The U.S. National Weather Service issued an advisory for all residents of Florida on Thursday evening for the storm that is expected to bring winds of up to 120 mph and rain to parts of the state.
The warning also noted that “the National Weather Center will be closed at 7 p.m.
ET, and this information will be available at weather.gov.
Residents are advised to follow all weather advisories and to avoid areas of high wind and heavy rain.”
The storm, which has already dumped 10 inches of rain in the Tampa area, is expected for a turn south, bringing winds of 125 mph to Orlando, and 120 mph to Tallahassee.
The storm has already caused flooding in Tampa Bay, the state capital, and in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is forecast to move farther south in the coming days, according to the National Weather Commission.
Hurricane watches are issued by the National Hurricane Center, which is headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma, and is a federally-funded arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.