Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Michael crawls north, rising threat to Florida

Michael crawls north, rising threat to Florida

Michael today has exhibited maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. Hopefully, both ships will be able to keep away from any storm impact and bad weather conditions.

The latest track shows a weakening Michael moving either directly through, or at least near central Georgia as a tropical storm. The center of the storm is expected to pass the east of Cozumel in the coming hours.

The governor warned that there is potential for "devastating impact to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend".

Tropical Storm watches were extended to include the MS coastal counties with the 4 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

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Because of the storm surge threat, three Florida Panhandle counties issued mandatory evacuation orders. If the forecast is correct, Michael would be the 11th major hurricane to hit Florida in October since records began in 1851, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said. It's the 14th storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says a tropical storm heading for the Florida Panhandle could become a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall in the middle of the week.

"Everybody's got to get ready".

A low pressure system south of the Azores has only a 10 percent chance of development, the Hurricane Center said. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes".

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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 election, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee, the state capital, to focus on storm preparations. That's water rise above normal sea level - and is extremely unsafe. "In addition, Michael is expected to affect portions of the Florida Gulf Coast that are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storm's exact track or intensity". He is working out of the State's Emergency Operations Center.

Cuba issued a Hurricane Warning for the province of Pinar del Rio. The storm is most likely to make a direct strike on Florida's Gulf Coast, but coastal Alabama and MS also may deal with direct storm effects and should monitor forecasts. The storm could bring rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize through Tuesday.

Due to the King Tides - exceptionally high tides - along both coasts, coastal flooding also could be a concern.

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