National Hurricane Center says Michael is now a hurricane

09 October, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Tara Reeves

Michael is now the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

The storm is aiming at a region that stretches from Mobile, Alabama, through the Florida Panhandle and into the Big Bend area of northern Florida.

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 us mainland.

A hurricane watch is now posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida. "On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move northward across the Yucatan Channel today, and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico this evening through Wednesday". Although the outer bands of the storm could bring some higher rain chances to the area, those living or visiting the Orlando area will not be feeling very much in terms of gusty winds or torrential downpours.

"We expect Hurricane Michael to make landfall between Panama City, Florida, and Apalachicola, Florida, sometime later Wednesday or Wednesday night", AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said in a report.

Most of the rain and wind will likely be on Friday and Saturday.

At 2 p.m. the center of the storm was about 20 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba. (The 11am ET forecast on Monday from the National Hurricane Center calls for 120mph winds for Michael at landfall).

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Michael has undergone a period of "rapid Intensification" - defined as an increase of sustained winds of 35 mph in a 24-hour period.

Two major questions have yet to be answered: How far north will Michael track, and when will the storm turn east?

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 elections, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee, the state capital, to focus on storm preparations.

"Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night". Storm surges of 2 to 12 feet (0.6 to 3.7 meters) were also expected. The heavy rainfall could lead to "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the National Hurricane Center warned.

Rick Scott gave a statement regarding the storm on Monday morning, saying that he has declared a State of Emergency in 26 counties ahead of the landfall.

This system will need to be monitored closely for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

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