The National Hurricane Center announced Wednesday night that Tropical Storm Hermine will more than likely strike the Florida Gulf Coast as a hurricane - the first hurricane to hit Florida since 2005 when Wilma hit us.
The entire First Coast is still under a Tropical Storm Watch, but now it extends all the way up to the Carolinas. A hurricane warning has been issued for much of the big bend of the Florida Gulf Coast, meaning that hurricane conditions are imminent.
Hermine's winds have increased to 60 mph and it is now moving north-northeast at 10 mph, putting the center of the storm over the Florida coast sometime around Thursday night. Winds extend 125 miles out from the center.
The watch means tropical storm conditions - with winds sustained at 45 mph as of now - are expected in our area late Thursday into early Friday, along with other potential impacts including heavy rain (four inches or more) and the potential of tornadoes. Winds extend 125 miles out from the center of the storm.
The National Hurricane Center advises that all residents in the big bend area of the Panhandle within the storm path rush to complete all preparations, as at least tropical storm force winds will begin pounding the coast sometime tomorrow afternoon.
Areas to the west could see rain of 5-10 inches, while more coastal areas are forecasted to get 4-8 inches of rain.
The entire area is also under a Flood Watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday night.
We should begin to experience these weather conditions late Thursday night into Friday night.
Click here for live updates on Tropical Storm Hermine.
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