Tropical Storm Colin
Tropical Storm Warnings have indeed been extended into North Carolina as forecast here at Firsthand earlier today.
Tropical Storm Warnings are not in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to Oregon Inlet North Carolina.
Colin is now moving north northeast at 23 miles per hour and is 70 miles south southwest of Appalachicola Florida. Colin should move on shore during the next few hours. Several locations in Florida have already felt the effect of Colin’s outer bands as strong gusty tropical downpours moved on shore. 3-5 inches of rain is expected with some higher amounts where training occurs. Coastal Flooding should be held to a minimum as Colin approaches during low Tide. Locations on thee Atlantic Coast may not get so lucky however and will have an onshore flow during high tide on Tuesday. We will keep track of Colin’s forward movement to help pinpoint the locations that could see the strongest winds during high tide.
Colin’s maximum sustained winds remains at 50 mph, but his minimum central pressure has begun to drop again and is now down to 1002 millibars. A slight increase in winds is not out of the question before landfall occurs.
Remember, tornadoes are a risk in this region
Colin’s strongest winds and heaviest rains are displaced to the centers Southeast. This is why the warnings expand so far in that direction. Tropical Storm conditions will extend well to the south and west of the location of landfall. Forecast models continue to show that Colin will continue to deepen and that wind speed will increase. The coastal areas of the Carolinas should be especially on the watch for winds in excess of 60 miles per hour as Colin increases wind speeds off the Atlantic coast.
Tropical Storm Colin
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida on the Gulf Coast, and from Sebastian Inlet Florida to the South Santee River in South Carolina. I anticipate additional Watches and warnings to be extended further north along the South and North Carolina coastline.
Colin continues to move toward the north northeast, now at 16 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour with higher gusts, and a minimum central pressure of 1004 millibars. Colin will continue to strengthen and while not expected to be a hurricane before making landfall in Florida, some models are beginning to show Colin could approach hurricane strength while moving out to sea over the Atlantic Ocean even as he transitions to a post tropical cyclone. The map above shows the current track forecast and areas under Tropical Storm Warnings. The blue circle next to Colin’s location is the area currently seeing Tropical Storm Force winds. As with any tropical system, Colin’s strongest winds are to the right of the center of circulation.
However, this does not preclude localized areas of strong to near Tropical Storm force winds in other parts of the storm and heavy rain showers with strong winds are already beginning to impact Florida as seen on the radar image below.
Heavy rainfall continues to be the biggest non wind threat associated with Colin. While Tropical Storm force winds will effect a large area of Florida into Georgia and the Carolinas, rainfall as high as 3-5 inches is expected over a large area of the same region. Some areas that receiving training tropical rain bands could see as much as 8 inches of rain. Tornadoes are also going to be a risk with this system. The Storm Prediction Center currently has a 5% risk of Tornadoes in the area.
Storm Surge does not appear to be a risk at this time as the worst effects of Colin should take place during low tide. Some localized coastal flooding could occur during high tide this afternoon as gusty outer band storms move in but the effects should be marginal and of very short duration. But the Florida coast should expect very dangerous conditions along the shore from very heavy surf.
Tropical Storm Colin has been named in the Gulf of Mexico as he strengthened this afternoon.
Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood Florida. Colin’s winds are now 40 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 1003 millibars. Colin is currently 460 miles Southwest of Tampa and is moving north at 9 miles per hour. It is possible that the Warning area may be expanded along the Southeast coast towards Pensacola if Colin’s wind field continues to expand. The west coast of Florida should experience a storm surge of 1-3 feet from Indian Pass to Tampa Bay with 1-2 feet expected south of Tampa Bay to Florida Bay. Heavy surf and some minor coastal flooding are expected but the main storm surge should occur away from the time of high tide and that will help mitigate the damage.
Tropical Storm Watches have now been issued from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to the Flagler/Volusia County line in Florida. These areas should expect Tropical Storm conditions late Monday into Tuesday. Colin is not expected to weaken much as he crosses Florida as his forward speed will make the journey across the state in less than 10 hours.
Rain will be heavy throughout the area, with 3 to 5 inches expected across the region. Locally heavier amounts are possible where tropical downpours train over the same area. There is a risk of tornadoes throughout the Central and Northern Florida region extending into Southern Georgia.
Areas along the coast further into the Carolinas should pay attention to this system as it moves closer as heavy rain is possible in this area. This could exacerbate existing conditions and cause additional flooding.
Firsthand Weather will continue to keep an eye on Colin and should have another article out in the morning bringing you the latest in information as this system approaches Florida.