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Tropical Storm Sally Drops Heavy Rain on Southeast U.S.

Tropical Storm Sally dropped heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. on Wednesday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Sally was located at latitude 31.2°N and longitude 86.8°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) west of Dothan, Alabama.  Sally was moving toward the northeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Indian Pass, Florida.

The winds to tropical storm force were occurring in bands over the Gulf of Mexico in the southern part of Tropical Storm Sally.  Most of the winds over land were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  A NOAA C-MAN station at Ft. Morgan, Alabama measured a sustained wind speed 98 m.p.h. (158 km/h) and a peak wind gust of 121 m.p.h. (195 km/h) when the western eyewall passed over it.  Another weather station at Bon Secour, Alabama measured a sustained wind speed of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h).  There were reports of widespread power outages in Alabama.  The Pensacola Naval Air Station reported a wind gust of 82 m.p.h. (132 km/h).

The wind pushed the water toward the coast and there was a storm surge over the barrier sialnds and along the coast of Alabama and northwest Florida.  Since the eye of Sally passed east of Mobile, Alabama, northerly winds pushed the water out of Mobile Bay and the water level dropped several feet.  Heavy rain fell north and east of the center of Sally and creeks an rivers were rising quickly in parts of southern Alabama and northwestern Florida.

Tropical Storm Sally will move northeast across Southeast Alabama on Wednesday night.  Sally will be over Georgia on Thursday and it will be over South Carolina on Thursday night.  Tropical Storm Sally will continue to drop heavy rain over those areas and Flash Flood Watches were in effect for parts of northwestern Florida, southern Alabama, Georgia, western North Carolina and western South Carolina.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Teddy was on a track that could take it near Bermuda in a few days.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Teddy was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 50.8°W which put it about 710 miles (1145 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Teddy was moving toward the northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

Hurricane Sally Makes Landfall Near Gulf Shores

The center of Hurricane Sally officially made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday morning.  At 6:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Sally was located at latitude 30.3°N and longitude 87.7°W which put it near Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Sally was moving toward the north-northeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure as 965 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border and from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass, Florida.

Hurricane Sally strengthened to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Tuesday night as it ground its way slowly toward the Gulf Coast.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of Sally.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Sally was 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 29.0.  Hurricane Sally was capable of causing regional serious damage.  The winds were pushing water toward the coast and a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters) was possible.

Hurricane Sally will move slowly northeast across Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama.  Sally will slowly weaken as it moves inland, but it will cause widespread power outages in those areas.  Since Hurricane Sally will move slowly, it will drop heavy rain.  Flash Flood Watches extend from the Gulf Coast to Georgia and North Carolina.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Teddy rapidly intensified into a Category 2 hurricane, Hurricane Paulette passes south of Newfoundland and Tropical Storm Vicky moved farther away from the Cabo Verde Islands.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Teddy was located at latitude 15.4°N and longitude 49.0°W which put it about 820 miles (1315 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Teddy was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Paulette was located at latitude 41.9°N and longitude 49.1°W which put it about 385 miles (620 km) south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.  Paulette was moving toward the east-northeast at 29 m.p.h. (46 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Vicky was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 33.9°W which put the center about 755 miles (1215 km) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Vicky was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were ind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Storm Isaias Slightly Stronger, Hurricane Watch Issued for Carolinas

Tropical Storm Isaias strengthened slightly on Sunday afternoon and a hurricane Watch was issued for a portion of the Carolinas’ coast.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 27.8°N and longitude 79.8°W which put it about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Isaias was moving toward the north-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Sebastian Inlet, Florida to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina to Watch Hill, Rhode Island including Albemarle Sound, Pamlico Sound, Long Island and Long Island Sound.

