Tropical Storm Hermine is now picking up forward speed as it heads toward a Florida Gulf Coast landfall overnight Thursday night, potentially as the state’s first hurricane landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Hermine’s remnant low is also expected to hover off the Northeast seaboard this holiday weekend. For more details on what may happen in those regions, see this link.
New tropical storm warnings were issued Thursday morning along the Southeast coast from Florida’s First Coast to a swath of coastal South Carolina, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Simons Island, Hilton Head Island and Charleston. This means tropical storm-force winds (39 mph or higher) are expected within 36 hours.
Tropical storm watches were also issued north of that to include Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Wrightsville Beach and Surf City, North Carolina.
Hurricane warnings continue for a swath of north Florida, extending inland to include the city of Tallahassee. This means hurricane-force winds (at least 74 mph) are expected for a period of time in the warned area.
According to Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters, this is the first hurricane warning issued for any part of Florida since Hurricane Isaac four years ago.
Impacts: Storm Surge
The combination of heavy rainfall and storm surge around the time of the system’s landfall Thursday night or early Friday could combine to produce life-threatening flooding along parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Here are the potential peak water rise forecasts from the NHC if it occurs at high tide:
Indian Pass to Chassahowitzka: 4 to 7 feet
Chassahowitzka to Aripeka: 2 to 4 feet
Destin to Indian Pass: 1 to 3 feet
Aripeka to Bonita Beach, including Tampa Bay: 1 to 3 feet
Florida-Georgia line to Cape Fear: 1 to 3 feet