Tropical Depression Fourteen Forms Overnight, Possible Threat To Florida Panhandle

Elias Hubbard
October 11, 2018

Tropical Storm Michael was recently near Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Its movement speed was only 8 km/h.

Described by Scott as both "monstrous" and "massive", Michael could make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour, according to current projections.

A tropical depression became Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday and may become a hurricane by midweek, potentially bringing storm surges and heavy rainfall to the U.S. Gulf Coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm was centered about 30 miles (80 kilometers) off the western tip of Cuba, and about 520 miles (835 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.

The governor declared a state of emergency for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties.

An intensifying storm system that became Tropical Storm Michael Sunday afternoon is setting its sights on the northern Gulf Coast, and forecasters say it could be a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall.

As of the 11 a.m. advisory Monday, the NHC upgraded Michael to a category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75 miles per hour.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.

Thankfully, Michael is not expected to be a huge rain maker for SWFL, as the heaviest rain from the storm will stay well to our west. It was moving north around 7 miles per hour.

Scott said 5,500 Florida National Guard members are available for deployment, and he activated 500 for preliminary preparations.

"If this storm hits Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge", Scott said. The center of Michael will pass southeast of our area, keeping the highest rain threat, severe weather potential, and highest wind potential away from our area.

Central Florida is expected to see up to 4 inches of rain in the coming days as Michael's outer bands whip the region.

Coastal hazards include life-threatening rip currents at least through Wednesday, and increased risk for beach erosion, especially around times of high tide.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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