What does Hurricane Michael mean for South Florida's weather?

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

The storm is expected to strengthen as it moves through the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico. By that time, Michael is forecast to have winds of 125 miles per hour.

Coastal storm surges of up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) are expected along the panhandle.

As of 8 p.m. EDT, Michael was 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of Panama City, speeding northward at 12 mph (19 kph).

Co-owner James Frost, 36, sat with a few others on the sidewalk outside the bar late Tuesday, staring at the Apalachicola River, hoping the water will stop once it reaches that height as Michael slams ashore today. As Michael nears landfall, we're sharing all you need to know about the impending storm.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Florida's west coast from the Suwannee River to Chassahowitzka.

Lines at gasoline stations were growing long in Panama City as people prepared to leave areas under mandatory evacuation, Trepanier said. In neighboring Wakulla County, no shelters are opening at all because its shelters are only rated safe for Category 2 storms.

The clockwise churn of an area of high pressure centered over DE is what's keeping Michael on a more northerly path toward the Panhandle and away from South Florida, said AccuWeather senior hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.

Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions, mostly rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, and the state capital, Tallahassee.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm was expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon, bringing hurricane force winds, a "life-threatening storm surge" and heavy rainfall.

A map posted by the hurricane center Tuesday continues to show the Columbus area with as much as a 70 percent chance of experiencing tropical storm winds from Michael, which would be at least 39 miles per hour.

His urgent message came shortly after President Trump approved an emergency declaration in the state, extending federal resources to Florida in anticipation of the impending hurricane. "Residents in these areas should follow all advice given by their local officials", the hurricane center said. "It looks like another big one", he said.

Panovich: Hurricane Michael will bring heavy rain to the Carolinas

Another Columbus entity called SafeHouse, which is located at Rose Hill Methodist Church, 2101 Hamilton Road, is offering a place to stay for storm evacuees starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The governor activated 750 National Guardsmen for storm response on Monday, on top of the 500 activated the day before.

"It's a massive storm", Florida Gov.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for. "Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.

The threat of rising water prompted Pasco County emergency officials to recommend voluntary evacuations for residents west of US 19 vulnerable to potential storm surge, special needs residents and anyone in low-lying areas.

RMS said that, "Because Michael is expected to be a fast-moving storm, the potential impacts are nearly the opposite of what we saw in Florence". The storm was implicated in the deaths of 80 Floridians, according to the Associated Press - including residents at a nursing home.

Richard Butgereit, the state's disaster agency chief information officer, said at a Monday briefing that workers were also complaining about the Wi-Fi at the EOC and were bringing in their own wireless devices during a state of emergency.

Scott on Monday expanded a state of emergency to a total of 35 Florida counties, the news release said. As far away as Tampa, you could see areas of two to four feet.

"You can not hide from storm surge, so. get out if an evacuation is ordered", he said.

Levy County has closed its schools through Thursday; Florida State University, in Tallahassee, has closed as well.

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