Tropical Storm Mindy, the system that was only a tropical depression for minutes before being upgraded to a Tropical Storm today, is gaining strength. Recent data from NOAA buoy 42036 indicates that the maximum sustained winds in Mindy are now near 45 mph with higher gusts. Heavy rain and strong winds are expected in Florida as Mindy makes landfall tonight.
Tropical Storm Mindy was located about 90 miles southwest of Apalachicola, Florida as of the National Hurricane Center’s 4pm CT / 5 pm ET update. It was moving to the northeast at 21 mph. The minimum central pressure was down to 1008 mb or 29.77″.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the coast of the Florida Panhandle from Mexico Beach to the Steinhatchee River. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case in the next 6 to 12 hours.
The NHC expects Mindy to maintain a northeast to east-northeastward motion over the next several days. On the forecast track, the center of Mindy is expected to cross the coastline of the Florida Panhandle later tonight, and then move offshore of the southeastern United States into the western Atlantic Ocean by tomorrow.
Mindy will bring heavy rain, gusty winds, and tornadoes to portions of the southeast. Mindy is expected to produce storm total rainfall of
2-4″ with isolated amounts up to 6″ across the Florida Panhandle into southern portions of Georgia and South Carolina through Thursday morning. This rainfall may produce isolated to scattered flash, urban, and small stream flooding. Tropical storm force wind conditions are expected to reach the coast within the warning area later this evening and tonight. A few isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of the Florida Panhandle this evening into tomorrow morning as Mindy pushes through.
Mindy is forecast to eventually weaken to a tropical depression in the Atlantic, arriving just west of Bermuda by Saturday.
Tropical Storm Mindy is the 13th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season to date. The season runs through to the end of November. Four other years in satellite era (1966 onwards) have had 13+ named storms by September 8: 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2020. While this year is busy, it isn’t nearly as busy as last year for now; by this date last year, the Atlantic had already had 17 named storms.