Thursday, 21 February, 2019


Up Next: Tropical Storm Michael

Tropical Storm Michael forms expected to become hurricane next week Up Next: Tropical Storm Michael
Bennie Garza | 10 October, 2018, 16:31

Tropical Storm Michael is expected to make landfall this week across the Florida Panhandle before moving up into Georgia and the Carolinas, dropping up to 3 inches of rain in parts of the Triangle late Wednesday into Thursday.

Tropical Storm Michael has formed in the northwestern Caribbean as of early Sunday afternoon.

Satellite-derived wind data indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 35 miles per hour (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Hurricane conditions are expected within the next 12 hours, according to the NHC. Rough surf as well as gusty winds and heavy rain will occur along the Gulf Coast as early as Tuesday.

An intensifying storm system that became Tropical Storm Michael Sunday afternoon is setting its sights on the northern Gulf Coast, and forecasters say it could be a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall.

It's expected to move over the Yucatan Channel and then crosses the Gulf of Mexico, nearing the Florida Panhandle coast by Wednesday.

Michael was about 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico, and about 100 miles south-southwest off the western tip of Cuba, according to the center's 5 a.m. advisory.

Image: Forecast Track for Hurricane Michael.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", he said.

In the meantime, Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency for the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, with a hurricane watch in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. The Hurricane Center's statement said interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of the depression.

Scott said the Florida Panhandle, southeast Alabama and southern Georgia will see 4 to 8 inches, with isolated areas facing 12 inches.

Once Michael passes Cuba the intensification should become clearer and there should be more certainty in the landfall forecasts once the storm moves clear of interaction with the mountainous region of west Cuba and gains more structure as it moves over the warm Gulf waters.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center of the tropical cyclone and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). "Later today, I will receive a full update and briefing on the forecast and potential impacts of the storm from federal, state and local emergency management officials". Keep in mind that in a hurricane, the impacts can stretch hundreds of miles outside the center - including wind, tropical downpours that lead to flooding, storm surge, and tornadoes.

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