There is a high risk of Rip Currents this weekend for Florida
Big Bend and Panhandle beaches with dangerous Rip Currents and
building surf expected.
A developing area of low pressure in the east-central Gulf of
Mexico is expected to move slowly northward Saturday has a 80 percent chance of developing into a Tropical Depression/Tropical Storm within the next 48 hours. Regardless of development, strong southeast winds of 20 mph or more and incoming southerly swells will lead to building surf. As breaker heights increase to upwards of 5 to 7 feet by Sunday, conditions are expected to become very hazardous for anyone entering the water with frequent and strong rip currents likely.
Specifically in south Walton, coastal Bay, coastal Gulf, coastal Franklin Counties a high Rip Current risk now in effect through Sunday evening.
* Surf...breakers 2 to 4 feet building to 4 to 6 feet by this
evening. Increasing again to 5 to 7 feet on Sunday.
* Timing...Rip Currents will become stronger and more frequent
today...with dangerous rip current conditions lasting through
Sunday and possibly longer.
* Impacts...rough surf and dangerous Rip Currents will create
extremely hazardous conditions for anyone entering the water.
Rip Currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
Heed the advice of lifeguards and the Beach Patrol. Pay attention to
flags and posted signs. If you become caught in a rip current do not panic. Remain calm and begin to swim parallel to shore.
Once you are away from the force of the rip current begin to
swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against a
Rip Current. Even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.