TD 14 upgraded to Tropical Storm Michael

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

Tuesday and Wednesday will bring more of a southerly push to the winds, staying in the same 10-20mph range through much of the day.

A tropical storm that rapidly formed southwest of Cuba could become a risky Category 2 hurricane by the time of an expected midweek landfall on the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle.

But it's so big, people about 175 miles away from the center are getting hit with tropical-storm-force winds (which have increased to at least 60 mph). The activation would provide 24-hour enhanced coverage across Florida's Big Bend and Panhandle.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Alabama Gulf coast, while a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the northwestern coast of Florida.

Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties as Tropical Storm Michael gathers strength in the Caribbean and barrels toward the Florida Panhandle. That's when Michael will be moving through our area, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds.

The NWS release said there is considerable uncertainty regarding the track, intensity, and timing of Michael, but confidence is increasing that it will directly impact the southeast Georgia and southeast SC area.

Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center.

"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", according to the hurricane center.

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If the storm tracks south of us, severe weather is not that likely, but if it tracks overhead, there would be a low threat of tornadoes. A northward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.

The storm center was located about 90 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, or 225 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba.

The storm is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to move mostly north, crossing through the Gulf Of Mexico before a landfall along the Florida panhandle on Wednesday afternoon.

A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

Despite approaching Florida from the Gulf Coast side, Tropical Storm Michael is expected to have some impact on Northeast Florida.

The Florida panhandle will be hardest hit, with parts of the Tallahassee and Panama City areas getting 12 inches of rainfall along with damaging winds.

Most of our area is under a slight (2 out of 5) risk for flash flooding.

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