Heavy Rain Becomes Threat as Michael Moves In

11 October, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Forecasters: Caribbean storm could become hurricane

What's expected to become Hurricane Michael is forecast to dump between 4 and 8 inches of rainfall on parts of the Panhandle and the Big Bend with isolated downpours of up to 12 inches, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods.

The latest forecast cone now gets Michael to hurricane status by Wednesday, which remains the most likely date for landfall.

"This is not going to be anything like Florence", she said Monday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida Sunday night in the Panhandle and several northern counties, warning the storm could be "life-threatening and extremely unsafe". Hurricane Hunters are collecting data on the storm, and that data will be fed into our forecast models. Significant impacts are expected near landfall along the Florida Panhandle to the Big Bend.

Michael has continued to become better organized over the past 24 hours.Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cozumel, as well as parts of western Cuba. Florida State University announced it will close from Tuesday through Friday this week.

In Southwest Florida, conditions will be windy and stormy through Wednesday and boating in the Gulf will become hazardous at times starting late Monday. This storm does not pose a threat to Florida or the US, but swells generated by Leslie continue to create life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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Scott said 5,500 Florida National Guard members are available for deployment, and he activated 500 for preliminary preparations. "Don't take a chance", he said.

Speaking Monday to the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Orlando, Trump urged residents to heed local warnings and pledged the federal government's support. Sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are a few degrees warmer than normal, mostly in the mid-80s - more than warm enough to support a hurricane, and perhaps a strong one.

Lines at gasoline stations were growing long in Panama City as people prepared to leave areas under mandatory evacuation, Trepanier said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency in her state, "in anticipation of widespread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

But forecasters noted there is an increasing risk of risky surge, rainfall and wind for those in the cone. This includes in Haiti where recovery efforts from a deadly quake are ongoing.

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

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