Sunday, 21 October, 2018


Tropical Storm Michael Will Become a Hurricane Monday

Bennie Garza | 08 October, 2018, 18:29

Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, and is expected to approach the United States northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

Outer bands from Michael are expected produce as much as 4 inches of rain through Tuesday in the Florida Keys, one of several areas in the state devastated by Hurricane Irma a year ago.

Astronomical King Tide cycles will cause extra high storm surge on portions of the Florida Gulf Coast with the highest 7-11 foot surge near Apalachicola to Crystal River, 4-6 feet near Crystal River to Anclote River, and 2-4 feet around Tampa Bay.

Tropical storm and storm surge watches have been issued from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Tampa Bay.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

Hurricane season 2018 isn't slowing down just yet.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and tropical storm warnings are posted for the Isle of Youth in Cuba and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

Governor Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency Sunday for 26 counties in the Panhandle and Big Bend area, which will free up resources for storm preparation and recovery efforts.

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

"The majority of impact on our will be Tuesday night and Wednesday", said Paul Close, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Ruskin. Sustained winds are estimated at 70 miles-per-hour, barley under hurricane force. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes".

Rainfall totals up to 12 inches are possible in the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia, which will likely lead to areas of flooding. Right now, that would be the worst-case scenario with the current forecast.

The storm is expected to be a Category 2 when it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center, though forecasters haven't ruled out the possibility of it being a Category 3 storm. He warned that storm surge could affect areas of Florida not in the storm's direct path.

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