Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Hurricane Michael Is Strengthening And Taking Aim At The Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael Is Strengthening And Taking Aim At The Florida Panhandle

The storm is strengthening and expected to hit the Florida Gulf Coast as a unsafe major hurricane Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida.

Michael is expected to move over the Florida panhandle or Big Bend area Wednesday.

Michael is likely to be a strong category two storm - and possibly a major hurricane (i.e. category three or higher) - when it arrives on the gulf coast of the United States late Wednesday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Michael will move over very warm waters and could strengthen into a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour (178 kph) by Tuesday night. Another Watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Less than 24 hours after Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 Florida counties, residents of the state's capital were already filling sand bags.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Hurricane Sergio was spinning about 1,300 miles southwest of Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

Masters said forecasters expect 2 to 4 feet of storm surge in Tampa Bay, similar to the amount seen during Hurricane Irma.

Threats include damaging winds and flooding rain, along with storm surge and inland flooding along the immediate coast.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued on Monday for residents in various areas in Gulf Country, Florida, according to a statement from county emergency officials. Scott also activated 500 members of the Florida National Guard ahead of the storm.

"We've seen this happen many times with storms, and they've just start to bring all that water with them", explained FOX 13's meteorologist Dave Osterberg, "and they've pushed that water in".

Florida State University said its campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City will be closed from Tuesday to Friday.

Michael is unique, according to Masters, because it developed out of Central America, rather than an African wave — like most hurricanes.

"Any way you look at it, we'll get rain from this system to some degree", Orrock said, adding as time moves on, the storm's track will become more clear.

The storm moved north on a path between Cozumel in southeastern Mexico and the western tip of Cuba, the Miami-based institution said.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said: "This is a storm to definitely take very seriously".

"Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area along the U.S. Gulf coast by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible by Tuesday night or early Wednesday".

Like this: