Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Hurricane Michael takes aim at 300-mile Gulf Coast target

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas JUST IN: Tropical Storm Nadine forms, Michael wind speeds up to 110 mph
Gerardo Duncan | 10 October, 2018, 08:30

By that time, Michael is forecast to have winds of 125 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael is growing stronger, expected to make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.

"Michael could be one of the worst hurricanes to ever strike the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region", warned Weather Channel hurricane expert Rick Knabb.

A tropical storm watch is in effect along the southeastern coast of the US from Fernandina Beach, FL, to South Santee River, SC, the Chassahowitzka River to Anna Maria Island in Florida, including Tampa Bay, and the Mississippi-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River. The biggest concerns with Michael, therefore, are winds and storm surge.

A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the swirling eye of Michael off the west tip of Cuba late Monday found wind speeds were rising even as forecasters warned the storm could reach major hurricane status with winds topping 111 miles per hour (179 kph) by Tuesday night.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Michael will make landfall along the Gulf Coast Wednesday as a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast as Hurricane Michael approaches.

A hurricane warning was in effect for a more than 300-mile (480-km) stretch of coastline from the Florida-Alabama border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas
Tropical storm warning issued for Midlands ahead of Hurricane Michael | News & Observer

The consensus of the various meteorological models is that the track of Michael will cross the state southeast of Laurens County, but the county is well within the storm's so-called "cone of uncertainty". The most severe storm surge is predicted to occur from Mexico Beach to Keaton Beach, Florida, which could see as much 13 feet.

Forecasts show Hurricane Michael will likely travel north after making landfall on the Gulf Coast, then turn east, potentially hitting the Hampton Roads region. Scott also said Monday afternoon that state health officials are reaching out to hospitals and nursing homes to be prepared. "Take care of them".

Michael wasn't quite done wreaking havoc in the Caribbean on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT). Forecasters expect Michael will be followed by the first true taste of fall weather in North Carolina this year, with sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 70s both Saturday and Sunday. Tropical storm to hurricane force winds are less than four days away from the United States.

He declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those close to the coast to evacuate inland.

The sheriff's office says Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes below that threshold.

Residents of northwest Florida had until early Tuesday to leave their homes ahead of Hurricane Michael, forecast to crash ashore midweek as a major Category 3 storm with "life-threatening" flash flooding possible.

By Monday morning, generators were sold out in many area stores, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

In Georgia, which will be hit by damaging winds and downed power lines, Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 92 of his state's counties. "Most importantly, heed all warnings and instructions from local authorities".

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