest level of their home, in an interior room, and away from windows. Those who rely on public storm shelters as a refuge should check to see if they are available because of the COVID-19 pandemic.