Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Michael expected to gain hurricane strength as it approaches Florida

Michael expected to gain hurricane strength as it approaches Florida

Latest report shows Michael carrying 75 miles per hour max sustained winds with wind gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour.

Even though the storm is predicted to make landfall Wednesday further north, Scott warned that areas as far south as Tampa Bay could be battered by risky storm surge as the storm passes by.

Hurricane Michael is approaching northern Florida and as Gov. Rick Scott expanded his state of emergency declaration to include Manatee County, local officials are urging residents to be prepared but have not issued a state of emergency.

Hurricane Michael's path to Florida and Alabama as of 11 a.m. on October 8, 2018.

Michael became a hurricane Monday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Here is the NHC's forecast bubble for the storm ...

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott said after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall in the United States Wednesday night.

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A Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have both been issued for coastal areas including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. The bottom line is that tropical storm force winds are likely, meaning winds ranging from 40 miles per hour to as high as 70+. STATIONARY MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS ------- SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

Escambia through Franklin counties in Northwest Florida are included in the hurricane watch.

At a news conference downtown Monday afternoon, Mayor Lenny Curry said he's been in regular communication with the governor, and emergency operation officials are monitoring the storm, though Michael is not expected to drastically affect Jacksonville. Also, there could be some storm surge from Michael, hitting already damaged beaches, Pfaff said.

Scott activated 500 National Guard troops in advance of the storm.

It's expected to move over the Yucatan Channel and then crosses the Gulf of Mexico, nearing the Florida Panhandle coast by Wednesday.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency has entered OPCON 4 and is monitoring Tropical Storm Michael.

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. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain. The storm's tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles from its center.

"Areas hit hard by Florence may face disruptions to ongoing cleanup efforts or renewed flooding depending on the track of the storm", AccuWeather senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

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