PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — At 700 pm CDT the center of Tropical Storm Nestor was located about 215 miles southwest of Panama City and moving toward the northeast at 22 mph with a minimum central pressure of 999 mb.
Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts, and some strengthening is possible tonight before Nestor reaches the coast.
A general northeast motion is expected to continue through Saturday morning when the center of the storm will move inland over the Florida Panhandle, and will then move across portions of the southeastern U.S. later in the day on Saturday.
Nestor is forecast to weaken after it moves inland, and it is expected to lose tropical characteristics and become post-tropical on Saturday evening.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, mainly to the northeast and east of the center.
The following are the expected impacts in North Florida from Tropical Storm Nestor through at least midday Saturday:
Life threatening inundation of up to 5 feet is expected for coastal areas from Indian Pass in Gulf County eastward to Dixie County. A storm surge warning is in effect for those areas. Minor coastal flooding with inundation less than 3 feet is expected in Gulf, Bay and Walton County where a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect.
Sustained tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or greater are expected near the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend coasts. Across inland portions of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, although sustained winds may not quite reach tropical storm force, frequent tropical storm force wind gusts are expected, especiallyin heavier rain squalls. Thus, the wind impacts are expected to be similar and the tropical storm watch for the inland portions of the panhandle and big bend has been upgraded to a tropical storm warning.
The tornado threat is elevated across eastern portions of the panhandle and big bend, where a couple of tornadoes are possible.
Given the fast moving nature of the system combined with the ongoing drought, the threat for widespread flooding rainis minimal overall. Widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are expected across portions of southeast alabama and adjacent southwest georgia with widespread 2 to 4 inch amounts expected forthe florida panhandle and adjacent section of south-central georgia. Localized amounts near the coast could be as high as 6 inches. The greatest threat for localized flash flooding appears to be for urban and poor drainage areas across the panhandle and big bend where rainfall rates are expected to be the heaviest.
You can also track the latest on Tropical Storm Nestor by downloading the WMBB VIPIR mobile app for Android here or iOS here, and the next full advisory from the National Hurricane Center comes out at 10 pm CDT.