Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall at 11 a.m. Eastern Friday near Cutler Bay in Florida south of Miami in Miami-Dade County. Maximum sustained winds were estimated to be at 40 mph, which is just barely within tropical storm strength (must be 39 mph to qualify as a Tropical Storm and not a Depression). Bonnie is bringing heavy squalls to southern Florida this afternoon with gusty winds, and there may be a threat for a few quick, isolated tornadoes as well. As a result of that strong ridge of high pressure over the Southeast U.S., upper-level winds will steer Bonnie to the northwest in the Gulf of Mexico, where she will make a beeline for the Louisiana-Mississippi Gulf coast. This will, unfortunately, take Bonnie directly over the oil spill region, where cleanup efforts have been halted until the storm passes.
Bonnie may strengthen slightly as she moves over the Gulf of Mexico, but not enough to become a hurricane. She should remain on the low-end of tropical storm strength for the rest of her life, which will come to an abrupt end as she makes landfall either very late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
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