Friday, 14 December, 2018

Michael Blasts Ashore Near Cat 5 With 155 MPH Winds

'Potentially catastrophic' Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2, targets Florida Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2 storm as it barrels toward Fla.
Kristen Harrington | 12 October, 2018, 13:31

Areas from the Anclote River in Pasco County to the south remained under a Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch, while areas to the north were under a Storm Surge Warning.

A tropical storm watch is in effect along the southeastern coast of the US from Fernandina Beach, FL, to South Santee River, SC, the Chassahowitzka River to Anna Maria Island in Florida, including Tampa Bay, and the Mississippi-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River. "This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky". Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Storm surge warnings were also in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for. The storm will then move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico later Tuesday into the night. Damaging winds will also extend inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland.

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.

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It is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to become a Category 3 storm before coming ashore on Wednesday in either the Panhandle or Big Bend area of the state.

As some North Carolina communities continue to recover from Hurricane Florence, Governor Roy Cooper urged people to get ready for Hurricane Michael as it bears down on the Florida coast. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the southeastern United States. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) from Michael's center. The central pressure remains 965 millibars.

"The combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the NHC said. It's measured by how high the water reaches from the normal astronomical tide.

Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast as Hurricane Michael approaches.

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While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it rolled into the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what amounted to two days' notice.

There was no change in the watches and warnings lineup from the previous advisory. However, forecasters always note it is not possible to say where a hurricane will land until it is closer to the coast.

More than 300 miles of coastline from Mobile, AL, through the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area are threatened, according to the NHC.

Forecasters warned that Michael could ultimately dump a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in western Cuba, triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountain areas. Some parts of the Carolinas - recently deluged by Hurricane Florence - and southern Virginia could see up to 6 inches, the hurricane center said. Please consult products from your local weather office.

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