Several advisories remain in effect as heavy rain and possible thunderstorms threaten the Emerald Coast through the afternoon.

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UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: The Tornado Watch focused on Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties has expired, but several advisories remain in effect. According to the National Weather Service, a High Surf Advisory will be observed until 1 a.m. Tuesday, while dangerous rip currents are expected in Gulf of Mexico waters through 7 p.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: The National Weather Service has scaled back its Tornado Watch from 10 counties to just three — Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa.

Original Story

A Tornado Watch was issued at 7:05 a.m. Monday for 10 counties across Northwest Florida as a strong storm system barrels toward the region.

Announced as areas of concern in the Tornado Watch are Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties. The advisory is currently in effect until 1 p.m.

That same Tornado Watch advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. in eight southern Louisiana parishes plus three counties in Mississippi as the storm system begins its trek across the southeastern part of the country.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are right for tornadoes to form in any storms. On Sunday, Louisiana had several confirmed tornadoes as the storm system moved into the state from Texas. Two people were killed, including a 3-year-old girl, in Breaux Bridge. A tornado emergency was declared in Alexandria, another city located in the central portion of the state.

“The storms will first tear through New Orleans and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during the morning hours before setting their sights on Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, during the afternoon,” AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliott said Monday morning, previewing the storm's track.

In a 6:40 a.m. post Monday, NWS issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Northwest Florida noting: A strong storm system will move east across the region today, bringing the potential for a line of strong to severe storms. Damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes are possible. A few strong tornadoes could be possible.

The weather service also noted that at the present time a Flash Flood Watch will not be issued. NWS will monitor the storm and adjust the Flash Flood Watch as needed.

On Sunday morning, the system was located over a large portion of central and north Texas, producing large hail and damaging winds that left thousands without power.

A High Surf Advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. Tuesday for all beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and the coastal areas of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Also noted was a high risk of rip currents in the same areas through Tuesday evening, plus a Coastal Flood Advisory that will be in effect from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday. Obviously, red flags will be flying on beaches due to the rip currents, so venturing into the water will create a life-threatening situation for swimmers.

The High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing localized beach erosion and dangerous swimming conditions.

The Coastal Flood Advisory indicates that tides are expected to be 1 to 2 feet above normal, which relates to a total height of 2 to 4 feet above the mean sea level. Flooding is possible for all inland bays and sounds, and all beaches along the Gulf of Mexico for Alabama and Northwest Florida.

Another warning issued by the weather service is a Wind Advisory that will be in place until 10 p.m. Monday. It was emphasized the major wind concern will come during the afternoon hours.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 25 to 39 mph or frequent gusts of 30 to 39 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.