Light to moderate south to southwest winds will rapidly increase to high end Small Craft Advisory levels across the western legs of the coastal waters Tuesday morning spreading to the eastern legs into Tuesday evening.
Seas will follow a similar progression Tuesday evening into Wednesday.
This is due to an approaching front that will stall north of the coastal waters tonight as a much stronger low pressure system begins to develop off to our west.
A squall line of showers and thunderstorms (some strong to severe) will push eastward ahead of the front and across the marine area Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Also...a period of gale force winds cannot be ruled out at this time...before winds shift to the northwest and slowly subside.
Much lighter winds and lower seas are expected by late this week.
Forecast as of 3:32 PM EST on December 24, 2012
Small Craft Advisory in effect from Tuesday morning through late Wednesday night
Coastal Waters From Apalachicola To Destin Fl Out 20 Nm-
Waters From Apalachicola To Destin Fl From 20 To 60 Nm-
Southwest wind 15 to 20 knots becoming south 5 to 10 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet subsiding to 2 to 4 feet. Protected waters a moderate chop becoming light. Showers and isolated thunderstorms likely after midnight. Areas of fog after midnight.
South wind 10 to 15 knots becoming southeast 20 to 25 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Protected waters a moderate chop increasing to rough. Showers and thunderstorms likely in the morning...then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some storms could be strong to severe.
Southeast wind 20 to 25 knots becoming south 25 to 30 knots in the late evening. Seas 6 to 7 feet building to 9 to 11 feet after midnight. Protected waters rough increasing to very rough in the late evening. Showers and thunderstorms. Some could be strong to severe.
West wind 30 to 35 knots becoming 25 to 30 knots late in the morning...then becoming northwest 20 to 25 knots early in the afternoon. Seas 10 to 13 feet. Protected waters very rough becoming rough early in the afternoon...then becoming choppy late in the afternoon. A chance of showers in the morning.
Northwest wind around 20 knots becoming north 10 to 15 knots in the late evening. Seas 7 to 9 feet subsiding to 6 to 7 feet after midnight. Protected waters choppy becoming a light to moderate chop in the late evening.
North wind around 10 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Protected waters smooth.
East wind around 10 knots. Seas 1 to 2 feet. Protected waters smooth.
East wind 5 to 10 knots increasing to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. Seas 1 to 2 feet. Protected waters smooth increasing to a light to moderate chop in the afternoon. A chance of rain through the day.
South wind 15 to 20 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Protected waters choppy. A chance of rain in the evening...then rain likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms after midnight.
West wind around 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Protected waters choppy. Rain likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms.