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article imageTropical Storm warnings issued as system heads to Gulf states

By Karen Graham     Oct 17, 2019 in Environment
A disorganized area of storms in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm Thursday as it heads toward the US Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
As of 1:00 p.m. CDT, the tropical system was located about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Tampico, Mexico and nearly 600 miles (965 kilometers) southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving toward the north at 7 mph (11 kph). The storm has sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts.
Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 has a 90 percent chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical storm over the next two days, the NHC said. Should strengthening take place, the system will be called Nestor. The system is expected to have a potential landfall along the north-central Gulf region on Saturday.
The system is expected to continue to intensify, and tropical storm watches and warnings and storm surge watches have been issued for parts of the Gulf Coast, from Louisiana into Florida. The storm system will also bring heavy rain and possible flooding tomorrow and through the weekend from the Gulf Coast into the Southeast.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Ochlockonee River, Florida to Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Subtropical systems have slightly different meteorological characteristics than tropical storms, however, in terms of hazards such as rain, wind and higher tides, they are much the same.
The disturbance is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches this weekend from the central Gulf Coast and northern and central Florida to the eastern Carolinas, with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by late Friday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
There is always a risk with high tides and storm surge that cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle and can vary greatly over short distances.
If the peak storm surge occurs at the time of high tide - The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas: Indian Pass FL to Chassahowitzka FL...3 to 5 ft and Chassahowitzka to Clearwater Beach FL...2 to 4 ft
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