Michael upgraded to a Category 3 major hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds

Glen Norman
October 10, 2018

The last major hurricane to hit northwest Florida was in 2005, when Hurricane Dennis made landfall at Santa Rosa Island, FL, as a Category 3 storm, the Northwest Florida Daily Newsreported. The storm also is expected to contribute to generally rainy conditions through Thursday.

"This is a life-threatening situation", the NHC said Tuesday. Up to 15 inches of rain is possible near where the storm makes landfall.

The highest concern for damaging winds, of course, is near the center of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm with its 11 a.m. advisory Tuesday, recording maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

"Tomorrow we will start seeing the effects of Michael and those in its path will need to take shelter by tomorrow evening", the governor said in a press release.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm could unleash coastal storm surges of up to 3.7 meters along the Florida Panhandle and dump up to 30 cm of rain across Florida, Georgia and SC.

Tens of thousands of residents and tourists were ordered evacuated from low-lying areas in at least 20 Florida counties stretching along 200 miles (322 km) of shore in the Panhandle and adjacent Big Bend regions.

More than 45 per cent of the nation's refining capacity is located along the US Gulf Coast, which also is home to 51 per cent of total US natural gas processing capability.

"The center of Michael will continue to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico this morning, then move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico later today and tonight", the agency said.

The storm then looks destined to move through the southeast US on Thursday as a tropical storm, bringing heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, before moving back out to the Atlantic on Friday. In a Monday afternoon update, forecasters said winds have increased to almost 80 miles per hour (129 kph) as the storm moves north at almost 9 miles per hour (14 kph).

Since 1851, Florida has had 36 hurricanes make October landfalls, including 10 major hurricanes.

Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties as Tropical Storm Michael gathers strength in the Caribbean and barrels toward the Florida Panhandle.

Scott declared a state of emergency for 35 counties and said he was seeking a federal disaster declaration from President Donald Trump, who promised full support.

The NHC expects the center of Hurricane Michael to cross onto the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend Area on Wednesday. Needless to say, the storm will have serious consequences for Florida (and downstream states such as Georgia) during the remainder of this week.

The governor activated 750 National Guardsmen for storm response on Monday, on top of the 500 activated the day before. "There are warnings for more than 300 miles of coastline".

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding was likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous". But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to risky levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for. "Do not think you can survive it", Scott said.

Speaking alongside emergency officials in Pasco County, Scott said Monday he's waiving tolls.

Yes, really, some of that tide going on just adds some more water to the whole situation, because when we really look at this, we have the rainfall threat, of course, that we have been looking at, but look at these values related to your question.

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