Nestor forming in Gulf of Mexico with heavy rain, storm surge expected in Florida

ABC News(NEW YORK) — An area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico could potentially become Tropical Storm Nestor later Friday.

Already tropical storm warnings have been issued from Louisiana through Florida’s panhandle, and storm surge warnings have been issued from Apalachicola to Clearwater, Florida.

The storm is starting to look better organized on the satellite imagery Friday morning, but the National Hurricane Center still can’t find a closed circulation at the storm’s surface.

It looks like it will become Tropical Storm Nestor sometime early Friday afternoon, and then will make landfall in Florida’s panhandle near Panama City sometime Saturday morning.

Winds in the storm will not be too strong, with gusts near 50 mph possible.

After that, the storm is forecast to weaken and become extratropical as it crosses the Carolinas.

By Sunday night, after the storm crosses the Carolinas, it could spread some rain and gusty winds into the Mid-Atlantic and even into the coastal areas of the Northeast, from New Jersey to New York City and into southern New England.

The biggest threat with this storm will be storm surge, as ocean water could rise up to 5 feet from Apalachicola to Cedar Key, Florida. Water could rise up to 4 feet even in Clearwater.

Rainfall is not expected to be too heavy by Florida standards, but up to half a foot of rain is possible in Florida’s panhandle.

About 2-4″ of rain could fall in the Carolinas as the storm crosses the area this weekend.

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