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Tropical Storm Nestor batters Florida with storm surge, tornadoes

October 19, 2019 - 9:22 am
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(APALACHICOLA, Fla.) -- Tropical Storm Nestor expected to make landfall in Florida today as it brings heavy rain, gusty winds, storm surge, and possible tornadoes to parts of the Southeast U.S.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the storm was about 110 miles west of the coastal city of Apalachicola, Florida, and its maximum sustained winds were 50 mph as it moved northeast at 17 mph.

Nestor is still expected to come ashore in Florida later Saturday morning. Winds and storm surges are affecting parts of the Florida Gulf Coast as Nestor is begins to lose tropical characteristics. Once that happens, it will become a post-tropical cyclone.

Regardless of the true physics of the storm, heavy rain, some severe storms, and gusty winds will continue as the storm moves into the Southeast today.

A tornado watch remains in effect for much of Florida until noon EDT as some of the outer bands of Nestor are producing spin-up tornadoes. There have already been four reported tornadoes in the Tampa Bay metro area overnight.

Nestor will continue to move inland today as tropical storm-force winds extend up to 160 miles east of the central low pressure, bringing heavy rain and some gusty winds to much of the Southeast today. In addition, severe storms will be possible on the right side of the storm, especially from Central Florida to Eastern North Carolina. A few tornadoes will be possible in some of the intense bands east of the center of circulation. This tornado threat includes Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington.

On Sunday Nestor will slide further up the East Coast and bring heavy rain to parts of the Mid-Atlantic including Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Once again, there will be at least some marginal severe probabilities in parts of Eastern North Carolina.

Luckily, Nestor will quickly be pushed eastward on Sunday night and Monday, with the majority of the storm heading into the Atlantic. While some showers and gusty winds will be possible, impacts should be kept to a minimum in much of the Northeast.

Attention will immediately turn to a new storm developing in the West, that will race across the country this week. This is typical for fall, as low pressure systems begin to trek further and further into the mid-latitudes due to colder air gaining strength in the Arctic.

On Saturday, heavy rain, gusty winds, and some mountain snow will be possible in the Northwest with parts of the Cascades expected to pick up a couple of inches of fresh snow.

The storm is also causing gusty winds ahead of the frontal system, which could briefly cause pockets of fire danger from California to the Rocky Mountains.

Late Sunday and early Monday, as the storm heads into the Central U.S., it will spark a line of strong storms and heavy rain, There is a chance for some severe weather across Northern Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The threats will be damaging winds, large hail and possible tornadoes.

Then on Monday and into early Tuesday, heavy rain and severe storms will move into parts of the southern U.S., especially the Mississippi River Valley. There will be a potential for a few tornadoes in this round of severe weather. This classic fall severe weather set-up looks like it could be the most notable severe weather in the last couple of months.

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