Hurricane Hermine to Hit Florida's Gulf Coast with 'Life Threatening' Force

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured tropical storm, now Hurricane Hermine as it continued to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA Goddard image.

Tropical Storm Hermine officially reached hurricane status on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, reported NASA and NOAA's National Hurricane Center earlier today. When it makes landfall, it will be the first hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma in 2005. Hermine will probably touch down along the state's eastern Panhandle in the wee hours of Friday morning, and NOAA predicts that its force and the associated water surges will be “life-threatening.”

The National Hurricane Center says Hermine is currently spinning over the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane. Big Bend will likely experience the first landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast around midnight, with a high chance of deadly storm surges that may reach up to 9 feet, coupled with intense rainfall and related flooding.

NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured this image of the hurricane at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 UTC).

NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a visible image of the hurricane at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 UTC) that shows a much more organized Hermine with bands of thunderstorms wrapping around its low-level center and blanketing the entire state of Florida. Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a visible image of the hurricane at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 UTC) that shows a much more organized Hermine with bands of thunderstorms wrapping around its low-level center and blanketing the entire state of Florida. Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

The image shows a much more organized Hermine with bands of thunderstorms wrapping around its low-level center and blanketing the entire state of Florida. The image was created at NASA/NOAA's GOES Project office, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The governor of Florida gave a stern warning to people who find themselves in the path of the storm today. Gov. Rick Scott struck an urgent tone in a state that may lack preparation because it hasn't been hit by a hurricane for more than 10 years.

"This is life-threatening," the governor told reporters in Florida's capital city, Tallahassee. "The storm surge, by itself, is life-threatening."

"We have not had a hurricane (landfall) in years,” he said. “So many people have moved to our state (since) then, and we always have visitors."

People who are in Hermine's path “should have at least three days of supplies, and heed any mandatory evacuation orders along the coast.”

nhc.noaa.gov

nhc.noaa.gov

Here are a slew of links from NASA to follow, to keep track of the storm's trajectory.

Here is NOAA's advisory, as of the afternoon of Thursday September 1, 2016.

The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended northward along the United States Atlantic coast north of Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued north of Duck to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, including the Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward, and the southern Delaware Bay. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Suwannee River to Mexico Beach A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Anclote River to Suwannee River * West of Mexico Beach to the Walton/Bay County line A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Englewood to Suwannee River * West of Mexico Beach to the Walton/Bay County line * Flagler/Volusia County line to Duck * Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * North of Duck to Sandy Hook * Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward * Southern Delaware Bay Interests elsewhere along the United States northeast coast should monitor the progress of this system. For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

For updated forecasts, visit NHC's website at: www.nhc.noaa.gov.