Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Michael expected to have some impact on Carolinas

Tracking Michael What You Need to Know Weather forecast: PM thunderstorms expected
Sandra Phillips | 10 October, 2018, 01:33

Further strengthening is forecast as it moves northward across the Gulf of Mexico.

By 5 p.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 80 miles per hour (129 kph) as it headed north at 9 miles per hour (14.5 kph).

Hurricane Michael is shaping up to be a "monster" storm, in the words of Florida's governor, but it doesn't look like there will be any major effects on the D.C. area.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coastline from the Florida-Alabama border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

The storm - now located over the Gulf of Mexico - is sweeping toward the Florida coast at around 12 miles per hour and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening" storm surges and heavy rainfall, the National Hurricane Centre said.

It is expected to be a violent Category 3 hurricane - with the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days - by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday, before moving across the southeastern United States through Thursday.

The WGNO weather team will continue to monitor the latest information on Hurricane Michael and will continue to bring you the latest updates on-air, online, and on social media.

Everyone in hurricane and storm surge warning zones should prepare for life-threatening winds, the NHC said. Residents also lined up to buy gas and groceries even as evacuations - both voluntary and mandatory - were expected to pick up the pace Tuesday.

The first rains from Michael were already beginning to soak the Florida Keys on Monday, with up to four inches (10 centimeters) expected to fall through Tuesday. The agency warned residents in Florida and Alabama of the risk of storm surges, damaging winds and flash flooding. "Current projections show large swaths of storm surge greater than nine feet above ground forecast across the region".

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Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Michael isn't expected to hit his state as hard as Florence did last month, but people shouldn't let their guard down, even if they're suffering from cleanup fatigue. The governors of Alabama and Georgia also declared emergencies.

"This has been different from a lot of the storms we've seen since I've been governor", said Gov. Rick Scott.

Although the forecast could change, there is no indication that the storm will deteriorate before making landfall.

The clockwise churn of an area of high pressure centered over DE is what's keeping Michael on a more northerly path toward the Panhandle and away from South Florida, said AccuWeather senior hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face". "This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared".

Michael could cause erosion at the base of sand dunes along three-fourths of Florida Panhandle beaches, the U.S. Geological Service said. It strengthened to a Category 3 storm late Tuesday afternoon.

So the damage footprint of hurricane Michael will be very different and aside from the threat posed by a Category 3 landfall and storm surge the impacts inland from wind damage could be much more significant than seen with recent Florence. That's just below the threshold for a "major" hurricane, and forecasters say they still expect Michael to get stronger.

Florida State University campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City plan to close Tuesday through Friday.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Over the weekend, flooding related to Michael led to at least 13 deaths in the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, according to officials in those countries.

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