National Hurricane Center
announced Thursday morning that Tropical Storm Hermine is expected to reach hurricane status when she hits the Florida coast early Friday.
The NHC says that a hurricane warning is in effect in the Florida Panhandle from Suwannee River to Mexico Beach, with a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning from Anclote River to Suwannee River and west of Mexico Beach to Destin.
On the Atlantic side, a tropical storm warning is issued from Marineland to South Santee River, and a tropical storm watch from north of South Santee River to Surf City.
In addition, portions of the Gulf Coast are under a storm surge warning.
By definition, a hurricane warning means that hurricane wind levels of 74-110 mph are expected to be reached over the next 36 hours. Officials predict that Hermine will produce at least 5 to 10 inches of rain through Friday, with isolated pockets reaching a maximum of 20 inches.
Yesterday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency
for 42 counties, which covers all of Central Florida, except for Osceola County.
At this point, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to stock up on water, baby supplies, nonperishable food, first aid supplies, beer, etc. For more ways to be prepared, Ready.gov
has a very thorough hurricane supply checklist.
You can get the latest information on Hermine by going to nhc.noaa.gov