Unsafe storm surge expected from potential tropical storm hitting Florida Saturday


If Tropical Cyclone 16 strengthens into a tropical storm, it will be called Nestor. On the forecast track, the system will approach the northern Gulf coast Friday and Friday night.Maximum sustained winds are near 35 miles per hour (55 km/h) with higher gusts.

Computer models are consistent in the storm closing in on landfall sometime Saturday, with impacts being felt as early as Friday evening in places like Mobile, Alabama and Panama City, Fla.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to Florida's Yankeetown and from Grand Island Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River.

There is a tropical storm warning in effect for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

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The National Weather Service warned that "strong winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge flooding, and risky rip currents are likely". Since soils across the southeast are dry, the risk of flash flooding will be confined to the immediate coast where heavier rainfall is possible.

Significant impacts are now not expected in North Escambia beyond rain and breezy conditions. Tropical storm watches and warnings, as well as storm surge warnings, have been issued in several Gulf states, including Florida. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. It will likely become Tropical Storm Nestor over the next couple of days. Neighboring counties Pinellas and Pasco are now under a storm surge warning, and the system's track could shift. However, lightning is also a threat from the storm system and could delay some games. An AccuWeather Local StormMax of 6 inches is most likely along the upper Gulf coast of Florida and perhaps along the North Carolina coast. The rain will certainly provide some much-needed drought relief. Last year, Category 5 Hurricane Michael was born out of a small-scale area of low pressure that became embedded in a large cyclonic gyre over Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center's post-tropical cyclone report on Michael.

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