THIS WEEK: Hurricane Michael and a significant cold front

Tropical Impacts Possible This Week

Tropical Impacts Possible This Week

After landfall, Michael is expected to weaken as it tracks quickly northeast, and the forecast track brings the center across southeast Georgia and southeast SC in the Wednesday night and Thursday time period. Tropical Storm Michael is already a fairly good-sized storm. Forecast models have come into better agreement on strength and track now that a defined center has formed.

The NHC also added in its advisory that Michael is likely to turn into a hurricane by Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

The chance for tropical storm-force winds in Volusia and Flagler counties ranges from 20 to 40 percent as the storm moves northward to the west, the National Hurricane Center said, with the higher chances in the northern part of the two-county area, as the storm moves toward a landfall on the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

Outer bands from Michael are expected to produce up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain through Tuesday in the Florida Keys, one of several areas in the state devastated by Hurricane Irma a year ago.

Residents of Florida's Panhandle frantically filled sandbags, boarded up homes and secured boats in harbors Monday as they anxiously awaited Hurricane Michael, which forecasters warned could smash into the northeast Gulf Coast as a unsafe major hurricane within days. By 5 a.m., maximum sustained speeds were just shy of hurricane strength, at 70 miles per hour. 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.

Michael emerged Sunday as a tropical storm with winds of up to 50 miles per hour (85 kph).

Though forecasters expect the hurricane to hit the Panhandle, the storm may "affect portions of the Florida Gulf Coast that are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storms exact track or intensity".

The Hurricane Center predicts that Michael will reach hurricane intensity with 80 miles per hour (or Category 1) winds by Tuesday, increasing to 100 miles per hour by Wednesday (or Category 2) around the time of landfall.

Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those near the coast to evacuate inland. "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River. The Florida Panhandle and Big Bend into the Carolinas is expected to get four to eight inches as well, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.

By declaring this state of emergency, Governor Scott is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.

In Polk County, the hurricane could produce tropical-storm-force winds, along with a smattering of rain.

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