Nestor makes landfall in panhandle; scattered storms for Central Florida

Eye on the tropics: Post-tropical cyclone Nestor makes landfall

Expect scattered, fast-moving storms over Central Florida through the early evening. Overnight storms will cease and much better weather for Sunday.

2:00 p.m. update: Post-tropical cyclone Nestor has made landfall on St. Vincent Island. 

The tornado watch for Central Florida has expired. The weather across Central Florida is expected to improve throughout the day.
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11:00 a.m. update: Nestor has weakened and is now a post-tropical storm. It is moving closer to the Florida panhandle. It is expected to move onshore Saturday afternoon near Panama City Beach. 
In Central Florida, rain will continue throughout the day with isolated severe storms possible. 
The tornado watch has been extended until 2 p.m. for Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Brevard and Osceola counties.
Nestor's wind speed is now reached 50 mph and the storm is moving at 9 mph.

6:30 a.m. update: Rain and storm bands continue to race northward over Central Florida. Storm embedded storms have come down in intensity, but others are redeveloping as they move northward. We can expect the same trend for the rest of Saturday morning. Rainfall totals will continue to grow. A daily high rainfall record was broken in Daytona Beach and it continues to rain. 

5:30 a.m. update: Rain continues to fall across Central Florida as Nestor's center is about 75 miles southwest of Apalachicola. The tropical storm gradually loses its tropical characteristics and it is expected to make landfall later this morning between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola. Nestor's deeper storms are still shifted well east of its center and will continue to affect Central Florida through the first half of Saturday.


  • A tornado warning means that rotation has been detected, either by radar or visually. If you are in a tornado warning you must take shelter now in a safe place inside your home. The best place would be in the most central room, in the lowest level of your home, preferably a windowless room, like a closet. 

The second line of strong storms is entering Osceola and Polk counties from the south, moving fast to the north at about 20 to 25 mph. We are closely monitoring this cluster as there could be some rotation in them. Stay aware, please. The tornado watch is in effect until noon.

2:30 a.m. update: Fortunately, no injuries were reported when the semi overturned on I-4.

There could be minor flooding over De Land, Debary, Deltona and near Orange City. Make sure to drive safely. More rain will be on the way.

Here's the latest update from certified meteorologist George Waldenberger:

2 a.m. update: 
Showers will continue, but we are getting a break from the strongest thunderstorms across much of Central Florida. By 4 a.m. we expect the next round of storms to arrive to Orange County from the southwest.

Overnight rounds of storms could still develop strong gusts, and there is the chance for isolated tornadoes still.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for all Central Florida until noon on Saturday. Don't let your guard down, although storms might get some breaks, storms will be coming in rounds and conditions are favorable for storms to rotate and form tornadoes. 

Our team of meteorologists are in the studio monitoring the weather and will keep you posted as more storms arrive.

12:30 p.m. Update: 

We continue receiving reports about several turned semis along interstate 4 in Polk County. Images from the road´s cameras show I-4 eastbound at a complete stop near Polk Highway.

11:30 p.m. update: 

Confirmed tornado just 7 miles northwest of Lakeland. 

11 p.m. update:

Severe storms arrived in Central Florida's Gulf Coast. So far, 3 tornado warnings have been issued and expired since 9 p.m. The storms are moving north-northeast but spreading to the east as the night progresses. Central Florida could experience some isolated severe storms overnight. Make sure you have at least 3 ways of receiving weather alerts and know what to do in case a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued. 
  • A tornado warning means that rotation has been detected, either by radar or visually. If you are in a tornado warning you must take shelter now in a safe place inside your home. The best place would be in the most central room, in the lowest level of your home, preferably a windowless room, like a closet. 
  • A severe thunderstorm warning means that winds over 58 mph have been recorded or estimated. Stay indoors, away from doors and windows. 

Previous updates: 

Tropical Storm Nestor formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is set to bring wet weather to the Sunshine State as it tracks toward the panhandle. Here’s what it means for our weekend weather in Central Florida:
  • Stormy Friday night: Drive safely, rain picks up and storms will arrive in the evening. 
  • Saturday: Potential for severe storms in the morning, clearing up later in the day. This is when we're set to feel the effects of the tropical system. The biggest threats will be strong winds, 50-60 mph, and there is a chance for isolated tornadoes.
  • More sun on Sunday: Forecast dries out on Sunday with only a 20 percent chance of rain and a high of 86.
Here's what we're watching as Nestor approaches Florida: 
  • Storm surge: Dangerous storm surge and the tide could cause flooding well past coastal areas. From Indian Pass Florida to Chassahowitzka, storm surge could reach between 3 and 5 feet. From Chassahowitzka to Clearwater Beach, that could be between 2 and 4 feet. Expect some areas with higher amounts depending on the tide. 
  • Wind: Tropical storm winds, above 39 mph, are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by late Friday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
  • Rainfall: Between 2 and 4 inches this weekend from the central Gulf Coast and northern and central Florida to the eastern Carolinas, with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches.
We will continue to monitor the evolution of the system and bring you the latest on Eyewitness News, and on our free WFTV Weather app. 

For more details about the week ahead, watch your 5-Day Forecast below:

Quieter, dryer, and slight chance of showers
Pronóstico en español por nuestra meteoróloga certificada Irene Sans

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