Tropical Storm Isaias strengthened a little on Sunday afternoon, but the middle level center of circulation was displaced to the northeast of the surface center.  An upper level trough over the central U.S. extended to the Gulf of Mexico and it was producing westerly winds which were blowing toward the top of Isaias.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they were also causing the displacement of the middle level center of Tropical Storm Isaias.  Thunderstorms continued to develop around the middle level center of circulation.  Those storms generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) on the eastern side of Isaias.  Tropical Storm force winds only extended out 65 miles (105 km) on the western side of the circulation.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The direction of the upper level winds will shift to the southwest as the upper level trough approaches Tropical Storm Isaias.  That will cause the vertical wind shear to decrease.  Tropical Storm Isaias could strengthen into a hurricane, if the shear decreases.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the north during the next 12 hours.  The upper level trough will steer Tropical Storm Isaias toward the northeast on Monday.  On its anticipated track Isaias will approach the coast of the Carolinas near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Monday night.  Isaias could be a hurricane when it makes landfall.  It will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to extreme eastern South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and coastal Virginia.  Isaias will cause a storm surge of 3  to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) near and to the east of where the center makes landfall.  Tropical Storm Isaias will continue to move up the East Coast toward New England.

Isaias Crosses Andros Island, Weakens to Tropical Storm

The center of former Hurricane Isaias crossed Andros Island on Saturday afternoon and it weakened to a tropical storm.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 25.1°N and longitude 78.7°W which put it about 115 miles (185 km) southeast of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Boca Raton, Florida to the Flagler/Volusia County Line.  A Hurricane Waning was also in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island, and Bimini.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Ocean Reef to Boca Raton, Florida and from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for Lake Okeechobee.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The center of former Hurricane Isaias crossed over Andros Island on Saturday afternoon.  Normally, Andros Island does not have much of an impact on hurricanes, but combined with a less favorable environment it contributed to a temporary weakening of Isaias.   Tropical Storm Isaias consisted primarily of bands of showers and lower clouds after crossing Andros Island.  However, new thunderstorms began to develop northeast of the center of circulation during the past several hours and part of the eyewall appeared to be reforming.  Bands in the western and southern parts of Isaias still consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (145 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over the central U.S. will produce westerly winds which blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear, but they are likely to only affect the very top of the tropical storm.  Tropical Storm Isaias will move into a region where there is drier air in the middle and upper troposphere.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias will reorganize and it is likely to strengthen back into a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 24 hours.  Isaias will move more toward the north later on Sunday.  The upper level trough will turn Isaias toward the northeast on Monday.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Isaias is will approach the southeast coast of Florida near Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on Sunday.  Isaias is likely to be a hurricane when it approaches the coast.

Hurricane Isaias Forces Hurricane Warning for Florida

The threat posed by Hurricane Isaias forced the issuance of a Hurricane Warning for Florida on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Isaias was located at latitude 22.6°N and longitude 75.7°W which put it about 195 miles (320 km) south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 991 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Boca Raton, Florida to the Volusia/ Brevard County Line.  Hurricane Warnings were also in effect for all of the Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to the Volusia/Brevard County Line and from Hallendale Beach to Boca Raton.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, Ocean Reef to Boca Raton, Florida and Lake Okeechobee.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Flagler. Volusia County Line to Ponte Vedra, Florida.

The core of Hurricane Isaias exhibited greater organization on Friday afternoon.  Images from weather radar in the Bahamas and microwave sensors onboard satellites indicated that an eyewall was wrapping around the center of circulations.  The strongest winds were occurring in the ring of storms in the developing eyewall.  Storms near the center of Isaias were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Isaias.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) from the center.

Hurricane Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Isaias will strengthen on Saturday and it could intensify more rapidly once the inner core is fully formed.  Isaias could intensify into a major hurricane while it moves over the Bahamas.

Hurricane Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 24 hours.  It will turn the hurricane more toward the north during the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Isaias will move over the Central Bahamas on Friday night.  Isaias could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Hurricane Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Hurricane Isaias will bring strong winds to the southeast coast of Florida.  Those winds will blow the water toward the coast and they will create a dangerous storm surge.  Isaias will continue to produce strong winds and locally heavy rain in the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. Heavy rain could cause flash floods. Hurricane Isaias will also generate a dangerous storm surge in parts of the Bahamas.

