Franklin County Emergency Department is advising residents to expect the first wave of severe weather Friday morning into the afternoon, with a second wave forecast Friday night into Saturday morning.
“All hazards are possible with both waves including heavy rainfall, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail,” wrote Emergency Management Director Pam Brownell in a news release Friday morning.
The advisory said “the potentially significant severe event expected Friday night as a cold front moves across the area (would be) a large squall line that could produce localized thunderstorm gust in excess of 70 mph in addition to isolated tornadoes.”
It said the “higher damaging wind risk is going to be after midnight Friday and into Saturday morning. “
The advisory said flash flooding is possible across much of North Florida and far as southern Georgia on Friday, with an additional 4 to 6 inches of rainfall through Saturday morning. A flood watch is in effect through Saturday morning.
On Saturday, sustained winds of 20 to 25 mph, with gusts to 40 mph over land areas, are expected. The weather will turn colder with low temperatures by Sunday morning below freezing across the region. Some areas may experience wind chills Sunday morning less than 20 degrees, it said.
The advisory encouraged residents to check on elderly neighbors to make sure they will be safe and warm, to bring pets indoors early, to protect cold sensitive plants and vegetation., and to make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
The advisory reminded residents to never leave a portable heating source unattended, and to keep all flammable materials at a safe distance from heaters. It noted that residents should not overload a circuit with too many appliances, to secure yard items in advance of signifcant wind and rain, and to adhere to the current county-wide fire ban.