Hurricane Michael, now at Category 4 strength, arrived this morning in Florida, sporting 155 mph winds, gusts up to 175 mph, and the promise of far too much water. Flash floods, difficult or nonexistent transportation of all kinds—and likely catastrophic wind damage, are expected.
The National Hurricane Center this morning said that Hurricane Michael is “an extremely impressive hurricane in visible and infrared satellite imagery this morning. …Although steady weakening is predicted once the hurricane moves inland, the core of Michael will bring hurricane-force winds well inland over the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama, and southwest Georgia.”
NHC is predicting that Michael will remain a powerful extratropical cyclone over the north Atlantic through at least day 4.
NHC notes that “Michael should turn northeastward and begin to accelerate as it becomes embedded within the mid-latitude flow while moving across the southeast U.S. through Thursday night. The cyclone is forecast to emerge over the western Atlantic on Friday, and move rapidly eastward-northeastward across the north Atlantic this weekend. The track guidance remains in excellent agreement, and the updated NHC track forecast is very close to the previous advisory.”
Key Points from the National Hurricane Center:
- Life-threatening storm surge is occurring along portions of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. The worst storm surge is expected later today, Oct. 10, and tonight between Tyndall Air Force Base and Keaton Beach, where 9-14 feet of inundation is possible.
- Michael will produce potentially catastrophic wind damage where the core of the hurricane moves onshore later today in the Florida Panhandle, with the highest risk between Apalachicola and Panama City.
- Life-threatening hurricane-force winds will occur well-inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, SE Alabama, and SW Georgia, as the core of the hurricane moves inland later today and this evening.
- Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region, into portions of Georgia, Carolinas and SE Virginia.
- Tropical storm conditions will affect portions of the SE U.S. coast from NE Florida through North Carolina, and tropical storm warnings are in effect for these areas.