Isaias Rapidly Intensifies into a Hurricane Southeast of the Bahamas

Former Tropical Storm Isaias rapidly intensified into a hurricane southeast of the Bahamas on Thursday night.  At 11:40 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Isaias was located at latitude 20.3°N and longitude 72.1°W which put it about 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Great Inagua.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were issued for all of the Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

A reconnaissance plane sampling former Tropical Storm Isaias on Thursday night found winds to hurricane force and a decrease in surface pressure.  The core of Hurricane Isaias organized quickly after it moved over the warm water north of the Dominican Republic.  A band of strong thunderstorms wrapped around the western side of the center of circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 30 miles to the northeast of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) to the north and east of Isaias in the parts of the circulation that were over water.  Thunderstorms near the center of circulations were generating upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm and allowed the pressure to decrease.   Brands of thunderstorms were wrapping around the eastern and northern sides of the circulation.

Hurricane Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Isaias will strengthen on Friday and it could intensify more rapidly once an inner core consolidates.  Isaias could intensify into a major hurricane while it moves over the Bahamas.

Hurricane Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 36 hours.  It will turn the hurricane more toward the north on the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system. On its anticipated track Hurricane Isaias will move over the Southeastern Bahamas on Friday morning.  Isaias will move over the Central Bahamas later on Friday and it could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Hurricane Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Hurricane Isaias will bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.  Hurricane Isaias will also generate a dangerous storm surge in the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Isaias Reorganizes North of Dominican Republic, Watch Issued for South Florida

The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias reorganized near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on Thursday afternoon and Tropical Storm Watches were issued for part of the coast of southeast Florida.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 19.5°N and longitude 70.6°W which put it about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

The low level center of Tropical Storm Isaias moved across the eastern part of the Dominican Republic on Thursday.  The middle and upper parts of Isaias skirted along the east coast of Hispaniola.  The various levels of Tropical Storm Isaias appeared to be reconsolidating near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic just to the east of Puerto Plata.  New thunderstorms were forming near the reorganizing center of Isaias.  Those storms were generating upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm and allowed the pressure to decrease.  Brands of thunderstorms were wrapping around the eastern and northern sides of the circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in the portions of those bands over water.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias tightened up on Thursday.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) to the north and east of Isaias in the parts of the circulation that were over water.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification once it moves past Hispaniola.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Isaias will intensify when it moves north of Hispaniola and it could intensify rapidly once an inner core consolidates.  Isaias could intensify to a hurricane on Friday and it could strengthen into a major hurricane during the weekend.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 36 hours.  It will turn the tropical storm more toward the north on the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Isaias will move over the Turks and Caicos by Friday morning.  Isaias will move over the the Bahamas on Friday and it could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Tropical Storm Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Tropical Storm Isaias will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.

Tropical Storm Nestor Causes Severe Weather in Florida

Tropical Storm Nestor caused severe weather in Florida.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Nestor was located at latitude 29.7°N and longitude 85.1°W which put it about 5 miles (10 km) west of Apalachicola, Florida.  Nestor was moving toward the east-northeast at 23 m.p.h. (38 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ochlockonee River to Suwanee River, Florida.

Tropical Storm Nestor began a transition to an extratropical cyclone as it approached the coast of Florida.  Strong westerly winds in the middle latitudes created significant vertical wind shear.  In addition, the circulation around Nestor pulled cooler, drier air into the western and southern parts of the tropical storm.  The effects of the upper level westerly winds and cooler, drier air caused the strongest rising motion to occur in bands well to the east of the center of circulation.  The strongest thunderstorms occurred in bands southeast of the low level center.

The vertical wind shear was strong enough that rotation developed in some of the thunderstorms over the Florida Peninsula.  Several tornado warnings were issued on Friday night because radar indicated likely rotation.  There were reports of property damage due to possible tornadoes in Cape Coral in Lee County, near Winston in Polk County, in Plant City in Hillsborough County and in Seminole in Pinellas County.

