Michael Now A Hurricane, Threatens Florida Panhandle

Audrey Hill
October 9, 2018

Forecast projections show it strengthening to a category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour before making landfall along Florida Panhandle sometime late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.

A storm surge watch has been hoisted from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida.

Michael is forecast to make landfall later this week in Florida's panhandle as a Category 3 hurricane.

CNN reports that such language is warranted, for Michael is now "slashing Cuba" and is expected to reach Category 3 status (with sustained winds from 111-129 mph) by Wednesday when it reaches the USA mainland.

Soon-to-become Hurricane Michael, a tropical storm is gaining intensity south of the Gulf of Mexico.

Michael is expected to sweep up the East Coast, and tropical storm-force winds were projected to reach the state Thursday, according to the center's projections.

In addition to parts of western and northern Florida, a hurricane watch is also in effect for Mobile, Alabama and surrounding areas.

Floridians scurried to prepare after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties. Also in a hurricane watch is southwest Georgia.

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"A northward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday", the NHC said in its Monday morning advisory.

It made landfall on the coast as a Category 1 hurricane on September 14 and drenched some parts of the state with 40 inches of rain. A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour.

With these additions, the state of emergency includes 35 Florida counties in total.

Scott activated 500 National Guard troops in advance of the storm.

A tropical weather system that rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael on Monday is likely to keep growing stronger ahead of an expected strike on Florida's Panhandle by midweek, forecasters said.

A satellite image of Tropical Storm Michael taken Monday.

There's less of a risk areas north and west of the Interstate-95 corridor will see heavy rain, Martin said, meaning there's also a lower chance of inland flooding.

"We all saw the damage Hermine did to the neighborhoods in its path just two years ago and Tropical Storm Michael is forecast to have similar impacts", Governor Scott said on Sunday. It's moving north at about 7 miles per hour, and is expected to pass between Mexico and Cuba before heading toward Florida.

Michael is set to become a hurricane sometime today.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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