These maps shed light on when and where Hurricane Michael will hit

James Marshall
October 11, 2018

Anxious meteorologists said it had the potential of becoming one of the worst storms in the history of Florida's Panhandle.

Michael is forecast to hit the Florida coast Wednesday before moving over Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday night and Thursday.

Gov Scott warned that he may order more evacuations due to the size of the potential storm surge.

At least 120,000 people along the Florida Panhandle were ordered to clear out on Tuesday as Hurricane Michael rapidly picked up steam in the Gulf of Mexico and closed in with winds of 110 miles per hour and a potential storm surge of 12 feet.

The Republican governor warned of the potential for a deadly storm surge that could be as much as 12 feet (3.7 meters) above normal sea water levels.

"Michael could develop into a potentially catastrophic event for the northeastern Gulf coast", the National Weather Service office in Tallahassee wrote in Monday afternoon's forecast.

As of 8 a.m., Hurricane Michael's maximum sustained winds are at 145 miles per hour.

"Historically, hurricanes that approach the Florida coast in this area tend to weaken slightly prior to landfall, but little difference in impact related to wind and storm surge is likely regardless", Kottlowski said. Several NC counties are already under a storm watch. A northward motion is expected through tonight, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hurricane Warning:A hurricane warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida Border to the Suwannee River.

The hurricane has undergone a period of "rapid intensification", defined as a 35 mph increase in sustained winds over a 24-hour period. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States. Showers and storms are expected to stick around through Friday, with some sunny conditions returning for the weekend. Flooding rains of 10 to 20 centimetres, with hurricane force winds and storm surge of up to 3½ metres are in the forecast for the region. "We need to be ready for this", NHC Director Ken Graham said in an update Tuesday morning, urging people in the storm's path to finish preparations and evacuate if they're in an emergency area.

Coastal residents rushed to board up their homes and sandbag their properties against the fast-moving hurricane, which was expected to blow ashore around midday Wednesday along a relatively lightly populated stretch of shoreline known for its fishing villages and white-sand spring-break beaches. Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and portions of southwest and central Georgia...4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. SURF: Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next day or so. Next complete advisory at 400 AM CDT.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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