Hurricane Michael continues to strengthen as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico. Sustained winds are at 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. The tropical system is moving to the north at 12 mph.
The latest track has the hurricane continuing to stay at a Category 3 storm before making landfall. Hurricane Michael looks to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle sometimes Wednesday, depending on whether the storm speeds up or slows down.
Winds will continue to stay high as the tropical system makes landfall and eventually will weaken into a tropical storm while heading through southeastern portions of the United States.
These are the current watches and warnings in effect associated with Hurricane Michael:
- A hurricane warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River in Florida.
- A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border and the Suwannee River in Florida to Chassahowitzka, FL.
- A tropical storm watch is in effect for Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island, FL., including Tampa Bay along with the Mississippi/Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River, and Fernandina Beach, FL, to South Santee River in South Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center stated that storm surge will be a huge threat with Michael. Because storm surge could reach anywhere from 4 to 12 feet, it could cause normally dry areas on land to flood.
A storm surge warning is in effect for an area from the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida to the Anclote River in Florida.
A storm surge watch is in effect for an area from the Anclote River in Florida to Anna Maria Island, FL, including Tampa Bay, and from the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida.
Here is the amount of storm surge some areas could see:
- Indian Pass, FL, to Cedar Key, FL: 8-12 feet
- Cedar Key, FL, to Crystal River, FL: 6-8 ft
- Okaloosa/Walton county line, FL, to Indian Pass, FL: 6-9 feet
- Crystal River, FL, to Aripeka, FL: 4-6 feet
- Aripeka, FL, to Anna Maria Island, FL, including Tampa Bay: 2-4 feet
- Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida: 2-4 feet
The Weather Prediction Center has issued these outlooks for excessive rainfall from Hurricane Michael. Bands of heavy rainfall could cause high rainfall totals and some areas seeing major flash flooding.
Much of the area impacted by Hurricane Michael could see 2-5″ of rainfall with isolated places getting upwards of 12″. Areas under the moderate risk (red) have a 20% chance of seeing flash flooding, where areas in the slight risk (yellow) have a 10% chance.
Hurricane-force winds also will be a factor as Hurricane Michael makes landfall. This graphic shows the probability of areas seeing wind speeds of more than 72 mph.
The KSLA First Alert Weather Team will continue to be your First Alert on the potential for strong storms on Tuesday.