Tropical storm warnings for Gulf Coast as system strengthens

Tropical storm warnings for Gulf Coast as system strengthens”

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Ochlockonee River, Florida, and from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River.

Though the system hasn't technically become a tropical storm, its circulation continues to consolidate and organize.

The storm is forecast to weaken after landfall as it crosses through Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Currently, Manatee County is located outside of the predicted area of impact for tropical storm conditions and storm surge, but gale warnings and high surf advisories are in effect for Manatee County as of Friday morning.

A disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico became Tropical Storm Nestor on Friday afternoon.

The storm is predicted to bring strong winds, heavy rainfall and flash flooding to impacted areas.

The potential tropical storm headed toward Florida's Panhandle still hasn't strengthened into a tropical storm, but it's picked up speed and strength as it crosses the warm Gulf waters.

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Tropical Storm Warnings have been extended from the Aucilla River to Yankeetown, Fla.

The latest projected path from the National Hurricane Center shows Nestor likely making landfall somewhere on the Florida Panhandle as a minimal tropical or subtropical storm. It had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour and was moving to the northeast at 22 miles per hour.

Hurricane hunter crews will most likely check out the system later Thursday.

The winds will be confined predominantly to the center and the range won't stretch too far out, staying out of Louisiana and not arriving along the Florida coast until late Friday night/early Saturday morning.

The system could dump from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain from the central Gulf Coast to the eastern Carolinas, where many areas are dried out from weeks without rain, and as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) in spots, forecasters said. Areas west of I-75 and across southern Georgia could pick up 3 inches of rain. This is a very favourable environment for tropical systems to develop before the later part of the season when temperatures eventually cool.

While this system is not expected to cause extreme damage, localized moderate damage is predicted as impacts such as coastal flooding will unfold.

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