TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA and WOWK) — The National Hurricane Center has announced Tropical Storm Mindy has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 5 p.m., the system is about 90 miles southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. It’s expected to reach the Florida Panhandle Wednesday night, then move across the southeastern United States and emerge over the western Atlantic Ocean by tomorrow.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected before Mindy makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle tonight.
Tropical moisture is enhancing rain chances Wednesday and Thursday in the Tampa Bay area. Regardless of development, strong winds and storm surge are not a concern. A few isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of the Florida Panhandle this evening into tomorrow morning.
The storm is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches with maximum amounts of 6 inches across the Florida
Panhandle into southern portions of Georgia and South Carolina through Thursday morning. Pockets of higher amounts are possible where heavier downpours train over the same areas and could lead to brief, localized flooding.
In addition to Tropical Storm Mindy, the NHC is also keeping an eye on a tropical wave that’s expected to emerge off the western coast of Africa in the coming days. Forecasters believe some development of the system is possible as it moves west-northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic.