Tropical Storm Hermine Could Become A Hurricane Later Today
The never ending saga of Hermine continues. Hermine was born off the coast of Africa as a tropical wave and has drifted across the Atlantic over the last week and half.
The storm finally was organized enough to be declared a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center early Wednesday afternoon. Today, as the system is approaching the Florida coast, forecasters believe the storm could reach hurricane intensity.
The 4 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center is as follows:
LOCATION...26.4N 86.6W ABOUT 250 MI...400 KM SSW OF APALACHICOLA FLORIDA ABOUT 275 MI...440 KM WSW OF TAMPA FLORIDA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...996 MB...29.42 INCHES
Because the system is now traveling in a north northeasterly direction, the Big Bend coast of Florida is under a tropical storm warning for the remainder of the day. There has also been a hurricane watch posted for a portion of the coast as well.
The tropical models are in firm agreement the system will cross the coast somewhere in the upper west coast of the Florida Peninsula. The timing on landfall seems to suggest the center of circulation will be approaching the beaches of Florida shortly after midnight on Friday morning.
Tropical storm watches and warnings have also been posted on the Atlantic coast of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as the system is expected to cross the coast quickly and exit into the Atlantic by later in the day on Friday or in the early morning hours of Saturday.
Behind Hermine forecasters are watching a tropical wave that is rolling off the African continent at about the same latitude that Hermine was so many days ago. The current forecast suggests that this wave will make it across the Atlantic and could be an issue for the outer islands my the middle of next weeks.
Some of the very long range and not too dependable tropical models suggest this system could be an issue for the Gulf of Mexico by next weekend. However, models that far out are very seldom accurate enough to base any immediate action on. The Hurricane Center will continue to monitor that system as they watch Hermine over the next several days.