In Saturday’s earliest hours, Tropical Storm Nestor smacked Florida Gulf Coast beaches with storm surge and 50 mph winds.
By Saturday’s middle hours, Nestor was recast as a post-tropical cyclone, with a dry space between its center and the rest of the storm described as having a “comma cloud pattern.”
“Little change in strength is anticipated before Nestor reaches the coast, followed by slight weakening after the cyclone moves inland,” the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory forecasts.
Nestor’s sustained winds near 50 mph as of the 11 a.m. advisory, but appeared to be weakening. The advisory said an Apalachee Bay weather station measured 37 mph sustained winds with a 56 mph gust. Buoys offshore of the Gulf Coast reported 50 mph gusts Saturday morning.
The storm’s moving east northeast at 9 mph, 70 miles south southwest of Panama City. Tropical storm force winds extend 185 miles from the center.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from Indian Pass all the way around to Yankeetown, a coastal city almost directly west of Ocala. Expect tornadoes and, in most places, 2 to 4 inches of rain. The area from Indian Pass down to Clearwater Beach, where storm surge is expected to be 2 to 5 feet, is under a storm surge warning.
Nestor’s advance party included tornadoes over Central Florida.