SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning Wednesday for Manatee and Sarasota counties, but it expired at 3:15 p.m.
However, there are more effects possible, as Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan explains in this video:
Hurricane Michael exploded overnight to a very dangerous Category 4 hurricane. Around 1pm Wednesday, with wind speeds just 2mph shy of a Category 5, Hurricane Michael made landfall nearly Mexico Beach, Florida, which is close to Panama City. Here is a radar image of the landfall:
With sustained winds near 155mph, it is the third strongest landfall on record for the U.S. and the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall north of Punta Gorda on the Gulf Coast. Life threatening storm surge of 12-14 feet can be expected near to the right of the center.
Tallahassee is also going to be dealing with hurricane force winds Wednesday afternoon. The center is expected to pass just to the west of the state's capital. Tallahassee should be on the right side of the storm which is usually the strongest and will likely see widespread power outages.
For the Suncoast we will continue to see another round of some minor coastal flooding due to an extreme high tide after 1 a.m. on Wednesday and then again on Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. when areas see another high tide:
Waves propagating outward from hurricane Michael as well as increasingly onshore winds will cause our tides to run 2 or 3 feet above normal. This could lead to some difficult driving on some flooded roads in coastal communities.
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH that was up for coastal Manatee county was canceled Wednesday afternoon. The likely range for wind speed is 15-25 mph with gusts to 30-35 mph. Inland wind speeds will be much less.
These wind speeds can lead to isolated power outages but are not a threat to well built structures. There is a small chance that one or two of the storms could produce a small brief tornado.
Sarasota saw a waterspout Wednesday morning:
There will be periods of rain, some heavy, especially in the first half of the day. The storms will be fast moving and should not create any problems with fresh water flooding as some tropical systems do. Rainfall amount will be in the 1-2" range with some higher isolated amounts.
A coastal flood watch remains in effect for area beaches. A high risk of rip currents will be around through Thursday morning.
The Suncoast already experienced some flooding Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday due to the high ride combined with storm surge from Michael.
Tuesday flooding on Longboat Key:
Tuesday flooding in Bayfront Park in Sarasota:
Tuesday flooding on the South Jetty in Venice:
Wednesday flooding in Bradenton:
Wednesday flooding at Ted Sperling Park in South Lido Beach:
On Thursday, our winds will relax and shift to the northwest. This will draw in some drier air and lead to a very nice weekend featuring warm and dry days with cooler and crisp evenings.
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