Michael strengthens to category 1 hurricane

09 October, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • 14:30 UTC shows Tropical storm Michael off the US Gulf Coast.- Tropical storm Michael was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane

Michael is forecast to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on the US Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay.

A storm surge watch is in place from Pensacola to Anna Maria Island, meaning storm surge could be between 2 and 4 feet in the Tampa Bay area. But within a few hours it gained more strength and by Sunday evening, it had top sustained winds of 95 kph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, activating 500 National Guard troops in preparation for the storm. A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued from the Alabama-Florida line westward to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

"Hurricane Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane and it will produce wide-spread power outages and debris that will challenge our response and recovery in the southern and Wiregrass counties".

Tropical storm conditions are possible in Flagler County on Wednesday and Thursday, the Weather Service office in Jacksonville said Sunday, warning that minor flooding might be possible in low-lying or poorly drained areas. By Monday morning, the storm's maximum sustained winds were near 70 miles per hour.


Mandatory evacuation orders were issued on Monday for residents in various areas in Gulf County, Florida, according to a statement from county emergency officials. The storm is expected to gain hurricane status by Monday night or Tuesday as its core slowly crawls into the Gulf of Mexico, nearing the Florida Panhandle coast around midweek.

A man pulls a boat as Tropical Storm Michael approaches in Cancun, Mexico, October 7, 2018.

Enlarge / 12z European model forecast for Hurricane Michael's position at 2pm ET on Wednesday.

The university announced Monday that its main Tallahassee and Panama City campuses will close at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and remain closed for the rest of the week.

The storm was about 220 kilometres east-northwest of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of winds of 120 kilometres per hour, forecasters said.

"As this system moves north into the Gulf, it is going to drag a lot of moisture up over Cuba and into South Florida". Regardless, significant storm surge and damaging winds will be expected along the Gulf Coast. The storm will move toward the northeast over the Carolinas and parts of Virginia before heading out over the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm by late Thursday or Friday.

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