A tropical storm warning was issued for the Florida Panhandle from Mexico Beach to the Steinhatchee River, according to the hurricane center. The warning affects about 55,000 people.
The center of Mindy was around 90 miles west-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, and the storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph as of 5 p.m. ET.
Because the system is so close to land, there will be limited time for intensification. Mindy is forecast to move inland Wednesday night in the Florida Panhandle as a minimal tropical storm.
Heavy rain is expected to be the primary threat. Flash flood watches were in effect for portions of the Florida Panhandle. Some locations could pick up 2-4 inches of rain before Mindy exits into the Atlantic on Thursday morning.
“This rainfall may produce isolated to scattered flash, urban, and small stream flooding,” the hurricane center said.
The fast-moving storm was moving northeast at 21 mph.