Michael forecast to grow into major hurricane

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 11, 2018

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said Michael had top sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph). By 8am on Tuesday (1am Wednesday NZT), top winds had reached 155kmh, and it was forecast to strengthen into a "major" Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of more than 179kmh. It is expected to come ashore as a major hurricane over the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday.

Forecasters warned that Michael's strength could be "catastrophic" for communities in its path - anywhere from Pensacola on the western flank of the Florida Panhandle to Tampa.

The storm's rapid intensification over the past two days, despite shifting winds, "defies traditional logic", according to hurricane forecasters.

The eye of the storm was 45 miles south-southwest of Macon, Ga., as of the NHC's 11 p.m. EDT update.

"Today is the day". HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND -------- STORM SURGE: The combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday in Florida before crossing Georgia and the Carolinas as a weaker storm. The state has issued voluntary evacuation orders for parts of Calhoun, Gadsden, Hernando, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Pasco, Santa Rosa and Taylor counties. A tropical storm watch was also issued for the eastern coasts of Georgia and SC. But fears lingered that some failed to heed the calls to get out of Michael's way as the hard-charging storm began speeding north over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 20 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning across five states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina). As Michael moves inland, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama can expect damaging winds, too.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned Michael is a "massive storm" that could bring "total devastation" to parts of the state.

President Trump has approved Florida's declaration of emergency.

The forecast track of Hurricane Michael. "It looks like another big one". Authorities were also searching for a boy swept away by a river in Guatemala.

"The storm surge is absolutely deadly".

The weekend before Irma made landfall, Scott minced no words: "If you have been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now", he said. He declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties, from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, and activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage evacuations.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Scott also told caregivers at north Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the elderly and infirm.

"Storm surge is the No. 1 problem that you can see from these storms". No longer. Michael was expected to bring surging seas up 9 feet (2.75 metres) above ground level at Keaton Beach. Levy County has closed its schools through Thursday; Florida State University, in Tallahassee, has closed as well.

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