Some think Tropical Storm Colin has a silly name, but it could do serious damage on the U.S. East Coast this week. As of 7 a.m. EDT Monday, Colin was in the Gulf of Mexico about 315 miles west of Tampa, Florida, and moving north-northeast at about 14 mph. The storm is expected to make landfall Monday afternoon.
“It’s going to be messy,” Tim Sedlock, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told USA Today. “It’s not terribly organized, but it will go through quickly and should be off the Georgia coast by Tuesday.”
Colin, the third system strong enough to earn a name only a week into the hurricane season, became a tropical storm Sunday afternoon. Predictions show Colin's center approaching the coast of Florida's Big Bend area Monday afternoon, moving across North Florida and southeastern Georgia Tuesday and heading toward the southern East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. By Wednesday, the storm should be far off the coast of Virginia.
Colin is expected to drop between three and five inches of rain and cause flooding along coastal areas. Water in Tampa Bay, for example, could surge as high as two feet. Tornadoes are possible, too.
"Since we are dealing with a fast-moving storm system, this should cut down on the duration of the rainfall," hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said in an AccuWeather post. "I could not rule out that it may become a hurricane off the southeast coast, but chances are very small of that happening."
Cities and counties across Florida were offering residents sandbags Monday morning, and WUSF reported some homes in the Tampa Bay area have already lost power. Gov. Rick Scott canceled a meeting with Donald Trump in order to stay home and help out.
"It's going to impact most of the state in some way," Scott told the Associated Press.
See updates from the National Hurricane Center here.