Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

These maps shed light on when and where Hurricane Michael will hit

These maps shed light on when and where Hurricane Michael will hit

Undergoing a spate of rapid intensification, which is not unusual under these ideal conditions for hurricanes to strengthen, Michael has gone from a 40mph tropical storm on 1pm Sunday to a 120-mph major hurricane as 5pm on Tuesday.

It's forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades, and it will send life-threatening surges of ocean water into coastal areas along the gulf. Up to 12 inches could fall there, threatening flash floods and mudslides, the hurricane center said Tuesday.

"Minimal impact" is a lousy title for an action film but a good prediction for a hurricane, and that's what Storm Team 4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said was coming to the D.C. area.

As of the 8 p.m. advisory, Michael is a Category 3. "Today is the day to get a plan, because tomorrow could be too late".

A hurricane warning is in effect from the Suwannee River on Florida's Gulf Coast west to the Alabama / Florida line.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for.

Forecasters expect Hurricane Michael to grow stronger still as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico on its way to Florida's Panhandle. The storm's center is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area before moving northeastward across the Southeastern U.S.

The risk of life-threatening storm surge, flooding rains, and risky winds are increasing for the northeastern Gulf Coast.

Michael also could dump up to a foot of rain over some Panhandle communities before it sweeps through the Southeast and goes out to sea over the next few days.

President Donald Trump, who was in Orlando delivering an address to a global association of police chiefs, said the federal government was ready and urged residents to be prepared for the worst. "It looks like another big one", he said.

The only other storm in the Atlantic Ocean is Tropical Storm Leslie, which has zig-zagged in intensity. The governor has activated 500 Florida National Guard troops and said another 5,500 are available and preparing, for missions including search and rescue and humanitarian assistance.

October storms typically form in the Caribbean and are most likely to track into southwest Florida, taking paths similar to Wilma, which hit near Cape Romano south of Marco Island.

A particularly risky aspect of Opal was its storm surge, with the sea rising 8-14 feet east of the storm center as it came ashore.

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"The storm surge is absolutely deadly. Do not think you can survive it", Scott said.

Other locations in the state are under voluntary evacuation.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

With a number of counties ordering evacuations, Scott waived highway tolls in the northwest part of the state.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for her state Tuesday because of expected wide-spread power outages and wind damage.

You can see the Euro model below.

Over 300 miles of coastline are now under threat, the National Weather Service has cautioned.

While Thursday's weather will be lousy, Cooper said he was not aware of any cancellations, including the opening day of the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh.

Both Peaton and Scott encourage residents to have at least three days' worth of food and supplies, and check on their neighbors and monitor local news coverage.

A map posted by the hurricane center Tuesday continues to show the Columbus area with as much as a 70 percent chance of experiencing tropical storm winds from Michael, which would be at least 39 miles per hour.

Landfall is expected some time on Wednesday afternoon or early evening near Panama City to Apalachicola.

Florida Fish and Wildlife has put 40 additional law enforcement officers on notice to deploy with a variety of special equipment, including boats. Michael was now a category one hurricane.

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