Rains and flooding ring in the New Year


Thunderstorms surround the Holt area at 6 p.m. Monday. (Image courtesy The Weather Channel)

HOLT, Fla., Jan. 2, 2017—The New Year brought with it heavy rains as severe weather rolled through Jan. 1 and 2.

An active weather day Monday, the National Weather Service in Mobile issued a tornado warning for Escambia County, including Pensacola, earlier in the afternoon. No tornado had been sighted; however, the weather service issued a warning because conditions were right for tornado activity.

The storm associated with the tornado warning appeared to bypass the Holt area; however, a tornado watch including northwest Okaloosa County was issued until 8 p.m. Monday night.

About 4:30 p.m., strong thunderstorms roared through the area, bringing strong winds and heavy rain in a short period of time.

After a brief reprieve in the rainfall, a second line of strong thunderstorms rolled through the area around 6:30 p.m., again bringing winds and heavy rains. Cloud-to-ground lightning occurred during both storms, according to the NWS.

In addition to the torrential rainfall, at 4:48 p.m., the NWS also issued flash flood warnings for Okaloosa County due to 6-8 inches of rain that had fallen during the day. Doppler radar indicated the possibility of 3-4 inches of rain every three hours with 2-3 inches possibly falling in a one-hour period.

Flood warnings remain in effect until Tuesday afternoon, according to the NWS in Mobile.

Stephanie Holcombe

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