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Flood Watch for Fla. Panhandle

A flood watch is in effect for most of the Florida Panhandle as a tropical storm is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico (search) today.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee (search) issued the flood watch, which will be effect until 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

Meteorologists said scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue as winds from Tropical Storm Arlene (search) extend outward up to 140 miles.

Steady rain and occasional squalls are expected to increase the risk of flash flooding, meteorologists said.

A tropical storm watch is in effect from central Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, where 3 to 4 inches of rainfall has already accumulated over the past two weeks. Officials say rivers in the area are running well above normal for this time of year, and a lot of drainage systems still have debris in them from last year's Hurricane Ivan.