That means the water is CLOSED to swimmers

DESTIN —  Due to dangerous high surf and rip current conditions, all Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa County beaches will fly double red flags and close the water to swimmers for at least the rest of the day Thursday.

That includes Navarre Beach, Okaloosa Island, Destin, Miramar Beach, Sandestin and Santa Rosa Beach, as well as all beaches on County Road 30A.

Okaloosa County spokesman Christopher Saul said Beach Safety Chiefs will continue to monitor conditions as weather events in the Gulf of Mexico further impact the area, and the Public Safety Department will release more information when it becomes available.

The South Walton Fire Department warned the public to "stay out of the water" due to "threatening rip currents."

"Stay on dry sand," the agency urged in a tweet.

The Navarre Beach Fire Department said double red flags were flying in Navarre as well, and expected the water to be closed for at least the remainder of Thursday and possibly into Friday.

The surf conditions are being caused by a weather system headed this way that may bring strong to severe thunderstorms to the area this afternoon and tonight, according to the Mobile office of the National Weather Service.