Tropical Storm Nestor develops in the Gulf of Mexico: Expected to bring major impacts to the Southeast

Tropical Storm Nestor developed this afternoon in the north-central Gulf of Mexico according to the National Hurricane Center. Nestor has maximum sustained winds of 60mph and is rapidly moving NE at 22mph.

Figure 1: Tropical Storm Nestor Forecast Track

Nestor is forecast to make landfall Saturday morning in the Florida Panhandle as strong tropical storm (maximum sustained winds of 65mph), thus, Tropical Storm Warnings are in place for parts of coastal Florida. Within the Tropical Storm Warning, the main hazards are: flash flooding, tropical storm force winds, isolated tornadoes & coastal flooding.

Figure 2: Current Tropical Alerts

Nestor will bring heavy rain & wind to much of the Southeast this weekend as the storm moves inland. Wind shear is impacting the structure of the storm. Nestor is rather lopsided because of this shear, which will allow the heaviest rain to fall on the eastern & northern sides of the storm. Nestor’s quick movement will help limit rainfall totals but beefy rain amounts are still possible for parts of the Southeast through Sunday, which is much needed due to the drought conditions for much of the Southeast. Rain totals of 3-5″ are possible for much of the Florida Panhandle, southern & central Georgia and the Carolinas. Isolated 6″+ totals are possible across the Florida Panhandle & far southern Georgia. 

Figure 3: Forecast Rainfall Totals

Wind will be another issue for parts of the Southeast as Nestor moves inland. A Wind Advisory is in place for much of southern & central Georgia (this may be extended into South Carolina by tomorrow morning). Winds of 40-50mph are likely for southern & central Georgia. Winds of 30-40mph+ are possible in South Carolina. Many of the trees still have their leaves, so this will increase the likelihood of minor tree damage that may lead to power outages for the Southeast.

Figure 4: Forecast Wind Gusts
Figure 5: Forecast Wind Gusts
Figure 6: Forecast Wind Gusts

Nestor will exit the Southeast by Sunday afternoon.

Figure 7: Tropical Storm Nestor Forecast Track