NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Tropical Storm Hermine is on the verge of becoming a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of 10 a.m., the center of the storm was located about 135 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla. and about 190 miles west of Tampa, Fla.
The system is moving north-northeast at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
The tropical storm warning has been extended southward along the west coast of Florida to Englewood, including the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg area, and southward along the east coast of Florida to the Flagler/Volusia County line.
Summary of watches and warnings in effect:
- A hurricane warning is in effect for Suwannee River to Mexico Beach
- A hurricane watch is in effect for Anclote River to Suwannee River west of Mexico Beach to the Walton/Bay County line
- A tropical storm warning is in effect for Anclote River to Suwannee River west of Mexico Beach to the Walton/Bay County line
Hermine is moving toward the north-northeast near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected during the next day or so.
On the forecast track, the center of Hermine will be near the Florida coast in the hurricane warning area tonight or early Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is anticipated, and Hermine is expected to be a hurricane by the time landfall occurs.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center.
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft recently reported a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars.