Hurricane Michael Expected to Grow into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Michael Expected to Grow into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Michael Expected to Grow into a Major Hurricane

Michael surprised forecasters Monday when an investigating flight found the storm more organized than expected and growing stronger. Cuban authorities said they evacuated about 400 people from low-lying areas.

Since the storm will spend two to three days over the Gulf of Mexico, which has warm water and favorable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall", Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum canceled campaign events in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the storm, his campaign said.

The National Hurricane Center reported winds nearing 110 miles per hour Tuesday morning and massive storm surges are expected along the Florida coast.

Volusia County Beach Safety secured non-essential equipment off of the beach due to the predicted wind and swell, said spokeswoman Captain Tamara Malphurs.

Now ranked as a category-1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael could grow into a category-3 storm, with the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday.

On its current track, it would make landfall somewhere along a coastline that includes the cities and towns of Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach, Port St. Joe, St. Teresa and the wildlife reserves bordering Apalachee Bay.

Gulf County officials issued a mandatory evacuation for all of Cape San Blas, all of Indian Pass area, Simmons Bayou, Highland View, and Windmark.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas
Tropical storm warning issued for Midlands ahead of Hurricane Michael | News & Observer

"My expectation is if you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient". Winds will be less than 20 miles per hour for the northern half of the state as the main impact comes across southeast Alabama. "Take care of them".

Major hurricane Michael continues to intensify and grow as the eye points toward a landfall in the Panama City - Appalachicola area about 3-7 pm Wednesday.

Storm surge from Hurricane Michael is forecast to be higher than 9 feet and up to 12 feet in some areas of the Big Bend region of Florida.

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.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more unsafe", Florida Governor Rick Scott told a news conference on Tuesday. Many filled sandbags, boarded up homes and lined up to buy gas and groceries.

Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in Wakulla, Gulf and Bay counties. It would head off the Mid-Atlantic coast by Friday, the NHC said.

Neighbors in Alabama - the entire state is under an emergency declaration - also were bracing.

In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency, saying on Twitter that it was "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds & heavy rain associated with #HurricaneMichael". "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes". Heavy rain, storm surge, and downed trees and power lines are also expected along Florida's western coast.

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