PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Beach conditions may look nice, but changes come as the tropical system developing in the Gulf churns the waters.
Beachgoers will notice an increase in southerly winds that will drive up surf and seas very quickly starting Wednesday, and lasting through the weekend.
National Weather Service marine forecast is calling for wind speeds on the Gulf of Mexico and near the coastline to increase to 20 kts (about 25 mph) Wednesday night, and 20 to 25 kts (25 to 30 mph) by Thursday night.
This increase in wind speed will be responsible for pushing seas on the Gulf up to 6 to 9 feet by Thursday, with seas likely reaching 7 to 10 feet, occasionally up to 13 feet, through the weekend.
A Small Craft Advisory and Rip Current Statements have been posted for the panhandle, and double red flags will be flying on Panama City Beach by Thursday morning.
Double red flags will likely fly through the weekend as well, meaning the Gulf waters are CLOSED to swimmers.