I am sure that by now everyone is aware of Hurricane Michael. Hurricane Michael has been being watched since around September 19 when it was simply a tropical disturbance with around a 50% of it becoming anything. October 6, 2018 the government of Cuba sent out a tropical storm watch which then became Tropical Cyclone Fourteen. As of right now, Michael is to the west of Florida. It is moving northward at 12 MPH with maximum winds of 120 MPH. Areas that are expected to be impacted include: Eastern Florida and the Florida Panhandle, the southern part of Mississippi, the south and southeastern part of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and parts of Maryland. IF YOU ARE ALONG THE COAST IN MS, AL, FL, or GA: PLEASE EVACUATE!!
Hurricane Michael should make landfall sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. The biggest threats with this storm are storm surges, heavy rainfall, and heavy winds. The heavy rains could cause a larger problem with sending nitrates and other agricultural nutrients towards the sea helping to further strengthen the Red Tide. As with any other event with heavy rainfall, please refrain from driving through the waters if you chose to remain in the area of impact.
Above are the projected rainfall values. Unfortunately the Carolinas are going to see more unneeded rainfall. Please be on the lookout for more flooding. Extremely strong winds can already be felt in the impacted areas and are expected to increase through the night.
Storm surge warning have been put in lace for most of the eastern part of Florida and the Panhandle. Areas around Pensacola and Tampa are in a watch. Storm surges can best be defined as the sea raising due to a change in pressure, often due to storms. This rising causes flooding and large waves. Surges are expected to reach over 9 feet in some areas as seen in the graphic below. These surges are extremely dangerous so BE CAREFUL!
This is from the NHC for expected surges:
Mexico Beach FL to Keaton Beach FL...9-13 ft Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL to Mexico Beach FL...6-9 ft Keaton Beach FL to Cedar Key FL...6-9 ft Cedar Key FL to Chassahowitzka FL...4-6 ft Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island FL including Tampa Bay...2-4 ft Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL...2-4 ft
Hurricane Michael has already tightened and become more symmetrical. It is expected to become at least a category 3 before making landfall. As with any other storm, there are possibilities of tornadoes spinning up. The NHC is expecting most of these in the Panhandle and north part of Florida and in Georgia. Please keep in mind that tornadoes are highly unpredictable and still have the possibility of stirring up elsewhere.
For more information please visit: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Michael
As a wrap up I simply ask that everyone be smart and be safe!