NEW YORK — Tropical Storm Hermine formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday after much delay.
Florida is on alert as the storm is expected to head northeast making landfall by late Thursday into Friday. The storm will continue to head in a northeasterly direction causing some concern for our region by late Saturday.
As of Wednesday evening, Hermine has gradually strengthened with winds of 45 mph and made that turn toward the panhandle of Florida.
The storm has been bringing a lot of rain across the Florida Peninsula since the past weekend.
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued across a good section of the Panhandle and down toward Tampa.
In addition, a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the same location as there will be a possibility that it could be a minimum category 1 hurricane right before landfall sometime between late Thursday night into Friday.
The storm surge associated with Hermine may reach between 3 to 6 feet along the coastline. The biggest threat is the tremendous amount rainfall that will occur not only in Florida, but also Georgia and the Carolinas.
Generally speaking widespread amounts of 5 to 10 inches of rain are possible making the risk of flooding very high. In extreme cases, isolated amounts of 20” in Florida cannot be ruled out.
By late Saturday night, what’s left of Hermine will exit North Carolina and showers may develop across our neck of the woods with the brunt of the storm around here on Sunday.
Now the exact details on how it will affect us is still to be determined. This has been a difficult storm for the models to have a good grasp and being that its 72-96 hours from arriving in our area, a lot may change in between.
We do know that the rip currents will continue to be treacherous leading into the weekend. By Saturday, it could down be dangerous as the surf picks up well ahead of the storm. Showers could move in as early Saturday night and Sunday looks to be when we get the worst of it in terms of rain and wind. Eventually it should taper off through Labor Day itself.
How much rain and wind? Who gets the worst of it? These are all questions that have to be figured out we get closer to the weekend.