FIRST ALERT: Threat of strong storms, isolated tornadoes increasing overnight
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Storm chances continue to rise through the night. Heavy rain, strong winds and even a few isolated tornadoes are possible overnight.
Nestor is now known as a “Post Tropical Cyclone.” What that means is it doesn’t have the features of a tropical storm anymore, mainly no longer having a well defined center. It made landfall around 2PM on St. Vincent Island along the Florida Panhandle. It’s ran bands continue to work inland across Florida, Georgia and now the Carolinas. Still the threats of heavy rain, strong winds and isolated tornado risk remain overnight for the Grand Strand and areas east of I-95.
Nestor is expected to move offshore of the coast of North Carolina into the western Atlantic by late Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts.
Nestor is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches this weekend from the central Gulf Coast and northern and central Florida to the eastern Carolinas, with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches. A tornado or two is possible tonight through Saturday morning across the northern and central Florida Peninsula and across the eastern Carolinas Saturday night.
The heaviest rain continues through 5:00 AM Sunday. The rain will quickly end Sunday morning. Rainfall totals of 1 to 4 inches are likely across most of the region with local amounts of 4 to 5 inches possible. With the recent dry weather, no significant flooding is expected, but periods of heavy rain may lead to minor street flooding and flooding of low lying areas Saturday night through very early Sunday morning. No river flooding is expected.
Nestor currently has sustained winds of 45 mph. After making landfall in the Florida panhandle, Nestor is weakening and unraveling as it passes through the eastern Carolinas. While widespread damaging winds are next expected, winds will be gusty at times tonight. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph will be possible across much of the area overnight and early Sunday morning. Some of the latest forecast models have hinted at the possibility of isolated wind gusts to 60 mph along the Grand Strand very late Saturday night. These gusts would likely be associated with strong thunderstorms and could result in isolated reports of power outages and downed trees.
As Nestor passes through the Carolinas late tonight and early Sunday, rain bands moving on shore off of the Atlantic may produce isolated, brief tornadoes. The tornado potential is very uncertain at this time, but is always a risk with any tropical system. The time frame for any tornado risk would likely arrive after through the pre-dawn hours of Sunday. Any storm or cell that blows onshore would try to rotate on the east side of that low pressure system.
With the worst of the weather arriving during the middle of the night, it’s important to be able to receive weather watches and warnings. Download the WMBF First Alert Weather App and turn on the notifications for instant watches, warnings and updates.
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