Tropical Storm Nestor forms in the Gulf of Mexico, targets Florida panhandle
A storm in the central Gulf of Mexico became better organized Friday to form as Tropical Storm Nestor.
The storm is still battling wind shear, which is clear from satellite imagery showing a very lopsided storm. The warm ocean waters in the central Gulf and increased tropical moisture will help this system get its act together more.
Models continue to cluster in the panhandle of Florida with a potential landfall Saturday morning. While this keeps the center of circulation far away from Southwest Florida, we will still see impacts from this tropical system.
5:00 PM Fri Oct 18
Location: 27.0°N 88.5°W
Moving: NE at 22 mph
Min pressure: 999 mb
Max sustained: 60 mph
Rain bands associated with Nestor could begin as early as Friday night. Once all is said and done, we expect rainfall totals between 0.5″ – 1.5″ of rain. Typically with tropical systems, we see isolated amounts higher in areas where the tropical downpours set-up. Due to this storm being a fast-mover, this influence should be relatively minimal.
Wind will be sustained between 15 – 25 mph throughout the weekend, mainly on Saturday, with wind gusts peaking around 35 mph. This stronger onshore wind will allow for slightly higher-than-normal water rise during times of high tide on Saturday. Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory for increasing wave heights.
Right now, the Storm Prediction Center keeps Southwest Florida out of the risk for severe weather Saturday. However, due to a large wind field and stronger wind at the upper levels of the atmosphere, we’ll keep in a very small risk of severe weather (straight-line wind and an isolated tornado).