As Ike makes his way across the Gulf, the coastal waters off Panama City Beach are already starting to swell. Surf conditions are expected to rapidly deteriorate throughout the day today and into tomorrow. This has prompted the National Weather Service to issue advisories to coastal and marine interests.
As of the 11a.m. EDT advisory, Ike was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 90mph with higher gusts. Ike is a large tropical cyclone. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds out up to 205 miles. A gradual increase in strength is expected as Ike moves over the loop current and other warm eddies. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center is for Ike to become a category 3 storm.
In our area, rain and windy conditions should begin tonight and continue to Friday. Tropical storm conditions are not expected, although gusts may reach that level in rain bands. Severe weather is also not expected.
Coastal Flood Watch
A Coastal Flood Watch is in effect for the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend immediate coasts from the Suwannee River Entrance westward to Destin for Wednesday evening to Thursday evening. Below is an excerpt from the statement:
STRONG EAST TO SOUTHEASTERLY WINDS OF 20 TO 25 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS WILL PUSH WATER INTO THE COASTLINE BEGINNING WEDNESDAY EVENING. THIS RISING WATER COMBINING WITH HIGH ASTRONOMICAL TIDES WILL LIKELY PRODUCE A PERIOD OF COASTAL FLOODING ALL ALONG THE COAST. THE EFFECT OF THIS FLOODING WILL BE MAXIMIZED AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. AREAS PREVIOUSLY IMPACTED BY HURRICANE GUSTAV WILL BE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE TO COASTAL FLOODING AND BEACH EROSION.
AT THIS TIME…AREAS FROM THE AUCILLA RIVER TO THE SUWANNEE RIVER ENTRANCE CAN EXPECT STORM TIDE VALUES…WHICH IS THE HEIGHT ABOVE MEAN LOWER LOW WATER…OF 3 TO 5 FEET AROUND HIGH TIDE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.
AREAS FROM CAPE SAN BLAS TO SAINT MARKS CAN EXPECT STORM TIDE VALUES BETWEEN 4 TO 7 FEET AROUND THE HIGH TIDE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.
AREAS FROM DESTIN TO MEXICO BEACH CAN EXPECT STORM TIDE VALUES BETWEEN 2 TO 4 FEET AROUND HIGH TIDE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.
BELOW ARE TIMES OF HIGH TIDE AND LOW TIDE AT SELECTED LOCATIONS ALONG THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND BIG BEND COASTLINES…
SUWANNEE RIVER ENTRANCE…HIGH TIDE 1248 AM THURSDAY…LOW TIDE 555 AM THURSDAY…HIGH TIDE 1135 AM THURSDAY.
SHELL POINT…HIGH TIDE 115 AM THURSDAY…LOW TIDE 620 AM THURSDAY…HIGH TIDE 1227 AM THURSDAY.
SAINT GEORGE ISLAND…HIGH TIDE 138 AM THURSDAY…LOW TIDE 513 AM THURSDAY…HIGH TIDE 1042 AM THURSDAY.
NOTE THAT THE LOW TIDE AMPLITUDE AT THESE THREE SITES IS ONLY AROUND HALF A FOOT LOWER THAN THE HIGH TIDE. THIS MAY LEAD TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF INUNDATION IN LOW LYING AREAS ALONG THE COAST.
AT PANAMA CITY…HIGH TIDE 611 AM THURSDAY…LOW TIDE 425 PM THURSDAY.
AT DESTIN…HIGH TIDE 755 AM THURSDAY…LOW TIDE 637 PM THURSDAY.
HIGH SURF OF 9 TO 13 FEET…WITH HIGHER SETS UP TO 15 FEET WILL BE POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY ALONG THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE COAST FROM DESTIN TO SAINT GEORGE ISLAND IN FRANKLIN COUNTY. MUCH LOWER SURF HEIGHTS OF 3 TO 6 FEET ARE EXPECTED EAST OF SAINT GEORGE ISLAND TO ALLIGATOR POINT.
A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR COASTAL FLOODING ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP. COASTAL RESIDENTS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR LATER STATEMENTS OR ARNINGS…AND TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT PROPERTY.
Small Craft Advisory
A Small Craft Advisory is effect from 8 a.m. EDT this morning through Saturday afternoon. The forecast is as follows:
COASTAL WATERS FROM APALACHICOLA TO DESTIN FL OUT 20 NM- COASTAL WATERS FROM OCHLOCKONEE RIVER TO APALACHICOLA FL OUT TO 20 NM-
EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS BUILDING TO 4 TO 6 FEET ALONG THE COAST…6 TO 9 FEET OFFSHORE. PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS…BECOMING SOUTHEAST AND INCREASING TO 20 TO 25 KNOTS AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS BUILDING TO 6 TO 9 FEET ALONG THE COAST…9 TO 12 FEET OFFSHORE. PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY…INCREASING TO ROUGH AFTER MIDNIGHT. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SOUTHEAST WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS…DECREASING TO 15 TO 20 KNOTS IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 7 TO 9 FEET ALONG THE COAST…9 TO 12 FEET OFFSHORE. PROTECTED WATERS OUGH…DECREASING TO CHOPPY IN THE AFTERNOON. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SOUTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 6 TO 8 ALONG THE COAST…8 TO 11 FEET OFFSHORE. PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SOUTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS…DECREASING TO 10 TO 15 KNOTS IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 5 TO 7 FEET ALONG THE COAST…7 TO 9 FEET OFFSHORE. PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY…DECREASING TO A LIGHT TO MODERATE CHOP IN THE AFTERNOON. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
EAST WINDS AROUND 10 KNOTS. SEAS 5 TO 7 FEET. PROTECTED WATERS A LIGHT CHOP. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SOUTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 10 KNOTS. SEAS 5 TO 7 FEET…SUBSIDING TO 4 TO 6 FEET IN THE AFTERNOON. PROTECTED
WATERS SMOOTH TO A LIGHT CHOP.
Current readings from the buoy 115NM ESE of Pensacola (28°47’28” N 86°0’29” W) are reporting wave heights of approximately 10.2 feet with wind gusts to 25.3 kts.
More updates to follow.