World News – If you are in the path of Hurricane Michael you might not want to ride this one out. The Hurricane had increased to a category and the path is headed right towards Florida.
At a Glance
- Michael is expected to make landfall along Florida’s northeastern Gulf Coast Wednesday.
- A Category 4 or stronger hurricane has never made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
- Catastrophic storm surge and destructive winds will occur near the landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
- Over a million power outages will occur not just near the coast, but also inland after landfall.
- Rainfall flooding is also a significant threat inland into the Carolinas.
Hurricane Michael is headed for a catastrophic, unprecedented Category 4 strike on the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend with a massive storm surge and over 100 mph winds possible not just near the coast, but also inland that could leave some areas without power for over a week.
If Michael makes landfall as a Category 4 storm, as expected, it will be the strongest hurricane to ever come ashore along the Florida Panhandle in records dating to 1851, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University. In fact, Florida’s entire Gulf Coast north of Punta Gorda has never recorded a Category 4-plus hurricane landfall.
No longtime residents of this area will have seen a hurricane this strong before.
As the National Weather Service in Tallahassee emphasized early Wednesday, this morning is the last chance to get to a safe place in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend hurricane and storm surge warned areas.
Michael is currently centered about 120 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Florida, and is moving northward.
Rain has already moved into the Florida Panhandle with some locally heavy squalls. The eye of Michael can be clearly seen from the National Weather Service Doppler radar at Eglin AFB, Florida.
(INTERACTIVE: Latest Radar of Hurricane Michael)
A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida to Anclote River, Florida. This means that life-threatening storm surge inundation will occur in the warning area and be highest during landfall Wednesday.
Storm surge watches are in effect from Anclote River, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. This means life-threatening storm surge inundation is possible in the watch area.
A hurricane warning is posted for the Florida Gulf coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City, Destin and Tallahassee. The hurricane warning also extends inland to southwestern Georgia, including Albany. Hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours before the anticipated arrival of tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph), which is when outside preparations become dangerous.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Alabama/Florida border westward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, from Suwannee River, Florida, southward to Chassahowitzka, Florida, and along the Southeast coast from Fernandina Beach, Florida, to Surf City, North Carolina. The tropical storm warning also extends inland to portions of southern Alabama and southwestern Georgia, including Mobile, Alabama, and Valdosta, Georgia. This means tropical-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Tropical storm watches have been posted from Chassahowitzka, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay, from the Mississippi/Alabama border westward to the mouth of the Pearl River and also along the Southeast coast from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. This means tropical-storm-force winds are possible within 48 hours.
Those along the northeastern Gulf Coast in the path of Michael should be finished with preparations. There are only precious few hours left to get out if you’re in an area that has been ordered to evacuate. Follow the advice of local officials if you are ordered to evacuate, particularly if you live in a storm-surge-prone location.