June 2016 – FLORIDA – Tropical Storm Colin picked up speed and closed in on the Florida coast Monday evening while soaking a large part of the Southeast. As of the 10 p.m. CDT advisory, Colin was located about 65 miles northwest of Cedar Key, in Florida’s Big Bend region. But its center of circulation was nearing land, according to the National Weather Service:
Colin had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph as of the last advisory. Its winds have stayed static all day, and the National Hurricane Center didn’t expect it to strengthen before it makes landfall. Colin continued to move quickly on Monday night and was headed northeast at 23 mph, the hurricane center said. On that path Colin would make landfall in Florida’s Big Bend region “shortly,” the hurricane center said. It was then expected to move across portions of Florida and southeastern Georgia early Tuesday morning and head up the southeastern coast of the United States. It could transition to a post-tropical storm during that time.
The hurricane center cautioned, however, not to focus solely on the point of landfall. Colin was a lopsided system and its worst effects were being felt well to the east of the circulation center. Tropical storm force winds extended up to 230 miles from the center of the storm as of Monday night. The hurricane center said sustained winds of 40 mph were reported earlier tonight at Clearwater Beach Pier on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Rain and storms have been flooding areas on the Florida peninsula, and rain from Colin stretched as far north as North Carolina on Monday night.
Florida’s two coastlines were covered with warnings. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Englewood. A second tropical storm warning was also in effect on the Atlantic coast from Sebastian Inlet in Florida to Oregon Inlet in North Carolina. Colin remained a relatively weak tropical storm as it neared the coast. However, some slow strengthening may be possible on Tuesday when the storm re-emerges over the Atlantic. It was not expected to become a hurricane, however. Colin’s main impact will likely be flooding rains.
The hurricane center said 3-5 inches of rain is possible in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and along the coast in the Carolinas through Tuesday. Some areas could get up to 8 inches. Some storm surge will also be possible if Colin’s arrival coincides with high tide on the Gulf Coast. One to 3 feet of surge could be possible from Indian Pass to Tampa Bay, and 1-2 feet possible from Tampa southward to Florida Bay, the hurricane center said. –AL News