The hurricane watch in effect for portions of Sarasota County has been upgraded to a hurricane warning, the National Hurricane Center announced today.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update includes a hurricane warning for the coast of south Florida, extending from Anna Maria Island on the west coast to Sebastian Inlet on the east coast.
A hurricane warning means that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected within the area. Tropical storm-force winds, which are between 39 and 73 mph, are expected within the next 36 hours.
The update also includes a storm surge watch for the area, extending from north of Venice to Anclote River. A storm surge watch means “life-threatening inundation levels are possible within this area” within 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Sarasota County issued a mandatory evacuation order for Evacuation Zone A and residents in mobile homes, barrier islands and other low-lying areas earlier today. That includes Longboat, Siesta and Lido keys.
Manatee County also issued a mandatory evacuation Friday afternoon.