Tropical Disturbance 16 in the Gulf of Mexico has now formed into Tropical Storm Nestor, with a center of low pressure detected. The cone of uncertainty has moved east of our area, however, the track of the storm could change, so all residents should be watching T.S. Nestor.
KEY POINTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE:
- The forecast track has shifted a bit more east. The chance of tropical storm force winds has decreased slightly across the Alabama coast. If this trend continues, the tropical storm warning could be discontinued for Alabama later today.
- The system will be quickly organizing today, so there is some uncertainty in the track. Hurricane hunters are finding maximum sustained winds around 60 mph, so the intensity forecast has been raised at landfall to 65 mph, east of our area.
- Minor coastal flooding possible late tonight (near high tide) in typically flood prone areas along immediate coast. However, with the center of the storm likely to track east of the area, winds will become offshore sooner, which will limit the threat for minor flooding.
- Surf heights will build to 8-12 feet from Fort Morgan, Alabama eastward to Destin tonight. Seas will begin to quickly diminish on Saturday, but a high risk of rip currents will persist through Saturday night. Rip currents are our area’s biggest killer. Heed lifeguard instructions and stay out of the water.
- Rain and winds will gradually increase this afternoon into night. Conditions will improve Saturday morning. The earliest reasonable time of arrival of tropical storm force winds (40-50 mph) along the coast (south of I-10) will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today. However, the most likely time coastal areas could see tropical storm force winds will be after 7 p.m.
- Schools in Santa Rosa County are in normal session today, Fri., Oct. 18. All after school activities for Friday are cancelled. For now, school events scheduled for Sat., Oct. 19 will continue as scheduled. The school board will continue to monitor the weather closely and update if necessary.
- Sand for sandbags is available in the four usual locations in the county. Bags can be purchased at local hardware supply stores including Lowe’s.
- Pine Forest Road and Carroll Street in Milton
- Pace Fire Rescue District in Pace
- Leisure Street in Navarre
- Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze