Michael could strengthen into a major hurricane with winds topping 111 miles per hour (178 kph) by Tuesday night before an expected strike on Florida’s Panhandle or Big Bend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying coastal areas in Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties were ordered to evacuate by late Monday or early Tuesday.
The NHC said in a tweet that a “life-threatening” storm surge and flash flooding was likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as “dangerous”.
Florida State University in Tallahassee announced it was shutting down its campus after midnight on Monday, and will remain closed for the rest of the week.
Hurricane Michael was a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 155 miles per hour when it came ashore Wednesday close to Mexico Beach, Fla.
The storm rapidly intensified overnight despite shear and should become a Category 3 hurricane before landfall Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center forecast.
The National Hurricane Center says Michael has become an extremely risky Category 4 storm.
After landfall, Michael is expected to weaken as it tracks quickly northeast, and the forecast track brings the center across southeast Georgia and southeast SC in the Wednesday night and Thursday time period. It will also feel unbelievable outside since we will strip the area of this August-like humidity!
“We are running out of time”, Scott said in a post on Twitter. Michael is now a strong category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
By declaring a State of Emergency, Governor Ivey is directing the activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Plan.
Rain chances stand at 60 percent in Orlando on Tuesday and Wednesday before jumping to 70 percent on Thursday.
The storm was considered a Category 1 hurricane at 5 p.m. Monday and hovering over western Cuba.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for.
“The impact will be storm surge, very heavy rain and strong, gusty winds as it makes landfall”, Bridges said.
Michael is the 13th named storm during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. As you can see below there is a general consensus that this will make landfall in Southern Alabama or the Florida Panhandle.
Storm surge watches stretch all the way from Pensacola to Tampa, Florida, with maximum storm surge projections now exceeding twelve feet in some locations.
Another national, Neil Fung, said the storm looks like ” a major one”.
Tropical Storm Michael became a named storm on Sunday.