Hurricane Michael expected to rapidly intensify; Tropical Storm Watch for Mississippi

Saul Bowman
October 10, 2018

Fueled by warm tropical waters, fast-strengthening Michael could gain major hurricane status with winds topping 111 miles per hour before its anticipated landfall Wednesday on the Panhandle or Big Bend area of Florida, forecasters warn.

A hurricane warning was issued for much of the Florida panhandle, with tropical storm watches and warnings issued for areas nearby. "Take care of them".

The alert came after the tropical storm system strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds late Monday of 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm and the forecast keeps getting more unsafe", said Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has activated 2,500 members of the National Guard in response. Up to 15 inches of rain is possible near where the storm makes landfall. He said many houses that suffered roof damage in Florence are still covered in tarps and could be vulnerable to strong wind and rain.

On its current track, Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico throughout Tuesday and then move inland over the Panhandle or Big Bend area of Florida on Wednesday, according to the hurricane center.

Three Florida Panhandle counties have issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Michael's expected landfall. You can see the Euro model below. You can see the GFS model below.

"#HurricaneMichael isn't heading to any one town..."

"There are warnings for more than 300 miles of coastline", the National Weather Service tweeted, predicting that Michael will become a "large and risky hurricane". Thirty-eight percent of Gulf beaches are forecast to encounter overwash, which occurs when waves and surge top dunes and transport large amounts of sand across coastal environments, significantly changing the landscape.

Tropical Storms warnings were also issued for the USA east coast, from Fernandina Beach, just north of Jacksonville, to SC.

After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move north-east on Wednesday and Thursday along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Neighbouring Alabama is also expecting strong winds, heavy rain and power cuts as a result of the hurricane.

"This is a life-threatening situation".

Gillum said Monday that officials initially thought, "we will have outages and it will be inconvenient". "And then you're riding it out in your vehicle instead of something else".

Ford says "people need to start leaving now", adding that the roads are going to get "more and more congested as time goes on".

Scott extended a state of emergency to 35 counties and activated 2,500 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.

The Florida Highway Patrol is sending 100 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend areas in preparation for the storm, he said.

The hurricane forced Benny and Cindy Guinn to get married a day earlier.

The heavy rains could cause flash floods, the NHC said, and spawn tornados in northwestern Florida.

"I know people are worn out from Florence", Cooper said at a press briefing Tuesday morning.

Some of the population centers that could witness some of the most severe hurricane effects include Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City Beach and Apalachicola.

"Since 6's been backed up". "Just have your emergency plan in place and your supplies in place, just in case the storm shifts a little east and puts us at risk of a little greater impact".

The Republican governor, who is campaigning for a US Senate seat in the November congressional elections, warned of the potential for a deadly storm surge that could be as much as 12 feet (3.7 meters) above normal sea water levels.

Devastating hurricane effects are expected to expand inland far beyond the coast. The rains could bring life-threatening flash flooding.

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