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Tropical Storm Mindy Forms, Expected To Dump Heavy Rain On Florida Panhandle

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Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The disturbance strengthened Wednesday afternoon and is forecast to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle Wednesday night.

A system in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened into Tropical Storm Mindy and is forecast to produce heavy rains ahead of a projected landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday night.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Mexico Beach to the Steinhatchee River as the disturbance became better organized Wednesday.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the 13th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was located about 90 miles west-southwest of Apalachicola and racing to the northeast at 21 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph with higher gusts.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Jeff Huffman said the Florida Panhandle can expect heavy rains through Thursday.

"The risk of heavy rain and localized flooding will continue over the next 12 to 24 hours across north and northeast Florida," Huffman said. "There will also be a low risk of tornadoes where some of the stronger storms may form."

Heavy rain has prompted Flash Flood Watches for portions of the Florida Panhandle and Forgotten Coast on Wednesday through Thursday. Rainfall totals of 2-4 inches, with local amounts between 5-7 inches, may cause flash flooding in areas where it comes down heavily in a short period of time. A few strong wind gusts or isolated tornadoes are also possible.

Forecasters say Mindy is expected to move across the southeastern U.S. and emerge over the western Atlantic by Thursday. Conditions are not favorable for further strengthening.

Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this report.

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