Friday, July 23, 2010

Bonnie out over the eastern Gulf

Tropical Depression Bonnie's center of circulation has emerged out into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, 75 miles west-northwest of Ft. Myers, as of the 8 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds were still at 35 mph. Present movement was west-northwest at 17 mph.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect from Destin, Fla., to Morgan City, La., including Lake Pontchartrain.

The west-northwest movement is expected to continue, however with a decreased forward speed. Bonnie is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday.

Bonnie could regain tropical storm strength. An Air Force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft will be investigating the storm Friday night into Saturday morning.

Winds will continue to decrease in South Florida while tropical storm-force winds, mainly in squalls, will likely begin along the northern Gulf Coast within the warning area on Saturday.

Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible Friday night across central and South Florida.

Storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above ground level along the immediate coast near and to the right of wherever the center makes landfall on the northern Gulf Coast.

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