The center of Tropical Storm Nestor officially made landfall on St. Vincent Island west of Apalachicola on Saturday afternoon.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms had moved east of Florida by Saturday afternoon.  There were still bands of showers and thunderstorms moving over the Florida Peninsula.  Flow diverging from a surface high pressure system centered over the northeastern U.S. was converging with the flow around the northern part of Tropical Storm Nestor.  The convergence was generating a large area of rising motion.  Showers and thunderstorms were occurring over northern Florida, southeastern Alabama, southern Georgia and parts of South Carolina.

Tropical Storm Nestor will move toward the northeast as an extratropical cyclone during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the center of Nestor will move across southern Georgia and near the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina.  The low pressure system will continue to drop rain over those areas.  There has been below normal rainfall over the southeastern U.S. in recent weeks.  So, the rain is unlikely to cause flooding in most places.

Tropical Storm Nestor Speeds Toward Northwest Florida

Tropical Storm Nestor sped toward northwest Florida on Friday afternoon.  The National Hurricane Center designated a strong low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Nestor on Friday afternoon.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Nestor was located at latitude 26.3°N and longitude 89.5°W which put it about 355 miles (570 km) southwest of Panama City, Florida.  Nestor was moving toward the northeast at 22 m.p.h. (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi and from the Mississippi/Alabama border to Yankeetown, Florida.  A Storm Surge Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Indian Pass to Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Tropical Storm Nestor exhibited an asymmetrical structure that is commonly seen in late season tropical storms over the Gulf of Mexico.  The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern side of Nestor.  Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The tropical storm force winds were occurring in the eastern half of Tropical Storm Nestor.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) in the eastern side of the circulation.  The winds in the western half of Nestor were mostly less than tropical storm force.

Drier air was being pulled around the western side of Tropical Storm Nestor.  In addition, an upper level trough over the western Gulf of Mexico was producing southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear.  The combination of the drier air and the vertical wind shear was responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms and strong winds in the eastern half of the circulation.

Tropical Storm Nestor will move through an environment only marginally favorable for further intensification during the next 12 hours.  Nestor will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  So, there is plenty of energy in the upper part of the Gulf of Mexico to support intensification.  However, the drier air and wind shear will inhibit intensification.  Tropical Storm Nestor will start a transition to an extratropical cyclone on Saturday.  Nestor could strengthen somewhat during the extratropical transition, but it could be over land before that occurs.

The upper level trough over the Western Gulf of Mexico will steer Nestor quickly toward the northeast during the next 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nestor could make landfall on the coast of northwest Florida between Panama City and Apalachicola.  Nestor will bring gusty winds to northern Florida on Saturday.  Strong southerly winds on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Nestor will push water toward the coast and a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) will occur around the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.  Nestor could drop locally heavy rain over parts of northern Florida, southeast Alabama, southern Georgia and South Carolina.  Tropical Storm Nestor will make landfall near where Hurricane Michael did so much damage in 2018.  Recovery efforts have been slow in that area and Nestor could set back the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Michael.

Low Pressure System Forms Over Southwest Gulf of Mexico

A surface low pressure system formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of the low pressure system was located at latitude 20.8°N and longitude 95.4°W which put it about 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Nautla, Mexico.  The low was moving toward the north at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

The northern end of a trough of low pressure moved over the Bay of Campeche on Wednesday and a surface low formed when the trough moved over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of the low pressure system.  Divergence from a surface high pressure system over the U.S. was converging with the northern periphery of the circulation around the surface low and a band of showers and thunderstorms was occurring over the west central Gulf of Mexico.  Storms near the center of the low were starting to generate some upper level divergence.

The low pressure system will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  The low will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak and divergent.  The low could intensify slowly if it gets better organized on Thursday.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 60% probability of formation of either a tropical or subtropical storm.  A reconnaissance plane has been tentatively tasked to investigate the low pressure system on Thursday afternoon.

The upper level ridge over the surface low pressure system will steer the low toward the northeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the low could approach the northeastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.  The low will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain.  The winds will generate higher waves and there could be a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters).