TAMPA, Fla. - Tropical Storm Mindy has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, just hours before the storm is expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle.
Just 24 hours ago, Mindy was a mess of rain and clouds. But with favorable conditions in the northern gulf, the disturbance quickly picked up tropical characteristics and winds of 40 mph.
Wednesday evening, the developing system was about 90 miles southwest of Apalachicola, moving northeast at 21 mph.
"Anytime you have something in the Gulf of Mexico, you have to watch it. We’ve got plenty of warm water," FOX 13 meteorologist Jim Weber offered.
Mindy is expected to run out of that warm water, though, and make landfall overnight, crossing north Florida and southern Georgia.
The storm will then emerge over the waters of the western Atlantic, but conditions there are not favorable for much more development.
In the meantime, areas of heavy rain are likely across portions of the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia through Thursday, with localized flooding possible.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida coast from Mexico Beach east to the Steinhatchee River.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Larry continues to churn up waves out in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s still expected to pass east of Bermuda as it heads north, staying out to sea.