Michael strengthens into Category 2 hurricane

Hurricane Michael: 5 Facts About The Potential Most Destructive Storm To Hit Florida In Decades

A lot to talk about this morning from rain here returning, a sharp change in our temperatures and hurricane Michael as a category 4 bearing down on Florida! By 8am on Tuesday (1am Wednesday NZT), top winds had reached 155kmh, and it was forecast to strengthen into a "major" Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of more than 179kmh. Cedar Key to Chassahowitzka could see storm surge topping out between 4 feet to 6 feet.

Michael was forecast to become a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour when it makes landfall in the Florida panhandle later this week.

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

University of Georgia's Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called it a "life-altering event" on Facebook and said he watched the storm's growth on satellite images with a pit growing in his stomach.

Hurricane Michael would be the first major hurricane to hit the panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005, which made landfall near Pensacola, according to hurricane center data.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area along the southeast US coast by Wednesday, and possible in the watch area by late Wednesday.

A Flash Flood Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have been issued for Wayne County and surrounding areas.

North Carolina is expected to feel impacts from Michael late Wednesday or early Thursday.

'Worst on record': Hurricane Michael slams Florida with winds up to 250kmh
A total of 453 flights had been cancelled on Wednesday across the country, with many occurring in the Florida area. Michael has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues slamming Georgia with heavy rain and unsafe winds.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned that the "monstrous hurricane" was just hours away, and his Democratic opponent for the Senate, Sen.

The unexpected brute that quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression grew swiftly, rising in days to a catastrophic storm.

The surge, or the rise in sea water above normally dry land along the coast, could reach at least 2.4m to 3.6m in the hardest-hit areas, inundating roads, homes and businesses.

Hurricane Michael continues to gain strength as it moves through the southern Gulf of Mexico. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States.

"Mobile homes are very, very scary (during storms)", she told the Tallahassee Democrat. RAINFALL: Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday... The NHC forecasts up to 8 inches for the panhandle, southeast Alabama, and parts of southwest and central Georgia.

Locally, Michael will likely lead to some flash flooding, minor river flooding, downed trees, and power outages. SURF: Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next day or so.

"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post. Next complete advisory at 1000 PM CDT.

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