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Tropical Storm Michael looms over Gulf of Mexico, could become hurricane
11 October 2018, 03:17 | Glen Norman
Tropical development likely in the Gulf over the next few days Tropical development is looking more likely this week
American's waiver covers flights to and from four Florida cities: Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahasee. Significant impacts are expected near landfall along the Florida Panhandle to the Big Bend.
A tropical storm watch was also issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay. The center of the storm is then expected to move across Georgia as a tropical storm, before moving across the Carolinas and southeast Virginia before going back out to sea by next weekend. Rough surf as well as gusty winds and heavy rain will occur along the Gulf Coast as early as Tuesday.
Tropical Storm force winds are very possible along a large portion of the viewing area, with hurricane force winds also possible.
Tropical Storm Michael was packing 50 mile per hour winds and slowly moving north-northeast at 4 p.m. Sunday when it was 190 miles south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center. At this point we are trying to iron out the magnitude and placement of those impacts, which of course depends on the exact track of the storm.
Michael's maximum sustained winds increased to 90 miles per hour on Monday night, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 p.m. EST update.
This general motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next few days.
However, Masson says despite the shorter time frame, Michael will still produce heavy amounts of rain.
Rick Scott announced that he will on Sunday declare a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend as the state continues to monitor and prepare for what could become Hurricane Michael.
The Hurricane Center's forecast calls for Michael to become a hurricane later Monday and make landfall Wednesday with 100 miles per hour winds, which would make it a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
Michael is expected to gradually strengthen and lift northward into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, becoming a hurricane Monday night into Tuesday, according to a press release from the National Weather Service Charleston.
Michael, which formed near the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain - and as much as 12 inches in some areas - on western Cuba before it hits the United States.
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Hurricane Michael Expected to Grow into a Major Hurricane
" Hurricane Michael is forecasted to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades", Scott said. Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause destruction along the Panhandle. "We've got supplies to last us a week".
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