Michael strengthens to Category 2 hurricane; expected to intensify

A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Michael churning toward the Florida Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 7 2018

A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Michael churning toward the Florida Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 7 2018

Conditions in the "very warm" Gulf of Mexico were expected to support continued strengthening, allowing Michael to become a major hurricane before it reaches the northern coast of the Gulf on Wednesday.

Particularly important are the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, which are jointly run by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The Category 1 storm was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour.

"Damaging winds will also extend inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland", the hurricane center cautioned.

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. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center said. "Don't take a chance", he said.

The hurricane, now off Cuba's western tip, is expected to make landfall on the Florida panhandle and affect portions of southern Alabama. Storm surge rises rapidly Wednesday morning and afternoon.

A life-threatening storm surge has been predicted along Florida's Gulf Coast, along with risky winds and heavy rainfall.

A map shows at-risk areas in Florida ahead of Hurricane Michael.

Interests along the northeastern and central Gulf Coast areas are advised to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Michael.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida cities including Tallahassee, Panama City, Apalachicola and Pensacola.

Forecasters said parts of Florida's marshy, lightly populated Big Bend area - the crook of Florida's elbow - could see up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) of storm surge.




Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties, activating 1,250 National Guard troops in preparation for the storm.

The speed of the storm barreling toward the Florida Panhandle - Michael was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour (19 kph) - was among the hazards worrying forecasters at the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, and a hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

"It looks like what we are planning for Wednesday is tropical storm-force winds of 39 to 57 miles per hour", said Jonathan Lord, Flagler County's emergency services chief. It developed into a hurricane Monday. Heavy rain, storm surge, and downed trees and power lines are also expected along Florida's western coast.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued in much of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas.

State Emergency Management Director Wes Maul, in talking to his staff a few minutes after Scott's news conference, expressed concern that county shelters have had to quickly set up because Michael formed in a short period of time over the weekend. He said Tuesday that he doesn't expect he'll get resupplied soon, because stations nearer to interstate highways will get priority.

"Hurricane Michael is a massive storm that could bring total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the Panhandle", Scott said.

Michael also wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. With Michael's winds projected to be even stronger, residents were urged to evacuate inland.

Hurricane-force winds and strong rain were being felt in Cuba.

The sheriff's office says Michael "has the potential to be a historic storm - please take heed".

Recommended News

  • USA  may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions

    USA may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions

    CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy tells FOX Business' Neil Cavuto that US businesses are adapting to current oil prices . And Saudi Arabia and OPEC and non-OPEC countries, they've produced 1.5 million barrels a day.
    Dancing May upbeat about Brexit deal

    Dancing May upbeat about Brexit deal

    In a message to voters tired of belt-tightening, the PM said: "Because you made sacrifices, there are better days ahead". Many commentators have described Mr Joihnson's wide-ranging speech as a blatant pitch for the Conservative leadership.
    Joe Manchin, a Democrat, to Vote Yes to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

    Joe Manchin, a Democrat, to Vote Yes to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

    Rehnquist to replace Warren Burger as chief justice in 1986. "Our original report must be read in conjunction with the foregoing". If Manchin had voted no, would that have sunk Kavanaugh? In the Capitol, however, both senators won praise from their colleagues.
  • New Kids On The Block 'Mixtape' Tour Coming to the Carolinas

    New Kids On The Block 'Mixtape' Tour Coming to the Carolinas

    The popular band of yesteryear announced Monday that they're going back on tour and they'll be visiting the Gem State. If you were coming of age in the late '80s and early '90s, this just might be your dream lineup.
    Palestinian 'lone-wolf' attack in West Bank kills two Israelis

    Palestinian 'lone-wolf' attack in West Bank kills two Israelis

    Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians work side by side in the industrial zone, which includes some 160 factories. Israeli security forces at the scene of a shooting attack in the Barkan Industrial Park area October 7, 2018.
    Robertson: Title race not just between Liverpool and City

    Robertson: Title race not just between Liverpool and City

    If it is an open game at Anfield, you don't even have one percent of a chance because they are so good, they play for that. To his credit, he didn't exactly sulk, but he had a look on his face which told you everything you needed to know.
  • Former First Daughter Barbara Bush Marries Screenwriter

    Former First Daughter Barbara Bush Marries Screenwriter

    Bush , watched the ceremony at the family's Walker Point compound in Kennebunkport, Maine , on Sunday. Bush , escorted his daughter down the aisle while her grandfather, former President George H.W.
    Carolina Panthers: Key players to watch against New York Giants

    Carolina Panthers: Key players to watch against New York Giants

    No Panthers player joined Reid in the demonstration on Sunday. "And I know that none of that will be a distraction". However, Stewart suffered a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve this past week.
    With razor thin margin, Brett Kavanaugh confirmed as US Supreme Court Justice

    With razor thin margin, Brett Kavanaugh confirmed as US Supreme Court Justice

    In the meantime, the focus will be on the court's new majority's willingness to take on controversial issues. Senators have been confronted by protesters who oppose the Kavanaugh nomination and police at the U.S.
  • Facebook debuts smart speaker for Messenger video calls

    Facebook debuts smart speaker for Messenger video calls

    Facebook has announced Portal , a series of devices that let you do voice or video calls to other Facebook and Messenger users. Additionally, you can also receive $100 off any two devices, meaning a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298.
    Pompeo: North Korea Ready to Allow International Inspectors at Nuclear Sites

    Pompeo: North Korea Ready to Allow International Inspectors at Nuclear Sites

    Wang said Pompeo proposed his visit to China , and the Chinese side was willing to arrange meetings. Wang and Pompeo discussed a range of issues, such as North Korea and the trade war.
    Liverpool Vs. Manchester City Live Stream

    Liverpool Vs. Manchester City Live Stream

    Virgil van Dijk admitted it was the correct call to award Manchester City a penalty in Sunday's Premier League clash at Anfield. The extent to which that was City's doing and to which it was down to Liverpool being a little off-colour is hard to say.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.